How to Get the Best Deals on Flights ✈️

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 Hey, guys! ❤️

  I had several people respond positively when I said I might do a post on this subject, so here it is! 

 I am super passionate about traveling and seeing the world and it’s probably safe to say that most of you all would jump at the chance to travel some too, right? 

 But if you’re like most people, me included, money plays a big factor in our traveling plans. 

 I am a bargain hunter. If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know this about me! I wasn’t always this way, but after moving out and getting married, I realized how much things cost…and how I could score amazing deals on things. I usually find my best deals thrifting and clothes shopping, but travel is no exception!

  Two weeks ago, I found an amazing deal on a flight to Italy for not just my husband and I, but my grandfather and parents. Because of this, we are now getting to do something I’ve always dreamed of! 

 So, I’m going to share what worked for me with you guys! I hope these tips will help you to find some great deals on flights! If this post goes over well, I might also post about VRBO or some other ways we have saved booking accommodations and more for this trip in an upcoming post! So, here are my top tips for How To Get the Best Deals on Flights!👇🏻

1. Map It Out.


 Sometimes, you have no destination in mind, you just want to get away, I get it, but I suggest picking a place on the map and going from there. I chose Italy because it has so much to offer! Pretty much any country is older and more established than the United States, but when I got to thinking about it, Italy is full of sights and things to do, from Venice and Florence to Rome and the Amalfi Coast and so much more!

   By picking the place I wanted to go, it motivated me to learn everything I could about traveling to Italy and finding the best deals.

2. Multi City Flights VS Same City Flights

 I think a lot of times when we travel, we think inside the box. We fly out of one city and into our destination city, then we fly back out of that exact same city!

 What I came to learn is that a lot of times, that is not the best or the cheapest option.

 For example, for this 2 week trip I planned, I want to see a lot. Venice, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Rome, Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. In 2 weeks, just a little bit over. Is it crazy? Maybe. Can it be done? Definitely!

 I decided early on that it would probably be in our best interest to do a multi city flight, where we would fly into one city and out of a different one. This is a great plan if you have a lot you want to see, plus it saves you time and major cash trying to double back to your starting point. 💰 

 Here’s an actual screenshot of the flight we booked.

 We booked a flight going into Venice and coming back from Naples, which was much, much cheaper! $769 per person, ROUNDTRIP. 

 That’s freaking incredible!!! Just for perspective, tickets were anywhere from $1,200-$1,700 a piece, which leads me to my next very important tip!!!

3. Use Skyscanner, Viyama & Kayak.

  I had the most luck with Skyscanner. They compare tons of different sites to get you the best deals possible. If you use their app or go on a desktop to their site, they also have a feature that allows you to compare the lowest flight dates for an entire month! Google Flights can also do this.

 I just love Skyscanner for it’s easy navigation. Check them out first when looking for flights, international or within your own country!

4. Search In Private Browser.

 Whatever you do though, always search in private mode on your phone or computer! I tested this out myself and it is crazy! Our devices track cookies on websites and those sneaky airlines jack up the prices when they see that people have interest in specific flights. Not cool. So, keep it under cover. 😉

5. Check Flights on Wednesdays.

 On Wednesdays, we get the best flight deals. 💁🏼

 Seriously, though. I tested this trick out too when looking for flights. Wednesdays are when a lot of airlines post sales. The worst dates to look are on Mondays or Fridays.

 You have to be consistent too. I checked flights every Wednesday for almost the past year until I got the best deal I’d ever seen. I can honestly say this is the lowest price I’d ever seen for Italy.

6. Fly Out In the Middle of the Week

 When it comes to the dates you should fly out, always be flexible. Monday and Friday are some of the worst dates to fly out. 👎🏻

  I booked our trip leaving on a Tuesday. Tuesday and Wednesday seemed to be consitantly cheaper than most other days. 👍🏻

7. Be prepared to BOOK IT. 

 You should always be looking at flights, even when you don’t have the full amount saved up; it gives you an idea of what good and bad prices are, but in the end, when you have your cash saved up, be ready to book at a moment’s notice! When I saw the deal we got, I called everyone together because I had never seen the prices so good!

 After getting my passport, booking those airline tickets was the second most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life in a looooong time.

 So, there you have it! It’s not rocket science, but there’s definitely an art to it! The real trick is being consistent. ✌🏻

Don’t ever stop dreaming, don’t ever stop searching and keep it up until you can get to where you really want to go! 

  

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\\ B u f o r d  H i g h w a y // Atlanta’s Asian Mecca

A Musing

  I’m baaaaackkkk! 👋🏻

   My cousin Rachel & I went on a short weekend trip to Atlanta. I’ve been to Atlanta several times since it’s relatively close, but this trip was different. The past times I’ve come, it’s been for my husband’s work conference, a thrifting trip my family took us on where we went to all the best Goodwills (SO much fun! ❤️), or a loooong time ago when we came and went to The Coca Cola Factory and to a Braves game. 

  This trip, Rachel and I set out to explore the Asian communities in Atlanta, in particular, the areas on Buford Highway near Duluth where so many restaurants, stores and karaoke bars are prevalent. We have both always loved anything Asian, but especially the culture, traditions and the food. 🍱

  So, here are some of the best things we found on our adventures!

Umma’s House Korean Restaurant
75 5th Street NW, Atlanta, GA, 30308

 Umma’s, a restaurant specializing in Korean & Japanese fare, is located in downtown Atlanta, close to the Georgia Tech campus and center. For that reason, they had great deals on food for cheap. The bento box I got was only $7! 😱 I had leftovers and it was so good. 

  Umma’s also serves authentic Bubble Tea, which is very hard to find in my hometown of Knoxville. Rachel got a Strawberry Smoothie Bubble Tea and I got a Green Tea Iced Latte Bubble Tea. I love matcha. 😻 Definitely check this place out! But find closer parking than we did! 😂 Or you can always use Uber! We did for the first time and actually ended up riding with someone who works for Uber Corporate! Our $5 ride back to the car + talking to him and our driver was worth it!

Han Il Kwan Korean
5458 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30340

  Han Il Kwan, a rather ordinary looking Korean Restaurant located next to the Mighty Tidy Carwash on Buford Highway, was anything but!

  Again, I was astonished by the huge portions some of these places had! Maybe also because I didn’t have my husband to help me eat my meals, I always had leftovers! 😂

  I tried Bibimbap for the first time here and it was delicious. Filled with rice, noodles, bean curd, egg, spinach, carrots, tofu, cucumber and more, it was brought to me on a sizzling platter. Rachel got one of their soup specials, which was extra spicy 🌶, and it came with kimchi and more in little dishes to try. My meal was right at or under $10. Just don’t make the faux pas I did and mix your rice in if you get Bibimbap. The owner came over and told me,”You’re supposed to mix in the rice!” 😂

  In my defense, it was too pretty to mess up!

Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe
5150 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30340


 To check out an Asian cafe, head to Sweet Hut Bakery on Buford Highway. It was a little chaotic and busy, but they serve Asian desserts as well as more traditional American ones. We tried Strawberry Milk Tea 🍓 there and Taro, a dessert I had never tried before, but was very good!

K-Pop Store
5953 Buford Highway NE
Doraville, GA, 30340

  Now, for retail, you have to check out one of the few K-Pop stores they have in Atlanta! My cousin Rachel adores anything Korean and K-Pop, so we went to this little store in Doraville and were not disappointed.

  They had everything from posters, cds, booklets, pictures, keychains, stickers, lights, paper dolls, apparel, everything. The next closest thing would be going to any of these K-Pop groups’ concerts, that would be the only other way you would see that much cool merchandise. I got stickers from a group called Red Velvet and we both got some Korean facial masks to try! (The chopsticks are some ivory ones I picked up at an Asian supermarket because I’d really been wanting some. I got 10 pairs for $2!)


 Here is the blueberry facial mask in action. I felt like Iron Man. 😂

 All in all, it was a very fun, cultural trip! It’s the next best thing to actually going to an Asian country, which I am hoping to do someday. (After my trip to Italy! 🇮🇹)

 Atlanta has every kind of Asian culture represented, from Malaysian, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Indian, Korean to so many more! If you love Asian culture like we do, we would highly reccomend you check out Buford Highway near Doraville and Duluth on the outskirts of Atlanta!


P.S. Also, I’d like to give a shoutout to the VRBO we stayed in near Candler Park and Little Five Points! The owner Scott was amazing and it was so convenient and close to everything. 

Vacation Update ☀️

A Musing

   Hey, guys! So…I decided to get on here and do an update on our vacation, but it’s not what you think. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.

   I like to be completely transparent with my followers and…I used a sun emoji because I was just trying to look on the brighter side for a second. I know that, a lot of times, in this crazy world of bloggers, social media and Instagram, we all get caught up in trying to make everything seem “perfect”.

  Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not.

 This has been a very emotional week for me and my husband’s family. His mother has dementia and mobility issues and my husband’s father is her primary caregiver and he has mobility issues as well. I tried my best to plan this vacation to be everything we wanted: fun, easy and relaxed. Sounds simple, right?

 I started by booking us a place in Savannah through VRBO months ago. I always look there first because you have a more unique experience that way. With Savannah, this presented a challenge, since most rentals had stairs, but I found one that was one level, finally, and said it was wheelchair accessible.

 Now, when something is wheelchair accessible, that usually means that there is a ramp, a walk in shower with no raised ledge, and bars for handholds in the bathroom shower and near the toilet. From the pictures, the angles were deceiving, with the shower curtains closed and pictures taken just so, but I thought that this rental would be a big hit.

  Well, I was wrong. Now, let me be very clear. I love VRBO. A lot. But this rental was listed on VRBO by a third party called Vacasa.


Take my advice and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER rent from this super shitty company. Like, seriously, read the fine print and just DON’T. Don’t just walk away, run. Basically, they’re a third party company who tries to take allllll of the hassle out of renting vacation homes for people, mostly rich ass people who are too lazy to take the properties they own and do something with them themselves, and they rent them out for them. This also means they take care of repairs, housekeeping, etc.

  It’s a business model that is mediocre at best and set up to fail.

When we arrived at the property, it was NOTHING as advertised. No bars in the shower or near the toilet. In fact, the shower didn’t even have a ledge for shampoo at all, causing my husband’s parents to stoop for everything, which is totally comfortable when you’re in your 70’s, you should try it sometime. There was a ledge to get in the house and no ramp, so definitely not wheelchair accessible at all, which is what they claimed in the listing. 


 They also had advertised that we would have two parking spaces, one in front and one to the left of the building. When facing the building, the left side is just sidewalk. We were not driving a freaking Kia Soul up onto a sidewalk, nor were we going to do that for the rental van we were using. If you faced away from the house and checked that left side, there was a commercial dumpster, which you would be towed from if you violated and parked in front of it. Also, there was no mention whatsoever that street sweepers came through Wednesday night to Thursday morning. 

 Just, all in all, a lot of things that were not as advertised.

So, the second night we were there, also the first night my mother in law tried to use the shower, she slipped and fell and had to get stitches in her elbow.


  That is her blood on my husband’s shirt. We contacted Vacasa immediately. To their credit, we eventually demanded they put us up in a handicap accessible hotel and they did. They were not even going to do that at first, though. They were only going to refund our money, which would have left us out of a place to stay. They pulled all this crap about how we “preferred” to move and I let them HAVE it. I told them they needed to look up “preferred” in the dictionary because you prefer shade to sun or vanilla ice cream to chocolate ice cream, we needed to move because they didn’t have their shit together and falsely advertised and we didn’t want to be mopping anyone else’s blood off the floor or running to the hospital again.

  Oh, I can be nasty, and believe me. Sarcasm is my fine honed weapon that comes out when people are liars, cheats and try to take advantage of me or people I care about.

 They only obliged, probably, because they know they could have a lawsuit on their hands. This made me furious. Anyways, I am writing this post to warn all of my followers to NEVER book through Vacasa. Their properties are not as advertised and if you have an accident on their property, they don’t care. $200+ in hospital bills and they did not care.

  I’m sorry for the tone of this post—well, not really—but I had to do this. It’s the right thing to do by my family. I hope they never get another cent.

 I promise in the next few days, I’ll post about the fun things we’ve been doing. 😝 We’ve actually had a good time, once we got done wiping blood off the floor of a place run by scumbags.

Be looking for a happier post about Savannah soon! And remember, don’t book a vacation rental through Vacasa, because they are remorseless, horrible @$)&@$?!!! Toodles! 👋🏻

\ \ H e l e n, G e o r g i a / /

A Musing

  Seeing is believing. Some places are just so weird and unbelievable that you have to see them in person. Helen, Georgia is one of those places. I decided that it needed an entry all of its own! 🇧🇪🍻🌲

  

  If you were looking at these pictures and didn’t know any better, you would think you were looking at the perfect, quintessential German town, but this village with Bavarian charm is right in the middle of the mountains in Northern Georgia. I think, personally, it’s a lot like Gatlinburg, a mountain town in Sevierville and in my own backyard, just if it had German influences. 

  

  This town is close to a lot of hiking trails, rivers where you can go tubing and plenty of other activities. Downtown itself, a tiny little Main Street, is full of hotels, B&B’s, German restaurants and some tourist trap souvenir shops. There are a few more authentic shops close to the beer garden near the main square, fortunately, that sell some German snacks and little kitschy souvenirs and pottery, which are a little better than your standard airbrushed tees and marijuana bottle openers you find in the usual tourist crap stores. 🙄

 

  You will also be surprised to know that there are quite a few German people who own shops in this town and even live near by. I guess it surprised me because it’s a knock off of Germany and if I had to choose between Real Germany and Fake Germany, Real Germany would win every time. 👍🏻

  Seeing little mock European towns like this makes me appreciate the people who loved a place like Germany so much that they brought it to them, and at the same time, it makes me want to visit the real, authentic thing. 

  So, if you find yourself in Northern Georgia, definitely stop by Helen! It is everything I like in a road trip pit stop: Bizarre, unique and interesting!