When the pandemic hit, I was living in a tiny bedroom in a three-room apartment in downtown Manhattan. Despite being in a tres fancy neighborhood, the apartment was nothing special—my room barely fit my bed, a small dresser and a miniscule nightstand—but I loved it. In May 2020, I made the tough decision to move out, as it was becoming increasingly clear that the world wouldn’t be returning to normal anytime soon. I knew that working from my itty-bitty bedroom with two roommates and shockingly thin walls wouldn’t be great, and I was lucky enough to move back in with my parents an hour outside the city.
Cut to around six months ago. I was fully vaccinated and eager to start seeing people again, but after a couple nights out in the city followed by either long, harshly lit Metro-North rides or disgustingly expensive Ubers home, I decided it wasn’t sustainable to commute into the city just for dinner and drinks.
But Sarah, you might be thinking, couldn’t you just crash on friends’ couches? Why yes I could, dear reader, but I have always hated sleepovers. (I was the kid whose mom came to pick them up from slumber parties at midnight.) I wanted hotels, baby, but as a person who still sorts everything from least to most expensive when online shopping, frequently dropping hundreds of dollars on tiny Manhattan hotel rooms was off the table.
Enter Tripadvisor Plus, a new-ish annual subscription that helps consumers save big on hotels, flights, experiences and more for just $99 a year. I was gifted a yearlong membership but will happily put down my own credit card when the year is up.