Traveling is one of the most refreshing and enjoyable activities for college kids like us. Every single spring, summer, and winter break, you just want to gather your friends and get away from the 7 a.m. classes, the agonizing tests, and the captivity of your dorm. But before actually going somewhere, you need to go through the struggle of planning a trip. We’ve all been there, staring at our laptop with 20 tabs open, hoping some kind of magic trip fairy would just plan it all for us. Well, your prayers have been answered.
1—The longer you wait, the more you’ll pay. Booking tickets at least two months before your trip is one of the biggest ways to save money. Southwest usually has deals if you buy tickets well in advance. Signing up for the Spirit $9 Fare club is also a great way to save.
2—Where to go. Really think about what you want to gain from this trip. If you’re looking to take your mind off things, somewhere peaceful and nature-friendly like Colorado or Oregon can be very helpful. If you’re more into museums, architecture, and fine dining a big city like New York or Seattle will do the trick. A reference book before traveling always comes in handy while making a decision.
3—A queen bed or a couch. If you like to live like a local while figuring stuff out yourself, book an Airbnb. They tend to be cheaper most of the times, and really give you a sense of belonging. If you want to be in a safe haven of concierge desks and room service while you explore a new city, a hotel is the right choice for you. This could be the difference between risking your life for a 3 a.m. hot-dog craving in Chicago and ordering room service from the convenience of your comfortable and plush hotel bed in the Omni.
4—Plan everything. The best way to travel efficiently is to plan every day. Put pen to paper and write everything down. This includes making lists, figuring out food stops, and accounting for travel time between places. It is also smart to keep some wiggle room in case of unexpected hiccups along the way.
5—Bus, train, or Uber. You need to have decent knowledge about how transportation works in the city you’re going to. If there is public transport, the smartest thing to do is buy a three-day pass or something similar. Having a rough idea on what train is going to get you back to your hotel safely is always a plus. If it is not a public transport-friendly place, you can rent a car from the airport. If none of those is an option, be prepared to splurge a lot of money on Uber and cab fare. It is also smart to carry some currency and loose change in case of emergencies.
There you have it! Happy planning!
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