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Southwest Helped this Twenty-Something Travel the Country on a Budget

Explorer C

medium[3].jpgAlthough I sometimes hate to admit it, if you were to watch a recap video of the last four months of my life, you would see that I’m a textbook twenty-something.


Up until October 2017, I had been living in Lubbock, TX working a full-time job as a social worker while getting my master’s degree in social work. I moved to Lubbock to pursue an undergraduate degree in 2010 and ended up staying for seven years. For someone who loves traveling, living on the “island” of Lubbock definitely presented its share of challenges. However, I never let that stop me from feeding my travel bug. After two years of stressful employment—and just three months away from graduation—I decided to make a change. I was having a classic quarter-life crisis. To make a long story short, I decided to quit my job, pack up my stuff, and move everything into my parent’s attic in Dallas because it was the perfect city to set up my adventure headquarters.


Once I started traveling, I was determined to only fly on Southwest. I made a budget for myself which meant I needed to be smart about flight choices and knew I could always depend on a good Southwest sale. I put in time scouring flights and quickly incorporated flight planning into my morning social media rounds: Twitter, Instagram, and then the Southwest app to see what new sales had popped up since I last looked. I researched and invested in a travel credit card (which I strongly advise everyone do) so that my travel expenses would help me accrue Rapid Rewards® Points.


medium[5].jpgAs if being able to fly roundtrip to Chicago for $80 was not amazing enough, my absolute favorite part about Southwest is how their policies cater to the flexible and spontaneous aspects of this life stage. I’m able to check two bags for free which always means that if I’m unable to say no to a ridiculous number of souvenirs or if I’m packing for a two week trip that involves four different climates, I have all the space to do it without having to spend extra money. I love that I can buy a one-way ticket to Los Angeles and figure out a plan to get home once I get there too. Southwest’s incredible cancellation policy has been my saving grace for all the times I thought I had a schedule but was convinced by a friend to stay in their town for a another night or jet over to another must-see location. I’ve been able to cancel my flight on my phone from the beach in Malibu or at a dinner with friends in Washington, D.C., then turn around and immediately put the flight credit towards a new travel plan.


medium.jpgLastly, being a twenty-something for me also means that I care a lot about where I’m spending my money. I want to give my money to businesses and companies that are helping to foster healthy workplaces and customer interactions. Having several friends who work at Southwest, I felt great knowing that I was investing in a company that I knew firsthand provides great service to customers and employees!


While I know that traveling for four months isn’t feasible for everyone, Southwest removes almost all the small roadblocks to traveling, especially for a quick weekend getaway. As Pico Iyer says, “We travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” I had become so jaded with my nine to five work routine and I was ready to feel the buzz of new sights and people; to potentially open my heart to a new place to land and Southwest is helping me hit all of the marks, every single time.