Whether this is your first adventure or you’re a well-traveled spring breaker, there are always new tricks to learn about planning and traveling with your friends. According to ClasseAndCareers.com, 1,125,000 college students travel to spring break destinations annually. If you plan on joining them, you’ll need to be prepared which, unfortunately, is not always easy. The good news is that it’s never too late to start planning. We suggest letting these simple steps guide you towards a fun, safe and economical spring break.
Picking the destination:
You may think that it is too late to plan the perfect spring break. While it is recommended that you start planning any trip well ahead of time, you can also plan a great vacation on shorter notice. All it takes is a bit of research and resourcefulness. Consider going to places that are not your typical spring break destinations. With thousands of students flocking to the same few locations, cheaper travel rates are available to southern California and other, equally exciting destinations. Find websites that compare travel rates, and set up email alerts so that you will know when airlines and hotels are offering low rates or travel deals.
Make a Spring Break plan:
One you have picked a destination, research the area where you are traveling. Once you are familiar with what it has to offer, you can create a budget and itinerary, and start planning your daytime and evening activities. While your itinerary does not need to be overly detailed, it does help to have a plan before you go. Make advanced reservations for anything you know you definitely want to do. Leave room in your trip’s budget for those activities, and leave some money set aside for unexpected expenses. According to Billshrink.com, the average college student spends more than $1,000 over a week long spring break. While these numbers may seem alarming, you’ll prevent overspending by budgeting for all eventualities ahead of time.
Lastly, always call and notify your bank when you will be traveling. Banks are trying their hardest to cut down on account fraud, and a big part of that is flagging cards that are used in locations you do not generally spend money. By placing a two minute phone call ahead of time, you’ll ensure that you won’t lose access to your funds.
Packing for your trip:
Packing is not just about making sure you have the most fashionable items with you. How and what you pack can actually save you a lot of money. First and foremost, you must know what the TSA restrictions are. If you put restricted items in your carry-on bags you will not only be throwing money away, you will also waste a lot of time. Also, check your airline’s baggage checking guidelines. If your airline allows you to check free bags, feel free to take advantage of that luxury. If they charge, try to pack accordingly to save money.
Make sure you check the weather before you begin to pack. If you see that there is a chance of rain, bring an umbrella so that you are not wasting money buying items that you already own. Consider bringing a few snacks as well. While you probably don’t want to pack entire meals, the small snacks that you buy here and there can add up. Airport shops are extremely overpriced, so make sure to pack any items you are usually tempted to buy at the airport such as pillows, magazines, and snacks.
Getting to the airport:
Booking your trip is only half the battle. While you’re away at school you may not have the luxury of having your parents drop you off at the airport. The last thing you want to worry about is looking for airport parking and whether your car will be secure while you are away. Utilize safe, cost-effective near-airport parking to start your trip off on the right foot. Since there is a high possibility that many people in your area will be traveling at the same time as you, it is important that you try to book your airport parking reservations in advance.
Be sure to give yourself at least 2 hours to check-in and get through security at the airport. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The worst that can happen if you are early to the airport is that you will have time to relax and get yourself situated while you wait for your flight. A few extra minutes at home is not worth the risk of missing your flight. Also, keep your identification, credit card and flight itinerary within reach at all times.
Last but not least, remember to have fun! You are participating in a cherished college tradition. Enjoy your trip!
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