Once a small college town, Austin has grown rapidly in the last few years. It is home to musicians, giving it the title of the “live music capital of the world”. Recently, it also became a tech hub for many start-ups and big tech companies. You will find different kinds of people in Austin including musicians, hippies, entrepreneurs, foodies, and much more. It is full of various activities that no one leaves the city disappointed. However, this variety can be overwhelming for the unprepared. If you are planning an Austin tour, here are 6 clever tips that will make your visit enjoyable and stress-free.
If you aren’t visiting Austin specifically for the festivals, plan your tour at other times of the year. In March, thousands of artists from all over the world attend the SXSW festivals to promote their music and films. October is the busiest month in Austin as it hosts Austin City Limits Music festivals that every music enthusiast attends, the Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix which attracts racing fans, and the Austin Film Festival which conducts panels for directors and screenwriters. Hotel prices skyrocket during these months as the available rooms become scarce. Although Austin’s airport is getting extensions, it is too small to accommodate the number of travelers arriving in these months.
Plan Your Austin Tour Beforehand
The city can overwhelm anyone if they are not prepared. It offers a lot of places to visit and activities that will be hard to choose from once you’re there. If you are a foodie, there are various dishes and cuisines you must try. Franklin Barbecue is one of the most famous restaurants in Austin, but to reserve a table, you must wait in a big line. If you don’t want to wait, choose other restaurants that offer the same quality with less waiting time, like Micklethwait Craft Meats. Plan which places you want to visit and on which days you’ll visit them, and keep attractions close to each other in one day. If you are there for the music, check the venues and times and plan according to your trip and schedule.
Choose the Right Way to Move Around Austin
Renting a car is an efficient way to move around Austin if you avoid the downtown and most of your visits will be on the outskirts of the city. However, if your activities take place in downtown or outside the city, you may need to find different means of transportation. To save on parking costs, look for affordable and conveniently located parking garages; it is not only expensive to park in the city center, but also extremely difficult. The bus is the most popular and affordable public transportation in Austin, as a single ride costs $1.25 and the day pass is $2.50. If you’re planning to stay for 5 days or more, you can get the week pass for $11.25 and save money.
Austin is fairly safe. Theft and violent attacks aren’t common, and a few incidents are in some particular places. After sunset, it is advised to keep away from Rundberg Lane in North Austin. Fights and problems happen on 6th street at night due to drunk people. If you want to go to a bar there, only bring the money that you plan to spend and nothing extra. In the summer, Austin is pretty hot, and it’s essential to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen to prevent heatstroke.
Be Early to Arrive on Time
Since the city became a huge attraction around the country, the traffic is as bad as it is in Los Angeles. It is difficult to predict exactly when you will reach your destination, even if you’re using Google Maps. Your ETA will change every minute as it will keep adjusting throughout your ride. To make sure that you reach any place on time, plan to leave your hotel or Airbnb 15 minutes earlier.
Research Where You Will Stay
Whether it is a hostel, Airbnb, or hotel, you should do your research first. Reading reviews about the place will show previous customers’ experiences. Ask about the neighborhood of the place, how to reach your destinations from there, and what restaurants are nearby for breakfast. Ask all the questions that come to your mind, every piece of information will be beneficial to you on your Austin trip.
Austin is a city filled to the brim with everything you want, but it can be overwhelming without proper planning. Visit the Cathedral of Junk, eat at the food trucks found everywhere around Austin, and attend a live concert. Plan your trip carefully and stay safe from the rare petty crimes and the sun.