#student travel deals
8 Tricks to Cheap Student Travel
By Miriam B. Weiner | September 13, 2012
As the days grow longer and the weather warmer, a tremor of excitement passes through college campuses: Summer vacation is on its way. Soon, students will be swapping books for plane tickets and getting ready to explore outside the classroom. However, as all you parents know, a summertime getaway can cost a pretty penny.
With help from Clem Bason, president of the Hotwire Group. U.S. News Travel has come up with some clever ways for students to go big on a small budget.
Trick 1. Do plenty of research
Students may think they’re free of homework for the next few months, but the key to staying on budget is diligent research. Before reaching the booking stage, students should have a general idea of how much they can expect to pay for flights and hotel rooms. That way, they’ll be able to recognize a great deal when they see one. Many tools, like Hotwire’s Trip Watcher. help travelers save money by tracking travel trends and notifying users of price changes. Students should also sign up for travel deal newsletters like those circulated by Travel-Ticker and Travelzoo. According to Bason, these deal sites “distribute exclusives and flash-sale opportunities directly to your inbox, making it easy for the on-the-go student to save big.” Just make sure to check your email regularly, since these deals tend to go quickly. Students can also nab discounts on the fly by following deal-oriented companies on Twitter or Facebook.
Trick 2. Know where to look
There are thousands of websites out there touting the lowest rates around, but only a few cater specifically to students. STA Travel and Student Universe are renowned for delivering fantastic experiences for very little coin. Both sites offer package deals and discounts on all aspects of travel from airfare to tours exclusively to students who can verify their university enrollment. These resources are also jam-packed with money-saving tips and advice from fellow student globe-trotters.
Trick 3. Be flexible
Students with looser travel plans are more likely to score lower rates on airfare and hotels than those with plans set in stone. Rather than choosing a specific destination right off the bat, Bason suggests that students focus on the type of vacation they want, like a beach getaway or a city trip. And by not committing to specific dates at the initial research stage, students open themselves up to a wider selection of travel deals. “Even a day or two’s worth of shifting on your departure or arrival dates can make a big difference on price,” he says.