Why you should book a STAYcation

For my 31st BDAY, I booked the Hotel Figueroa for one night in downtown Los Angeles!
Photo curtesy of Hotel Figueroa

What’s a STAYcation?

When we think of hotels, we automatically think of booking them in another city or another Country. Have you ever thought of booking a nice hotel room right down the street at that new hotel they just built? Or how about across town in a more quiet neck of the woods? Lets first breakdown what exactly a STAYcation is. A STAYcation is a vacation right at home. No, not literally at home. And don’t think you can get away with just sending the kids off somewhere or staying at home for the weekend. That’s the good old classic HOMEcation lol. Im talking about booking a hotel room and acting as if YOUR the tourist in town! Here are 6 reasons you should book a STAYcation.

1. Affordable

The number one reason I love a good STAYcation is that it’s super affordable. Whether you book a hotel room for one night or a week in your neck of the woods, your automatically saving because your not worrying about travel expenses or long lines at the airport. Okay, maybe you do have to worry about a Lyft ride, but that’s about it. Speaking of Lyft, a true STAYcation ISN’T driving your car to your hotel. Remember, this a vacation but in your neck of the woods, so no personal vehicle usage allowed! When you drive, you don’t get to SEE your city. Your only seeing what’s in front of you so you can drive safely. Catch that Lyft, stare out the window and SEE your city. I bet you’ll discover new places you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. 

I booked a suite style room at Hotel Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles at Hotels.com

2. Great way to meet new people & see new places!

Imagine this: You’re relaxing in your hotel room and you decide to head down to the hotels cafe shop to grab a cup of coffee. All those people in the cafe shop? NOT FROM YOUR CITY! This is a marvelous way to meet new people. And guess what? You can show them around. Step outside your comfort zone, introduce yourself to a stranger, you’d be amazed at what potential connections you could make with someone. Offer up advice on the best pizza joint in town, go out and split a Lyft and show them around town. Hop on Yelp, discover restaurants, museums, activities you didn’t know even existed!

A 10 minute walk from my hotel is restaurant Dekkadance located inside the newest skyscraper in DT Los Angeles. For $35, you can enjoy an all you can eat buffet for either breakfast, lunch or dinner while over looking the beautiful city.

3. No long lines, canceled flights, or luggage check

Lets face it, we’ve all been there. We’ve all have either dealt with crazy long lines at the airport, experienced an unfortunate canceled or missed flight or had our luggage lost. If your the chosen one, you’ve experienced all of this on one trip! Not with a STAYcation though, just pack a light duffle bag or if you want to go all out, really pack like your leaving town. One things for sure, you don’t have to carry around a bunch of luggage if you don’t want to. If your STAYcationing for one night, I’d recommend just packing 2-3 looks. I’ve done this twice for my birthday. One, because, I gotta have options incase a look in my head doesn’t turn out how I thought, and two, if your going to several places on your special day, serving up different looks never hurt anyone.

4. Putting back into the community

If you’ve never STAYcationed before, more than likely you’ve never supported your local hotel industry. If your up for staying somewhere special and not a franchised cookie cutter hotel, I strongly recommend staying somewhere thats locally owned. This way, your helping a small business owner and putting money back into your local community. Not only will you get a sense of fulfillment but it’ll just make you feel good.

Hotel Figueroa had so much charm! Find that special charm in your next stay.

5. Have kids? Your only a few miles away

Rest assure, your only a few miles away if something goes wrong with the kids and the babysitter, but we’ll only hope for the best here. If you just want a different environment, bring the kids with you. Make it a family STAYCATION!

6. Book on your birthday!

I’ve booked a hotel on two different occasions for my birthday STAYcation, and when I mention it’s my birthday during check in, I’ve had my room upgraded every time! I’ve noticed this, and you should try it out. Make sure you check in on your actual BDAY or the weekend of. Show them your ID. The hotel staff was AMAZING at Hotel Figueroa and when I checked in, they asked me what brought me to Los Angeles. My response? “Oh its my birthday, just enjoying a STAYcation.” Immediately they upgrade my room! Some hotels will also give you a restaurant or store credit inside their hotel.

For my BDAY dinner, me and some friends checked out HOME restaurant located in Silverlake neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Check out my STAYcation vlog on my YouTube!

How I booked a RT to Dubai for $600

Safari Desert Tour, Dubai

Hey V.I.P’s. How’s your Summer coming along so far? Mine? HOT! Hopefully you’ve been plotting and planning those get away abroad trips during this time, as sales are at their all time high around this time for traveling during the Fall! I wanted to share how I booked a roundtrip to Dubai for only $600 last year around this time. I went for my 30th birthday last December for 10 days and I had a wonderful time! I purchased my plane ticket last July around this time and leading up to the trip, saved up and payed off hotel, food and activity money. It was super convenient because I practically had till the end of the year to save up for the rest of my trips expenses. I’ll break this down into several sections:

Burj Khalifa (Tallest Building in the world)

Airfare

Two words. ExploreTrip. Check out ExploreTrip.com for great flight deals like I did. I had an earlier date in mind and it gave me an alternative date (maybe like a week later) that was cheaper than the dates I originally planned for. I thought this was super dope! Be sure to also check out Airfordable.com which allows you to copy a screenshot of a plane ticket price from any airline of your choice, then send it in and make installments on your plane ticket. It will charge you a fee to do this but it’s totally worth it if your traveling overseas and are on a budget.

Hotel

I booked two different hotels via Hotels.com to give myself a different perspective of the city of Dubai. My first hotel was in old Dubai and my second hotel was in the Marina area closer to the beach. Every 10 nights equals 1 free hotel room when you create an account. The free night has to equal the average amount of your previous 10 night hotel stay. Tip:Be sure to check the free breakfast filter when booking. Thats one meal expense you won’t have to worry about each day your there.

Hyatt Place Al Rigga Old Dubai

Transportation

Getting around Dubai is super easy. There’s taxi’s everywhere and their super cheap but it can add up. Of course Uber is available also and the train, which is the cheapest. If your looking to splurge more on food, I’d ride the train to most places and use a taxi for emergencies only or if you get lost and want to be sure to get somewhere on time. The train is super convenient and you can buy whats called a nol card for the week and ride it unlimitedly all day and night.

Activities

I found and booked a lot of my activities thru Veltra.com. It’s a site that literally has all the must do activities in whatever city or Country your in. I love it because it’s all in one place and you can pay for your activities on the same site. It also won’t charge an international fee on your debit/credit card. I strongly suggest this site to get ideas and inspiration if anything else. What I also love about it is that it has discounts just for booking on the site.

The Yellow Boats Tour-Atlantis The Palm Hotel

Food

Food for me wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t important to me to indulge in the culture of food everyday. My big splurge went to activities. Whatever was around via Yelp, I went and ate at. I would eat, just to make sure I ate. I didn’t go out of my way to find particular cultured places or anything. I did enjoy more cultured food when I booked a particular activity but that was about it. If I could describe Dubai it’s honestly like an American big city times 100 but of course with it’s own middle east charm, so finding food of the middle east was far in between. There were mostly American restaurants and bars than anything else.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque-Located in Abu Dhabi

If you’d like to check out more on Dubai and all the activities I embarked upon, check out My Trip to Dubai Playlist below. Hope you enjoy!

-V