The Word Does SXSW 

Travel Plans

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Hi, it's Manda & Thomas from the City Weekly street team, The Word. We're lucky enough to be taking an amazing vacation to Austin, TX for SXSW Music Festival. Here's how we planned our trip, what we're looking forward to and how to stay in touch.

TRAVEL ON THE CHEAP
AIRFARE:
With early planning, we were able to book our flight and a place to stay for around $550 a person. Southwest Airlines has great deals if you book early. Back in November 2010, we were able to get 2 round trip tickets with the Wanna Get Away rate.
Quick Tips:
Use Southwest's Low Fare Finder to find super affordable flights. Sign-up and use a Southwest Rapid Rewards card to earn points toward future trips.

LODGING: Instead of going the hotel route, we decided to think outide of the box concerning our lodging. Thomas recently had a great experience using Airbnb.com for his trip to NYC. Think an urban bed & breakfast. The apartment we have rented is in the Town Lake neighborhood in Austin, TX. It’s a cute, modern studio apartment that features a gym, pool, rooftop deck and outdoor kitchen... and it’s just under a mile from SXSW at the Austin Convention Center! All of this for only $700 a week! We’re looking forward to relaxing in, and enjoying this great space.
Quick Tip:
Book early to catch the best prices for the coolest spots. The downtown hotels sell-out quickly and can be VERY expensive.

SAVING: The next step was to start setting aside spending money for our trip. Manda used the Goals feature on Mint.com to keep her savings on track.
Quick Tip: Mint is also useful for creating budgets and tracking spending habits. Try the Mint iPhone app.

SXSW HIGHLIGHTS
We’ll be blogging about our SXSW experience later in the week. We’re using the official SXSW app on iphone to manage our schedule options.
Music picks: Twin Shadow, Say Hi, The Naked and Famous, DATAROCK, Dog Day & The Raveonettes
Must-see interview: the SXSW Interview with Yoko Ono on Friday
Must-see panel discussion: Hoping it will give us some great ideas for next year's City Weekly Music Awards, we’re going to attend the How to Build a Festival panel discussion on Thursday.

Get up-to-date SXSW updates from the City Weekly gang: Follow Manda, Thomas and City Weekly music editor, Dan Nailen on Twitter.

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