Traveling With a Little Help from Your Friends

Chances are, when you head out on your next big trip, you’ll scan the web, make calls, do the whole reservations
thing to find good hotels and hostels. But you might also do a quick brain inventory for the names of people you know
who live in the place you’re going top visit. Am I right? Well, you’re not alone. According to the
Travel Industry Association of America, almost half of the people who take a trip
this year will shack up with friends. I think that’s a pretty fascinating statistic, and it makes sense.

I’ve always thought that the best way to travel anywhere is to know someone in the city/town you’re visiting. The
knowledge of locals is often the best guidebook you’ll find, not to mention the fact that it’s great to catch up with
folks you haven’t seen in a while. I can attest that this is a popular way for people to travel because, living in New
York City (a very popular destination) I’m always getting calls and emails from folks who need a place to crash when
they come to the city. I’m usually happy to oblige, not just because I like to see old friends and because NYC can be
ridiculously expensive, but also because I can get a favor chit from them, meaning that the next time I visit their
city, well, they are somewhat obliged to let me stay with them. It’s a nice kind of quid pro quo. So if this is news to
you, from now on when you travel, let your rolodex be your guide. Ring up a friend and see if you can stay with them.
It will save you a couple of bucks and help rekindle relationships…unless of course, you trash their place.