Almost every morning I purchase either a toasted poppy seed bagel with bacon, egg and cheese or poppy seed bread at my local bagel store. I mean, who can beat spending only $3-$5 on breakfast. Back in 2012-2013, it was only 50 cents more for a cup of coffee, but recently the owner raised his prices and you can believe that I give him a hard time about it J. As you might imagine, I’ve gotten to know the owner and all the people that work for him, so when I enter the building they start my order right away.
We regularly have interesting conversations about the weather, sports and how much he enjoys hanging out on his balcony on sunny days. Given that he lives very close to Coney Island he spends a lot of his free time walking the boardwalk, so midway through the summer, he has secured a killer tan that makes all the girls jealous.
One of the conversations that I’ll never forget was about how he dreams of boarding a plane for the first time in his life. Naturally, as a single 40 year-old born in Brooklyn, I had to ask him where he spends his time on vacation outside of traveling on a plane. His answer was that he has only been to Queens twice to see the Mets play, Staten Island once and the Bronx to see the Yankees. At this point, I was so intrigued that I could barely leave the store. So, before I left, I reminded him of the 5 reasons why traveling is finally affordable.
- The rise in the sharing economy with brands like AirBnb and HomeAway has made it easier to find cheaper travel alternatives with the main benefit of connecting with locals for a more unique experience.
- New search apps like HotelTonight, Kayak, Expedia, Booking.com, GTFO App, Hopper App and many others allow travelers to find flights, hotels and package deals, often at the last minute.
- The rise in International Budget Airlines has made it easier and cheaper to fly around the world on a budget. Norwegian Air serves both coasts with connections in Europe and Asia, and WOW from Iceland has started to offer cheap flights to Europe.
- There’s a ton of ways to get points and miles using royalty programs. One of the most famous is The Points Guy who can help a user decide which credit card will work best them and their needs. I personally have the Delta Sky Miles card because Delta has some great international flights and daily direct flights to/from my hometown of Portland, Oregon.
- There’s a ton of information on the web that has really made traveling so much easier. You can find train schedules, bus times and ferry schedules to name a few. Let’s not forget about sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp that have millions of reviews to help consumers make all their decisions along the way.
I hope sometime in my lifetime the bagel guy will finally board a flight for his dream destination of choice which is Las Vegas. I did tell him that I am always here for him if he needs me to help him do any of the research and my hope is that he takes me up on it.