With spring semester in full swing, it's time to start planning for spring break. For those who already spent the majority of their savings on textbooks and tuition, vacation is still an option. Take a look at WalletPop's top 10 tips for how to save on a mid-semester trip:
10. Consider Camping: Students are used to roughing it. Spending a week in a tent is nothing compared to messy dorm rooms and cafeteria food that college kids normally endure. Have a few friends pitch in for a multi-person tent and set up camp, literally. Look at websites such as Campingo and Trav.com's campsites to find pitching locations and costs.9. Be Flexible With Your Destination: Avoid settling on the first flight that pops up. Sometimes it's cheaper to fly into a nearby city so shop around a bit before clicking "buy." Remember, it may make more money sense to fly into a neighboring city and take a train to your final destination.
8. Save on Drinks: Spring breakers like to party, but alcohol adds up. Buying local brews often cuts costs and lets drinkers taste regional favorites. For larger groups, purchase alcohol in bulk because, like anything, everything's cheaper in mass quantity. Finally, bars are always more expensive, so down a drink or two before hitting the town.7. Stay in Hostels Instead of Hotels: As long as you're traveling with a group, consider booking a hostel instead of a hotel. On average, these shared rooms save about 75%. While sleeping next to strangers may seem unappealing, it's actually a great way to meet people from all over the world. Plus, a large enough group also opens the opportunity to book an entire private room. Check out Hostels.com and Hostelworld.com for worldwide ratings and prices. To stay on the safe side, pack a lock and some pepper spray, just in case.
6. Road Trip: For those staying in the country, think about taking a road trip with close friends. With gas prices on the rise, this mode of transportation is cost-effective with a few riders. Sure, half of the vacation will be spent in the car, but traveling by land allows the opportunity to check out the sights along the way. Pack a cooler, mix some CDs and head south to warm weather.
5. Use Student Travel Sites: Movie theaters and museums aren't the only places that realize students are broke. Plenty of student travel sites offer low-cost flights to college goers. STA Travel finds flights, in addition to linking to study and work abroad options. It even offers six annual scholarships for those majoring in photography, film and art, travel and tourism, international business, international studies and foreign language. Student Universe is another site to find student-priced flights. Once abroad, check out discount airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air. Remember to book in advance in order to snag the lowest prices.
4. Rent a Bike: Cut back on cab fare by renting a bike. Not only will a bike save some cash, but it offers the opportunity to see more sights. Plus, the exercise will help work off some of the local food and beer calories. Remember to rent a bike lock or opt for the extra insurance fee to avoid paying off a stolen bike.
3. Grab Your Student ID Before Playing Tourist: America isn't the only country that offers student discounts. Many museums and theaters around the world cut prices for those with a school ID. It never hurts to ask, so inquire about student prices before paying for anything.
2. First Stop, Grocery Store: No matter the state or country, eating out adds up. Cut back on spending by buying groceries. Even if you're staying somewhere without a kitchen, grab dry items to eat for one or two meals each day.
1. Travel on Off Days at Off Times: According to Independent Traveler, Monday through Thursday mornings have the lowest flying traffic. This means that these days generally have cheaper tickets, not to mention less crowded planes and airports. Most airline websites allow shoppers to hunt down fares through flexible flights. Although this may cut into a day or two of beach time, the savings may be worth it. Independent Traveler also found that morning flights are 15% more likely to be on time than afternoon flights. This is especially important for passengers saving cash by adding connections and layovers.
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