It’s around the corner and everyone is anxiously awaiting its arrival. No school, no homework, just plenty of free time.
Spring break marks the beginning of relaxation and fun. Students looking to leave the state or country should be aware that there are plenty of tips and tricks to get the most bang for your buck.
Booking a flight can be frustrating. Finding the cheapest ticket is no easy task. Travel care professional Adam Waite recommends avoiding travel websites like Travelocity or Orbitz and going directly to the airline websites. This will involve more shopping around and comparing prices but will ultimately result in a better deal.
“Websites other than the airlines themselves have to charge a ticketing fee for flights. The airline websites will have better prices,” Waite said.
The earlier a ticket is purchased, the better the chances of snagging a deal. The closer it is to the departure date, the higher the price will be.
“Plan in advance. It will save you money and stress,” Waite said.
It’s worth it to beat the weekend rush. Leaving on a weekday and returning on a weekday will also result in a cheaper ticket. Red eye flights, or flights that leave early in the morning tend to be less money also.
“Generally the flights that nobody wants to take are cheaper,” Waite said.
Low cost carriers like Frontier, Allegiant and Sun Country are airlines that cater to tight budgets. There are not as many flights on these airlines but they go to tourist destinations specifically.
Fargo’s Hector International Airport has a brand new flight to Denver through Frontier Airlines added just this month. Allegiant offers flights to popular vacation spots like: Las Vegas, Orlando and Phoenix. If it’s possible to drive to Minneapolis, a round trip to Boston costs about $420 through Sun Country.
“You’re definitely going to save money with those airlines,” Waite said.
If the schedule isn’t a major concern, opting to be placed on the oversold list is a brilliant choice. If the flight is oversold, the airline will bump list members off the current flight and on to the next available one. The next flight is usually within the next day. Sometimes they will even provide meal vouchers.
“They’ll put you up in a hotel and give you money to use for a future flight. You’ll usually get it for free,” Waite said.
Hotels can be another budget hang-up. Again, it is good to plan ahead to get a good deal. When it comes to hotels, travel sites are a useful tool. Hotels often have agreements with sites and the rates are cheaper. Just be sure to double check the hotel website to look for specials that might be going on.
Upon arriving at the hotel, don’t be afraid to ask for an upgrade. They might put you into a better room for the same price.
“If they have several rooms open, they might upgrade you. They may as well have a happy customer and give you the better room for the same price,” Waite said.
There is a reason all-inclusive resorts are popular spring break destinations. Spending $1,000 may seem like a lot, but it includes the flight, hotel and all the food and drinks a college student could want. Popular all inclusive locations are Cabo San Lucas, the Bahamas and Cancun.
If an airline ticket seems out of reach, a good old fashioned road trip is always a solution. Although it’s not a typical sunny spring break location, our neighboring city to the north is full of exciting adventures. Winnipeg provides a big city feel. Just don’t forget a passport.
Whether it’s a road trip with friends, a beach in Mexico or a Las Vegas getaway, enjoy this spring break and take some.
BY SARAH TYRE