Traveling on a college-student’s budget

Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Bahamas Photo Credit: Monica Zielinski 

Grace Sampson – Special to the Southern News 

Once in a while everyone need a little vacation here and there. A little fun with friends, family or solo. Perhaps, there are some vacation days saved up from work or even school breaks like winter break, Christmas break, thanksgiving break, and not to forget spring break which happens to be coming up soon. Why not try visiting a new destination, try new exotic foods, different activities and while you’re at it, shop in new places.

Sadly, planning trips can be time consuming, stressful and not to mention expensive. So how can one plan an enjoyable trip on a budget?

Budgeting in general can be difficult considering other expenses such as food, bills and other important responsibilities and it’s tougher as a student when there are worries like tuitions, books, gas, etc. That’s why there are different tips and tricks on how to save money. For some, saving money isn’t much of a problem. However for others, saving can be a bit hard and tricky.

Try separating money for well-needed non-negotiable expenses and putting the remaining in a non-removable item like a piggy bank. Another trick is taking part in a saving money challenge that can be found on Pinterest which starts as little as $1 a day.

It’s always best and smart to plan months ahead. There are things to keep in mind when planning a trip such weather, routes or highways, regulations and restrictions along with group size and selecting destinations that matches your goals. When it comes to finding the perfect destination and great package deals, there are many websites that can be helpful.

Trivago, Expedia, Kayak, Groupon – these are some of the best travel sites to help save money.

“It’s easy planning a trip,” said student Ashanti Johnson, “because I do them through AAA.”

Websites like these help find the best package deals that fits your interest like hotel, food, plane ticket–all for the best price. SCSU student Tynequa Bell has traveled to places like Maryland, North and South Carolina, Nevada, Florida and Louisiana and said she uses Groupon to make planning easier.

“I use it to look for great package deals because everything is included when you go to Groupon,” said Bell.

It’s best to plan trip at the right time. It’s amazing how much money you can save when avoiding traveling to a destination at its peak seasons. Try booking tickets months ahead if possible because prices tend to go up due to tourist seasons.

“I actually plan two weeks ahead in order to make sure I have some type of money in order to do anything I want,” said student Denzel Simeon.

As fun as planning trips and vacations may sound, sometime it can be hectic and stressful especially when it comes down to keeping track of group size, making sure everyone has the funds, looking for the best deals, accommodating to everyone’s needs but most of all making sure it’s enjoyable for everyone.

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