Budget Travel Hacks for Jaunts Off-Campus this Fall

By Lorena Roberts on September 26, 2018

As the weather (finally) begins to cool down, it’s much more fun to get out and do things with your friends — especially anywhere but the library, am I right? Fall trips off-campus with your best pals can be some of the best memories you’ll make while you’re in school. I highly encourage you to look into some short trips you can take on the weekends (or not) and live your best life while you can.

However, as per usual, we’re all strapped for money. Anything we’re making, we’re spending on textbooks or buying old tests off people so we don’t fail. It’s tough to scrounge up enough money for “extras.” So here are some ways you can avoid high-costs when you’re just trying to have a good time with your bros.

via Pixabay.com

1. Take extra time to search for (cheap) flights

We all know booking last minute plane tickets is not a good idea. Take your time and search around for the flight that best fits your budget. Sometimes Google Flights is a good idea, and sometimes it’s not. Make sure you’re looking into all the possible outlets before you settle on the perfect one.

2. Plan a road trip with your best pals.

A road trip in the fall with your pals can be a blast. Rent a hippie bus and pack your bags. Make sure you pack all your cute scarves so those Insta posts are #onpoint. Because if you don’t get pictures of you having fun with your friends, you didn’t really have fun.

If you plan to take a road trip, save money by splitting the gas, staying overnight in your car somewhere (obviously not alone) and choosing someone to drive who doesn’t have a lead foot. You’ll enjoy being together and visiting places, but also know that road trips are the place where friends can fight the most. Do you really want to be stuck in a small space with three of your girlfriends? No better way to test a friendship, I’d say.

3. Avoid traveling around the holidays.

Obviously, holidays make traveling much more expensive. It’s a pain in the rear — especially if you work and you happen to have holidays off. But you have to decide if a higher price tag is worth it. If you’re going to pay a higher price, get ready to skimp on all the other things – you’re going to be limited to appetizers as your meal at all your fancy dinners.

Traveling around the holidays also means there’s more likely to be a delay. The more people that are traveling, the more of a logistical nightmare it becomes. If you’re planning to go somewhere near a long weekend or a holiday most people have off from work, plan for bigger crowds and longer lines. There’s simply no way around it.

via Pixabay.com

 

4. Stay-cations are just as fun!

Stay-cations can be just as fun as a fall trip with your friends. Splurge and decorate someone’s apartment, make pumpkin-flavored desserts, and watch When Harry Met Sally and all those fall rom-coms with your girls. Take pictures of your leaps into leaf piles and strolls down the sidewalk in your big fluffy scarves. There’s nothing wrong with making home your staycation this year.

5. Try to plan as far in advance as you can.

The further in advance you know about your little trip, the more money you can save and the better prepared you’ll be. Try to get everything in order before you leave so you aren’t scrambling around looking for a hotel room as you’re getting off the interstate. It pays to make sure everything’s in line ahead of time.

Six weeks is about enough time to get everything you’re going to need together adequately. Pack some cute clothes, get some cash, and make some plans. That’s all it really takes.

6. Every little bit counts.

The $20 that you’re saving every paycheck between now and the end of October will surely be enough to cover splurging on a few things. It might seem like you’re only saving small amounts, but it can really start to add up! Don’t get down on yourself. No one’s a millionaire in college.

Even though you may not have much money, and your exams are still going to be there when you get back, taking some time to spend with your buds off-campus this fall is the perfect way to de-stress. Look into all the ways you could possibly be saving money and still have a blast. Shop around before you book a flight. Invite more people — that way the hotel room will be cheaper. Or settle for a sleepover at your best friend’s place this weekend. It’s really about spending time together and making memories.

Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville last December with a BA in Honors Psychology. After some serious soul-searching, she's decided to pursue a Master's in teaching in order to teach middle school math! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her Whippet mix, Gio, at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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