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Traveling on a Dime: How to Have the Summer of Your Life Without Breaking the Bank

As summer vacation approaches who doesn’t daydream about the endless beaches, salty air, and of course the endless supply of fruity drinks? Being a college student and trying to have these great vacations can get tricky. Between school stress, paying bills, and other shopping necessities (like buying a new outfit for every other occasion) saving money can be difficult.

However, luckily thanks to some internet guru out there, new websites have been created to go on affordable vacations in beautiful places for us college kids who need to relieve some stress before entering the “real world.”  

One of the best websites for this is Cheap Carribean. It is a great website that gives an endless list of awesome places to visit for affordable prices. It’s quick and easy, giving the viewer everything they need to know. It can allow you to pick and choose your vacation spot as well as flights near you, or you can purchase a trip through one of their featured vacation packages just to make the whole process easier. However; these vacations are restricted to the Caribbean only, so if you had somewhere particular in mind you might want to look elsewhere.

As everyone knows flight prices can be brutal. There is nothing worse than purchasing a last minute flight, and finding your mouth drop when you see the total price. But new websites today provide flights that don’t break your bank. One of the best websites that I have found is Skyscanner. When I was studying abroad in Europe, I found myself purchasing all my travel tickets through them. However, it is important that you use Google Chrome as your internet browser and put your search bar o the incognito option so the website cannot track how many times you’ve viewed their page. This is important because otherwise the website will not show you the cheapest prices listed. Other websites that can be useful are Expedia and Kayak; these websites, like skyscanner, also provide flights for cheaper prices.

If you still find that the prices are a little bit extreme, a great tip is to try different nearby airports. For me, I live closest to the Newark Airport, but I find that flights out of Laguardia and JFK in New York are often times cheaper. If you have multiple nearby airports as well, try searching around to see if the prices drop. There is also a strategy to purchasing your tickets. Flights are always cheaper when viewing them on a Monday or Tuesday. The most expensive time to view flights through a website would be Thursday through Sunday. So if you know you are going to be purchasing tickets soon try doing so on one of the cheaper days to ensure you are getting the best price possible!

Apps today such as Groupon also provide so many options to travel on a budget. They can have you going to Thailand for three weeks for $800 with your flights included. Most might look at this and think “hmmm sketchy” but in actuality these trips are for real. Groupon trips are linked to travel advisors so if you purchase the package it will connect you with a professional who will contact you and help set up your trip. It’s as simple as that! One tip here before purchasing your dream vacation would be to check the flights offered first to make sure your flights align correctly and your layovers aren’t brutal.

Being a full-time student who also works part-time, I have found that I definitely still enjoy some off time, and vacations are the perfect way to sit back and relax. Saving money can get tiresome but knowing you’ll be somewhere beautiful is definitely some great motivation. With trips being so expensive today it is super important to know the ins and outs of traveling on a dime.

So next time you plan your next trip if you keep these tips in mind This way, you won’t just be daydreaming about your vacation, you’ll be living it up with a couple extra dollars in your pocket too!

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Journalism Major at Montclair State University, Carrie Bradshaw wanna be ~ & proud supporter of messy buns and over sized sweaters.
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