Posted February 6, 2009 by Katie Blais
College students know how to live on the cheap—Ramen noodles, dollar draft nights, and care packages from mom and dad are great ways to stretch that work study check to the max. So how about when budget conscious coeds need to travel? Spring break is coming up, you know! There are actually lots of resources out there for finding cheap travel … if you are a little creative and a little flexible. I mean your college years are all about experimenting, right? Why should travel during your formative academic years be any different?
If you are embarking on the quintessential college backpacking trip through Europe, two good resources to check out are STA Travel and Student Universe.com. STA tailors trips for younger travelers, and both sites offer discount airfare to students and professors. Stay in a hostel, hit Amsterdam, and get a tattoo to complete this rite of passage.
When traveling back home, you can save a bundle by flying on the actual holiday rather than the days prior to it and an added perk it’s one less day of having to visit with your Aunt Bertha and her parakeet or dodge your slimy ex from high school who is hoping to rekindle your doomed romance over Thanksgiving break.
Both Southwest Airlines and AirTran have programs especially for you scholarly types. AirTran U offers students on standby a flat rate of $69 ($99 for longer trips), though you can’t check any bags (so leave your laundry in your dorm) and it's not 100 percent guaranteed you will get on a flight, but you really can’t beat the rate, especially for last-minute travel. Southwest’s program for college students lets you rack up frequent flyer points quickly with College Rapid Rewards; you can score a free round-trip flight after only three paid round-trips.
Remember, knowledge is power, so think of being a savvy budget traveler as an extracurricular activity more productive than practicing your beer pong skills.
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