Friday, January 15, 2016

Tiny House Expedition at Maricopa Home Show, How to travel cheap like a boss

By: Ron Valderrama/Tragically Hip Living

Tiny House Expedition this weekend at Maricopa Co. Home & Garden Show

Tiny House Expedition
Photo: Tragically Hip Living
If downsizing and living a minimalist lifestyle is your passion, then head out to the Tiny Homes Street of Dreams at the Maricopa County Home and Garden Show at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix. It starts today and runs through Sunday (Jan.15-17) and is only $5 for admission, kids 3-12 get in for $3 and little nippers under 2 are free. Six tragically hip tiny homes will be displayed in a real life neighborhood setting. Tiny House Street of Dreams will also feature Tiny House Expedition blogger and media personality, Alexis Stephens. Along with her partner Christian Parsons, the two embark on adventures along the way, documenting  their nationwide journey which will someday become a documentary. Yesterday, I had the extreme honor interviewing Alexis and Christian for my blog. Impressive is an understatement, they both possess a kind and gentle spirit, an inspirational couple, proving on a daily basis that living big can be living tiny, it's simply contagious. They gave me a tour of their house on wheels and highlighted the many features that are packed in this little jewel. If you can't attend, or live out of state, Tragically Hip Living will be attending the Tiny House Expedition this weekend and will blog the tips and tricks Alexis and Christian will be sharing. The Arizona State Fairgrounds is located at 1826 W. McDowell Road Phoenix, AZ. 85007.

How to travel cheap like a boss

Photo: Tragically Hip Living
When it comes to cheap airfare, one must think outside the box and be willing to compromise. Travel to Texas from Arizona is common for me and whenever, wherever there is travel, planning, and research is just part of the game. Basically, it's what you are willing to do if saving money is your goal. Let's look at how I travel to Texas shall we? Well alrighty then, I use Southwest Airlines, sometimes United Airlines, but mostly Spirit Airlines. Yes, Spirit Airlines doesn't always get the best reviews, but I rarely have any issues with Spirit. Look at travel in a different sense, relax and enjoy, give yourself extra time and avoid getting worked up if there is a delay, do this, and pure adventure awaits if you can simply look at it from a different angle. I joined Spirit Airlines $9 Club, it cost $60 per year and provides some deep discounts. I book anywhere from 1-3 weeks out and pay almost nothing in terms of air travel. I never upgrade or pay extra for pricey baggage fees. A small rolling bag and a laptop briefcase that I stuff in a backpack until on the plane is my choice. 

Photo: Tragically Hip Living
Here's an example, my destination is Houston from Phoenix for most of my travel, but that flight is almost always sold out, so, this is how I do it. I book a round trip from Phoenix to Dallas, my last trip cost just $60.10 round trip (usually, it's $48 or less), but the destination is Houston, oh no what now? I take a Greyhound bus from  Dallas to Houston, usually runs $17 or less round trip, join the rewards club and save even more. But how do you get from DFW Airport to the Greyhound Depot in downtown Dallas? Easy-peasy, by using  the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system train, it cost $2.50 for a 2-hour pass and runs from the airport (Orange Line) to downtown, exiting at the West End Station, a short walk to the Greyhound Station. The total cost for everything round trip, $82.10. I don't expect much and look at each trip as an adventure, out of the 14 trips to Texas last year I had only 2 delays. Yes, the plane has seats that may not be the most comfortable, they don't recline, but usually the plane is not full and you can move once in the air, often getting an entire row for the 2-hour flight. The train ride is less than an hour from the airport to downtown, the bus from Dallas to Houston is 4 hours with one stop. Time is passed on the bus enjoying the view out the window, maybe by sleeping, working, or watching a movie as all Greyhound buses are equipped with Wifi. If cheap travel is your thing like me, just do some research and find a way. Expect delays that hardly ever happen and no frills, make it an adventure and take in the surroundings that you didn't even know existed.

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