Spring Break on a budget!

Spring break is approaching rapidly and airfare can be quite expensive, here are some helpful tips for college students on a budget.

Booking that ticket early:

According to USA Today, airlines tend to offer the lowest prices on 21-day advance tickets. However, advance purchase fares can often be secured in as little as 14 or 7 days ahead of the departure date. Airfares fluctuate, and a lower fare may come up at a later date. Always look for announcements and promotions. Since fares frequently increase, the best tool is to compare fares to get an idea of an average price for the desired trip and check several sites over a period of time to see what’s happening with rates.

Various popular websites for airfare pricing and booking include: orbitz.com, expedia.com, travelocity.com, and cheaptickets.com are some, just to name a few. If you know you are a frequent flyer, sign up for frequent flyer miles with airlines such as Continental or Southwest and you can even sign up for fare alerts online. On average, last-minute tickets are pricey, but with flexibility and willingness to fly on an impulse, it is possible to get a reasonable price. The reason being is that most airlines discount seats that remain unsold a few days before departure. Now don’t depend on tickets to Atlanta bright and early enough to catch that Monica concert, or to Cancun early enough to lie out on the deck, but if cutting plans short or picking from a list of various destinations, these web deals offer an inexpensive way to take a spontaneous spring break trip.

Getting behind the wheel of the rental:

Renting a car can be a tedious process, but it can be less of a hassle if reservations are made directly through a car rental company’s web site. This works best if a decision is made on a specific company to rent from. It is best to visit sites that show you the lowest rates from several car companies at once. Major travel sites such as travelocity.com or expedia.com are good options to finding rates from many different car companies. Normally, rental companies offer ‘unlimited’ mileage for online reservations. If there will be an averaging of more than 100 miles per day, make sure to have this option because rental could be a tad expensive. Finally, make sure all research is not in vain, often times the renter of the car has to be 25 and the drivers have to be 21. Also, take all the proper precautions so that the trip won’t be a bust!

Smooth sailing through airport security:

Remember when traveling to get to the airport in ample enough time to check in, get through security and even grab lunch. When going through security make sure all precautions are taken, don’t leave lighters, sharp objects, or liquids in purses or carry-ons because they will be thrown away. Place metal items in carry-on bags, this includes loose change, keys, watches, mobile phones and any other electronic device. Be prepared to remove shoes, flip flops and all!!!

Places you may not be to familiar with:

Often times “spring-breakers” vacate to typical places like Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Cancun. Research is the key, yahoo.com, google.com, orbitz.com and hosts of other websites are tools to find a cheap place to vacate. Why not try cruise ship center’s seven-night Caribbean cruise for $369, or southwest airline’s trip to Tampa Bay for as low as $59, or take them up on their promotion for cheap flights from February 22 – August 24, one-way flights range from $49-$169, that’s unbeatable!

You’re on your way:

Pack sunscreen on a sunny vacation, make sure to pack cautiously so that luggage is not overweight, confirm your hotel/airfare and car rental reservations a night or two before leaving and arrive to the airport at least an hour in a half in advance before departure.