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How to Vacation Like a Celebrity on a Shoestring Budget: A Guide for Travel Nurses
As a travel nurse, you know one of the great perks of your career is the flexibility to travel. You also know nursing is serious business — you’re a health care professional, a caregiver, and a hard worker. When it’s time to let your hair down, let glamour be your guide. Here’s how to create a celebrity-inspired adventure you’ll never forget — all while staying on budget. You work hard for the money — make it work hard for you.
Hit the hot spots
Beyonce and Miami. Tom Cruise and Telluride. Marilyn Monroe and Palm Springs. Some locations are known celebrity magnets. Feel like a star while you explore the favorite destinations of the rich and famous.
Las Vegas — a great place to find a deal.
- Check out inclusive packages offered by some of Las Vegas’s most glitzy casinos.
- Get a free taste of nightlife by people-watching outside the 10 Best Celebrity Hangouts in Vegas.
- Back in your room, pop a bargain bottle of champagne as do-it-yourself bottle service.
New York City — every celebrity’s playground.
- Buy coffee and an inexpensive dessert at one of the best restaurants for celebrity sightings.
- Get same-day Broadway tickets at a discount of up to 50% through TKTS Discount Booths.
- You can also volunteer as an usher to see a play for free!
Want more on travel nursing in New York? Check out our blog on the Empire State.
Miami Beach — get your sun on.
- Keep your wallet in your tote bag while you pay a free visit to The Best Miami Beaches for Every Mood.
- Document your day — celebrities can’t resist posting their beach shots on IG.
And for popular celebrity destinations in smaller cities, consider traveling during the off-season. You’ll find cheaper hotel rooms, more competitive airfare, and as a bonus, shorter lines at attractions. Some areas have major restaurant discounts during off-season, like these Aspen, Colorado restaurant specials.
Get there on the cheap
Hey there, jet-setter. If you’re flying with flexible dates, use some of the Internet’s best airfare search tools to score a great price.
- Airfare Watchdog emails you alerts for your sought-after destinations. Just enter your departure city and a list of places you’d like to go.
- Google Flights offers an easy-to-navigate grid that shows a price calendar so you can pick the cheapest dates to take off.
- Kiwi can give you a variety of travel options for whatever price range you set.
Nothing says luxury like first class, right? Don’t shell out extra when you book your reservation, though. Instead, take a gamble at check-in or after you board. Ask if you can be moved “closer to the front of the plane” — you might just be in luck! (A friendly smile always goes a long way.)
Credit cards with travel rewards are a must for those who travel frequently. You’ll also reap benefits if you join airline loyalty programs. They’ll earn you frequent flyer miles, which you can also cash in for upgrades.
Sleep like royalty . . .
Nothing says celebrity vacay like posh accommodations.
- Splurge to find a great discount. Hotwire works with hotels to sell rooms at a discount through “opaque pricing.” While you won’t know the exact hotel you’re in until you’ve booked, you can narrow your search by star rating. Find a five-star hotel at up to 60% off.
- Hotel booking sites like Orbitz offer easy-to-use amenities searches that can help you find pools and other add-ons.
- Trivago is a great source for finding last-minute discounts on rooms and comparing all of your lodging options.
Remember, it’s okay to spend a little extra — you can still be cost-conscious. Upping your budget sometimes means you’ll get a lot more for your money, especially when it comes to hotels. Drury Hotels, a mid-range chain, has a happy hour every evening with free appetizers, wine, and beer.
At check-in, ask about upgrading. If managers have extra rooms available, you might score a suite at a discount. For a free boost, ask to stay on an upper floor to get a great view. You can also get more square footage in a corner room.
Go ahead and indulge in some fun — bring chocolates for your pillow. Just don’t wreck the room like a rock star!
. . . or pretend you’re at a pied-a-terre
Ever dreamed of owning a dream vacation home — or two or three, like the world’s most fabulous? Airbnb matches homeowners with short-term sub-letters. Cozy up with stars as your neighbors. For less than $90 a night, you can rent a studio apartment in Taos, a guest suite with a view of the Hollywood Hills, or a condo in Telluride.
Drive in style
Like hotels and airlines, car rental companies offer great loyalty programs. Reserve your car in advance to get a good deal, and use a comparison website before booking.
While it may sound surprising, your best bet for getting an upgrade is to reserve the cheapest and most popular car on the lot. Because it will be in high demand, it may get overbooked. You’ll be offered an upgrade and can choose from the inventory available. Convertible, anyone?
Check out Groupon for deals on spas, restaurants, and unique travel experiences. Explore your options to find the best budget spas in your destination city.
Experience the fun of shopping for luxury goods without the sticker shock.
- Channel your inner star with a stroll down Rodeo Drive.
- Hit Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue.
- Stop by the flagship Tiffany & Co. — and give Audrey Hepburn her due with a croissant and a cup of coffee!
Want the style without the price? Many cities have districts with celebrity status for offering designer knock-offs, like Canal Street in New York City.
Looking for more ways to boost your travel nursing salary? Check out our travel nurse salary guide.
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