Foursquare and the Fat Wallet

Vacation. There are very few better words in the english language. One of those words higher on the pantheon of awesome is "free." Who doesn't like vacations? Who doesn't like free things? Well how about -brace yourselves- free things on vacation. Oh man, talk about Christmas in May.

Well over Memorial day my wife and I were lucky enough to go on a TWO WEEK VACATION up and down the California coast. It was awesome. Saw some family, hit LA, Laguna Beach, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Berkeley, Wine Country, and many more. Now unless you're going to a trade show you probably wouldn't put tech and vacation in the same thought, and my vacation would have been no different except for a pleasant little surprise I stumbled upon in the Russian River Valley portion of Wine Country; Foursquare Specials.

Incase you aren't familiar with the platform, Foursquare is a location based review and reward network that uses your phone application. Kind of like a mix of Facebook, the yellow pages, and Yelp. The great part is some local business add a "special" to their listing and that is where the fun comes in.

While booze cruising through Wine Country I checked in at Hop Kiln Winery and up popped a "Special" I unlocked; a complimentary wine tasting for myself a guest. That's huge. Tastings in Napa Valley range between 10 and 30 dollars a person. That is ridiculous, 4 years ago they were roughly 5 to 20 dollars a person. Foursquare completely changed our vacation plans. From that point on we only visited wineries with specials, and while we only had a couple days of vacation time left, we saved roughly $200. So awesome.

Twitter is still my favorite social network but Foursquare is amazing. Not only did it save me cash, but everywhere we went I got an awkward sensation out of telling everyone to try out Foursquare.

OH! And after we got home I posted on a Des Moines Register Facebook post asking how people saved $$ on vacation, they interviewed me for a story and took some pictures of me with my phone. So Thank you Foursquare, not only did you save me a good chunk of cash on vacation, but I owe my burgeoning model career to you.


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