Holiday travel tips for homebound college students
The holidays are fast approaching, and with them comes the need for students everywhere to make the trip back home to see their families. But it can be hard to make travel arrangements on a limited budget, especially while going to school. Fortunately, a little thrifty research and a willingness to take alternate routes home can make all the difference.
When traveling home for the holidays, one of the best things you can do is plan and buy ahead. Often the more lead time you have on a trip, the better the prices are. The closer you get to the holidays, the more demand is going to gouge you.
The usual suspects
There are a number of travel sites out there that can offer good deals, so it’s always a solid move to start with them and do some comparing. Low-cost flight site CheapOAir is offering a flat $25 in cash back when you use its site, so that’s a solid place to start. As well, you will get 4 percent cash back if you utilize Travelocity. Expedia is running a bonus and offering 8 percent cash back if you book in the next few days, while you can get 6 percent back from Expedia and 2 percent from Hotwire. All such sites are worth checking out, because new deals often pop up that you can use to your advantage.
Alternate means of conveyance
If you have the time and really want to save money, however, you might want to skip on the flight altogether. Planes are great if you have a long way to go, but if your trip is a bit shorter distance, consider a different mode of transportation. Amtrak offers train tickets at a discount especially when booked early, and train rides can often be easygoing and offer things such as Wi-Fi support that might not be available on a plane. The same is true with buses: if you can spare the time for the trip, Greyhound offers some pretty affordable bus rates. And you could always hit up Enterprise and rent a car with 2 percent cash back.
Flexibility and planning are your best bets for saving money for holiday travel. If you’re willing to take the long road home from school, you could save even more. And you might even get some homework done on the trip.