If you are a college student in America, you are probably thinking about getting through your upcoming end-of-semester exams and then traveling home for the holidays. Or, maybe you are thinking of heading to a warmer climate to escape the blustery temperatures of your northeastern university. Whatever the case may be, with a little planning, you can make the most of your vacation budget and experience. Here are five tips to get you started on your quickly approaching travel agenda.
1. Book early for the best deals. If you are concerned about saving money and getting flights that fit into your schedule, book early. You can monitor all the travel websites, like Kayak, Travelocity, and Hotwire to see when your flight destination offers the lowest prices. Also, hotels often run specials before the holidays hit, so you can find great deals on rooms in some major cities.
2. Book last minute to get the best deals. If you are more flexible with your travel plans, then booking at the eleventh hour may also serve you well in finding last-minute deals on flights and unsold hotel rooms. Try Priceline, Last Minute Travel, or Travelzoo for hotels and airlines looking to fill empty rooms and seats during less desirable flight times (i.e. six in the morning on Christmas day).
3. Be safe, cautious and alert. If you are traveling alone, or with a few friends to a destination you have never been to before, be vigilant. Keep your bags with you at all times, don’t take rides from unmarked taxis, and never give your hotel or personal information to someone you don’t know. Always be aware of your surroundings and don’t take expensive jewelry or other valuables with you on your trip. Stay on main streets and well-lit areas when you are out exploring on foot.
4. Be a responsible motorist. If you are traveling to a warmer climate or beach, like Miami, a popular destination for college students during academic breaks, and are either renting a car or taking a road trip, be a responsible driver. The highways are extra busy during the holidays, with everyone in a hurry to get to their final destination. Be patient and calm. It is better to get to your vacation safely, rather than being part of an accident.
If despite your best efforts, you are involved in a car accident, it’s important to immediately get some legal advice. To do so, you can log onto websites such as http://www.injurylawyers.com/miami-auto-accident-attorney/ for tips and information on how to keep yourself protected.
5. Let family know where you are. Give your flight, hotel, and any other travel information to family members so they know where you are. That way, in the event of a mishap, your mom or dad will know which hotel to contact in which city. Letting trusted family and friends know where you are can go a long way in contributing to your safety.
Whether you are planning to go home for the holidays, or soak up the sun on a sandy beach, a little bit of organization ahead of time will help you make the most of your experience. College is a time of studying hard and enjoying your academic breaks so you feel rejuvenated and refreshed once classes resume for the next semester. Use these tips to help you have a memorable experience.
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell remembers fondly her flights home from undergraduate school–oh so very long ago. She hopes these tips will provide coeds with information to help them stay safe during holiday breaks.