What’s good, #ScribeTribe? It is Hump Day, the temperature is cooling, Virgo season has begun, and one of FTS’ favorite festivals, AfroPunk (Brooklyn) weekend is upon us. As a writer steadily stressing about little details, savings, and needing a vacation, this particular weekend is a bit nostalgic for me. Saving me from the pitfall of boredom in my hometown, with some luck and the help of some really good friends, I found myself swaying to The Internet and Kelela in Brooklyn, alongside my co-creator, AsiahMae.
Such amazingly good times and memories that I’ll never forget, I am reminded of how monumental this festival was for me over the last year. All for under $300, it’s a constant running joke amongst the FTS squad that this was the greatest scam that we had ever pulled off by far. Though Asiah and I are unable to be greeting folks there this weekend, we figured we’d help out our writing family by sharing a few last-minute tips for the frugal, scheming AfroPunk-bound scribe.
*NOTE: All tips shared are subjective and slightly satirical.
1. Roll your clothing & pack lightly.
Whether driving across the country, rolling up to the Big Apple/the A by Greyhound, or praying to survive turbulence on JetBlue or Spirit Airlines, loads of heavy luggage is never a thing that anyone wants to deal with. Make use of a small backpack or carry-on, a moderate suitcase, and only pack the essentials. In addition, instead of folding things, roll what clothing you can to make to make the best use of your available space. Of course, that means more than one pair of underwear and a toothbrush, but definitely consider your wait in baggage claim or possible fees that you’ll be footing for extra bags. No one wants to have to leave something valuable behind at a terminal. Save yourself the trouble ahead of time.
2. Buy a trap phone.
A personal favorite tip of Asiah’s, with Mercury currently scattering all tech waves in Gatorade, it’s very possible that your current mobile device is on (or will be on) the fritz. Like the resourceful folks that we advise you to be, consider buying a temporary phone, preferably a flip phone, for your excursion. For only a few bucks for the weekend and a battery life that lasts literal weeks, you can easily call, text, locate your crew, and aggressively hang up on folks just like we did in the early 2000s. There’s no point in being away from home and completely phoneless. Hit up your local Wal-Mart, convenience store, buy your minutes, and prosper, young thug.
3. Bring a disposable camera.
With so many dope things happening, so many beautiful souls to meet, and so many memories you’ll have, capturing the moment is always a bit of toss up. Though many of us would love to simply savor the moment without having to lug around our best equipment around, a throwback came to the rescue in the form of disposable cameras. A bit of rare find in the days of camera phones and iPads, a disposable film camera is a cheaper, safer, and more physical option to your trusty point-and-shoot or DSLR. Not many would consider snatching up a simple Fujifilm or Kodak keepsake, and the ability to develop immediate prints for albums and wall hangings is never something to pass up. If you’re up for using one, give your local drug store or dollar store a look.
4. Take the bus or train.
In case you don’t feel like being caught by airplane, riding the bus or train are options to keep in mind to travel to your weekend festivities. With tickets generally available for purchase days, and even hours if you’re lucky, before departure, saving a dollar here may not hurt anything more than your pride. Plan ahead if you can and with some faith, elbow grease, and some really good headphones, you’re more than likely to come out unscathed. For us, hopping on the back of the China Bus from South Carolina last year for 13 hours was definitely a bit of an adjustment. But, if nothing else, we wound up with plenty of laughs from a pretty interesting road trip and surely some funny stories to tell.
5. Find Uber & Lyft promo codes ahead of time.
Transportation within urban areas can be super hectic and cab-like systems are expensive. With a well-known festival event like this one taking up a large portion of intra-city travel, surge prices and long waits are bound to be a thing and easily an inconvenience. As such, find your promo codes and coupons for the transportation that you intend on using ahead of time. Don’t be that friend with the outrageous bill or left somewhere. Put it on your checklist and make smart moves.
6. Eat local and for your budget.
Superb dining is almost always associated with travel, but being mindful of your budget is always something to remember. Possibly only being in town for a weekend, it might not be the best option to splurge at a 5-star restaurant on the filet mignon. Not to cut taste or great experiences though, ask around and grab the most reasonable, yet delicious, bang for your buck. Consider the chicken joint on the corner, the slept-on hole-in-the-wall, or Jamaican spot with the dope oxtail gravy across the street from the bodega. Who knows? Your best dining experience might be right under your nose.
7. Travel with people you like.
You’re headed across state lines for hours and will soon be surrounded by loads of strangers—don’t let stress, panic, or anxiety creep up on you being by yourself or in bad company. Traveling is often a tiring and sometimes overwhelming thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Find a buddy or group of friends and set out for your next destination together. When all gets hectic, you’ll be glad to share a laugh with or find comfort your tribe. It’s the simple things that make all the difference and this is one sure to help you make memories that will last you a lifetime.
Though we’re sure you’ve already got the gist of it, we hope that you’ve got a laugh and some insight on travel. With all of our tips, we strongly advise you to use your best judgment and make the best arrangements for your personal comfort and satisfaction. Above all though, we do hope that as you’re headed to AfroPunk this weekend (or later in October) that you be smart in whatever you choose. Be safe, have fun, tag us in your pictures! Happy travels!