Affordable Summer Getaways!
In a few days, college students everywhere will start to descend upon Florida, Texas, Mexico and other warm, sunny places to celebrate summer. Beware -- there are plenty of shady travel sites just waiting for unsuspecting college students to throw down a bunch of dough on the promise of a good time. I, too, was once sucked in by their smiling photos of students dancing and letting loose, but learned the hard way that you don’t always get what you pay for. One thing to remember is that sharing a room with more than one person can be crowded, but it also helps cut costs. Another, book the travel yourself. You would be surprised how much you can save by doing the work yourself. Over the years, I have come to trust several websites for the best travel deals. Here's a sampling of some of the available deals.
One of my favorite sites is VacationsToGo, which specializes in cruises. I love cruising because you get to see several places, unpack one time and nearly everything is included in the price. Florida offers over five different ports, but you can also leave from New York, Texas and California, as well as some other locations. Whether you are looking for a short getaway (3 days) or something more substantial (7 days+), you'll find plenty of deals on this website!
Jetblue.com Vacations is another favorite. They offer both travel and package deals. Students can enjoy trips to Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale or just about anywhere JetBlue travels. All prices for vacation deals (hotel and airfare) are based on double-occupancy. The price of your trip will vary depending upon your departure city and how soon you travel, so book early to get the best prices.
Are you thinking about going to the Bahamas? Check out BahamaSun.com for all-inclusive trips that also include a 2.5 hour party cruise to and from the islands. Some of the resorts are reserved specifically for college students, so you won’t have to worry about sharing space with young kids or grandparents.
Of course, you could put together your own package by using Hotels.com and one of the many travel websites for airfares. Just for comparison, I took an advertised trip from one of the student travel sites to see if I could save some money. Several listed a 5-day Cancun trip at the Oasis Cancun Resort (including airfare) at around $2,300 per person. By using Hotels.com and Travelocity, I was able to put together the same package for only $1,031 per person. That’s less than half the price!
Before you decide to book a trip, do a little homework to make sure you are getting the best deal. The money you save can be used for shopping, excursions and other expenses not covered in your travel packages, or use it to pay down your next semester’s tuition bill (radical idea, right?). Be sure to ask about hidden fees and check to see if you need a passport before traveling. Put together a group trip for even bigger savings and plan early. Right now is the perfect time to get some great deals, so surf the web before you hit the waves. Bon Voyage!