The fall brings more than just the changing colours of the leaves and back to school time for many. It also brings several new holidays and reading week to look forward to. When summer comes to an end, you need something else to look forward to! Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas or your Fall reading week can be more exciting than you ever thought they could be as an adult.
However, with holidays coming and your bank account hurting from heading back to school, there can also be the added stress of how you’re going to manage to travel away from your college dorm room to back home, or even better, away on a little vacay for some R&R you deserve.
Here are some tips to help you save on travel throughout the fall and winter.
Book in Advance
Waiting last minute can have its benefits sometimes, but it can also boost the price of your train, plane or bus tickets. Even worse, it can leave you with very limited options or even sold out fares which leaves you stuck. Holidays are the busiest travel days, and very rarely will you see deals on fares for holiday weekends, so waiting for a last minute deal is probably not your best option. Instead, start thinking ahead of the crowd and book in advance. Also keep in mind that most bus and train lines offer student rates and this can be a great way to save money on travel.
If you have the ability to travel on an off day, you’ll not only save money but you’ll also avoid the crowds. An off day is a day other than the main holidays. For example, it might seem obvious and convenient to leave on a Friday afternoon or night for Thanksgiving weekend, but if you can leave on Thursday or earlier, you can get better prices and have more travel options. For reading week, look at the different days of the week to travel versus only Friday or Monday. Websites like Skyscanner allow you to compare flights easily and choose the most affordable option.
Your first thought may be one specific mode of transportation to get home or away, but take a look at all your options. You might be able to find a cheaper route home by doing a stopover along the way, or taking a train or a bus instead of a plane (or vice versa). You also can look into ride sharing websites like Kangaride, rental cars, or hitching a ride with friends or family that are traveling in the same direction. There is almost always more than one way to get somewhere, so scope out your options!
Planning in advance was already mentioned, but it’s important to prepare in other ways too. For example, if you need to find a place to stay along your way home or in your final destination, look to family, friends or other options and figure out what is the most affordable. Also, don’t forget to pack snacks or a lunch for the trip. Food in bus/train stations or airports can be incredibly overpriced and unhealthy, so saving money on those little expenses that add up can be incredibly valuable.
Traveling home or away doesn’t need to be tough on your wallet. We hope that these tips can help you land a better deal. Feeling guilty for traveling or heading off to see your family and friends when you have time off doesn’t need to weigh you down. Enjoy your travels.