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Ways to Save Money While Traveling

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BC chapter.

The holiday season has begun, which for most, involves a lot of traveling. Between college students going home for Thanksgiving and winter breaks, families traveling to visit their loved ones, and just an overall influx of cars on the main U.S. highways, traveling can begin to get a bit overwhelming. Not only is it a hassle to book flights or make arrangements to get to your destination on the train or by car, it is expensive at this time of year.  

As students, we work on a tight budget. While some of our money may come from our parents, it is important to be frugal with spending and watch carefully where our money is going. After all, it would be nice to have a little extra cash to buy the best Christmas presents for all of our family members.

I’ve put together some easy ways to save money when you’re traveling. Although it may seem like extra work to make some of these things happen, you would be surprised at how good that extra work might feel when you have a few extra dollars in your pocket!

1)     Plan in Advanced

This may seem rather obvious, but it is in fact so utterly important when it comes to traveling.  Look at booking flights and train tickets early. Many times, people wait to book to see if the fare will drop, and while this may happen occasionally, it is important to book your transportation early. This ensures that the price you pay won’t increase as your travel day gets closer. Also, think about all the different ways that you will be traveling. If you have a 10:30am flight out of Logan, this does not mean that you will only have to pay for your airfare. You will have to find a way to get to the airport, and get there on time. So, plan ahead and save yourself some money by allotting enough time to take the T to Logan. Your wallet will thank you.

2)     Public Transportation

Like I said above, public transportation is usually the cheapest option for traveling. If you don’t have a friend on campus with a car, public transportation is the way to go. Although it is somewhat of a hassle to get from BC to Logan on the T, it is worth the money saved. The best route to Logan is: Comm Ave bus to Res, Green line from Reservoir to Park Street, switch to the Red line and take it to South Station, and then the Silver line to Logan. This route may not seem all that direct, but if you can budget enough time, the $2.50 to take this route seems a lot better than a $40 cab ride. 

3)     Uber and Lyft codes

If public transportation does not fit with your tight schedule for getting to the airport, make sure you have these codes for Uber and Lyft. Yes, we all love Uber because it is simple and easy and charges the fare straight to your card from the app. But be careful! Uber can be very sneaky. Because there is not a meter, like in a cab, you might be quite surprised how expensive rides can get, especially to Logan. Also, watch out for the Uber charges that can so much as double the fare. It might not be worth it to take an Uber and instead just flag a cab off the street that won’t charge you this extra fare. 

4)     Set a Budget

One of the best things to do before you travel is to set a budget for yourself. Think about what you will be doing while away from school and be reasonable about it.  Saying, “Oh, I’ll only spend $20,” might not be entirely logical, unless you are really good at cheap traveling. Instead, think about your meals, the different means of transportation, and what fun things you will be doing and budget enough money for these. Plenty of times, people only think that they will be spending the plane fare for the weekend, but that hardly covers it. Instead, take into account all that you will be doing while traveling and budget your money. Most importantly, stick to the budget you set! You will be so much happier you did when you return back to BC.

As the season for traveling approaches us quickly, be prepared and save money ahead of time. Your wallet will thank you when you go to buy Christmas presents!


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Shannon is currently in her junior year at BC.  She is majoring in Elementary Education and English, hoping to one day teach in an urban school.  Originally from Hopkinton, MA, one of Shannon's favorite things to do is tell people that her hometown is the start of the Boston Marathon - it's claim to fame!  In her free time, you can find Shannon cuddled up somewhere with her adorable giraffe-spotted mug.
Niloufar is a senior at Boston College, majoring in French and English.