Winter break is right around the corner. The five week break from quizzes, papers, tests and infamous group projects will be refreshing to say the least. It’s time to go home, relax, kick our feet back and eat a few too many cookies while enjoying family and friends. Or so we thought. While time with loved ones is obviously wonderful, sometimes the holiday break just doesn’t go as peacefully as we hope. After four weeks of being holed up indoors, we find ourselves itching for new scenery. The limited privacy and sound of little brothers yelling at their video game set at home just begs us to take a short break from our break.
Road trips or short vacations with college friends you’re missing could be the answer. If a fun trip is calling your name but you just don’t know how to swing it after weeks of holiday shopping for family and friends, we have some advice! Here are some tips to keep your getaway affordable!
- Keep food costs down. An occasional meal out is in the spirit of vacation, but consider eating in for two of the three meals. Before the trip, hit the grocery store with your fellow travelers and split the cost of sandwich supplies, fresh fruit and fun cereal options. This keeps food expenses low and makes the meals that you splurge on while out, even more special. If you’re a real bargain hunter, shop at Aldi for those low prices!
- Transportation tricks. If the destination you’ve chosen is more urban than rural and complications in the transportation department arise, you have a couple of options. You can locate an all day parking spot, split the cost of the parking fee, and leave your car there all day. This saves you from inserting $3 worth of quarters at each of the six parking meters you land at. Once you have landed that parking spot, or if you are there without a car, opt to walk the extra 10 minutes and soak in the sites of the new location rather than spend the extra money on an Uber.
- Bring a camera. Create your own entertainment. While shopping on vacation is always tempting, try to resist the t-shirts, keychain that will break and that hat you won’t wear after a while. Bring a camera and take photos of your friends in the new location. If the spot is scenic and oriented around natural attractions, take your time exploring the outdoors, taking photos and appreciating mother earth rather than spending money in town.
- Go where you know people, and don’t be afraid to reach out! Consider a location near a family member or friend that you know well enough to ask if you can stay with them. This could potentially help you save on your stay, and their advice on the best nearby attractions will save you from wasting your money on sites that aren’t necessarily a hit. Make a few sacrifices. There are various parts of a trip that are fun to splurge on, but cutting back on splurges is what will make it doable. If you’re flying, one way to save is to sacrifice seats together. The cheapest flights and seats sometimes come in singles, but it’s always possible to simply meet up once you arrive. Besides, you will be together for the entire trip! Another potential area for sacrifice is in the drink department. Expensive lattes and cocktails can rack up a hefty bill. Consider going without, or grab some from the store before the trip. at the store for these as well.