Cheap Weekend Trips 101

Travelling to a new place as a college student can be extremely hard on our bank accounts. All the expenses just seem to add up and before you know it *poof* your monthly allowance is gone in one short weekend. Instead of using up all your savings in one weekend, here are a few tips that I've learned from experience that will easily cut your trip's expenses in half.

 

First, you need the means to travel whether it be by car, foot, horse, train, helicopter to wherever your wanderlust heart desires. For the first travelling option (and generally the most common), instead of using Amtrak which would take longer, cost more and add more complications in general (Uber rides to the Amtrak and your destination etc.), you should join the UCSB Rideshare page or Zimride. The Facebook page "UCSB Rideshare" is an amazing way to see if other people are travelling the same places as you and all you need to do is post where you are going (times, date, destination etc.) and see if anyone is going to the same place! Chances are if you are going to a major city (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Las Vegas), someone will be going to the same place and will possibly give you a ride back as well! Zimride is the same concept, except it's a website instead of a Facebook page. Getting a rideshare is the easiest and cheapest way to travel to your destination and people normally ask for around $20-$40 round trip (I once paid 25$ for a round trip to San Diego!) It is also more comfortable, quicker than an Amtrak, and you get to meet new people along the way!

 

 

Second, once you get to whichever city you choose for the weekend, you need a place to stay! Assuming you don't have a friend to stay with (which is always the most affordable and fun option), AirBnB and Couchsurf are two sites to use to ensure an inexpensive stay at your destination. AirBnB is a website that connects travelers to hosts and enables them to stay at their homes/treehouses/backyards etc. Everyone on the website is verified and the site makes a record of your interactions with the host in order to keep it safe and trustworthy. It has 1.5 million listings online and you can choose whether to rent an expensive luxury home or stay on someone's couch for a few days. Prices range from 25$ - $1000 a night. As a smart traveler, you can spend around $25 to $50 a night on your accommodations and if you split it with a few friends, it will be extremely cheap! Doesn't spending $50 on accommodations for a weekend instead of $250 at a normal boring hotel sound so much more enticing? Airbnb operates all around the world! Couchsurf has a similar concept except it is free as its main purpose is to connect hosts with travelers who want to become friends and share a weekend trip together. It's less safe than Airbnb so I recommend you do your research. Talk to your host thoroughly and let your friends/family know exactly where you are staying.

 

 

 

Last but most importantly: what to do on your affordable weekend trip! Many big cities have museums, parks, beaches, hikes, etc that can make for a very interesting, fun, and cheap day out. For example,  few weeks ago, all the art museums in LA offered free admission! Hikes are generally all free and they are great ways to view the city, bond with your friends and get your work out grind on! Lastly, if you want to cut costs on food, you can always bring your own or use Groupon for cheap eats!