Cost-effective tips and tricks for traveling 

Jessica Volz, Reporter

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Students or not, at some point the need to travel will present itself. If you choose to go, here are some ways to cut costs. 

Before booking a ticket, renting transportation or reserving any lodging, take a moment to consider if any friends or family members have plans to make the same journey. 

Traveling with someone else helps cut general costs down the middle, such as hotel rooms, shared transportation rides, meals, tipping and luggage. A recent experience revealed traveling in groups of four works smoothly and saves even more money. 

Before diving into the breakdown of what makes up the bulk of an itinerary, there are some recommendations. Download the apps below, they come in handy before, during and after a trip.

  • Lyft
  • Hopper
  • Uber
  • Maps

 

Airfare

If your flying, it’s probably because time and money outweigh the alternative of driving. Now it’s time to put the Hopper app to work by inputting the date of travel and destination. Enter the details and select ‘Watch This Trip’ to receive notifications about any price drops. The app allows users to freeze a price for a five-dollar fee to ensure the cost won’t increase. Freezing a price lets potential passengers prolong the purchasing process in hopes of a more considerable price reduction without the risk of overpaying for a ticket at the last second. Speaking from personal experience, on average, purchasing straight from the airline saves me an additional three dollars. Always double and triple check prices!

Another essential way to save when flying is to avoid checking in a bag for an additional cost. Airlines have different restrictions on what is considered a personal item and/or what qualifies as a carry-on bag.  The airlines provide information about baggage measurements and what will require additional fees. Amazon sells suitcases and duffel bags by specific dimensions; searching by the name of the airline is an option too. 

Coordinate with everyone who is traveling. There is no need for four tubes of toothpaste to make it halfway across the U.S.. Sharing is caring, and it can save space in everyone’s bags for other items they may need. Don’t forget travel-size toiletries are to be no larger than 3.4 oz, and there’s no need to pack a hairdryer– use the one offered at the hotel.

Uber | Lyft 

Lyft tends to consistently be cheaper when comparing to Uber. However, scheduling rides hours or days in advance saves money too. Be sure to check for any online promotions before you skip town and alternate who picks up the next ride. 

Hotel 

Search for a hotel that offers breakfast included in the price of the stay because that’s one meal that won’t be out of pocket each day. Keep in mind that money will be saved on transportation if the hotel’s location is central to the places everyone traveling wants to explore. If you’re traveling with a group, don’t be afraid  to spend a little more to accommodate having breakfast included and an ideal location. The cost will be split between you all.

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