Don’t break it! Piggy bank saving trips

By Kira Scammell

Being young and free can sometimes also mean being broke — but despite notions to the… Being young and free can sometimes also mean being broke — but despite notions to the contrary, you can satiate your wanderlust. And if you plan carefully, you don’t necessarily have to smash open your piggy bank to do so. Here are some tips for travelling, as well as some trips of our own we’ve mapped out.

How to get there

It’s important to balance cost and time, although sometimes it’s necessary to sacrifice one for the other. A quick trip shortened further by an eight-hour bus ride might not be worth it, and planes, though faster, can be pricier. It’s important to consider passenger-to-price ratio — if there are four people going, splitting gas and driving might be cheaper than four bus tickets.

Where to stay

Many locations feature hotels, motels and hostels, but there are even cheaper options to consider. Friends or family could afford you a cheap place to stay and maybe even a few meals. There’s also couchsurfing.com, where vacationers can reach out to locals of an area for a place to stay — but be absolutely sure you look the person over and check out the website’s safety guidelines.

What to do

Be sure to explore regular discounts and student deals (which are often applicable until age 26) and look for off-season or weekday fun. Sometimes, you can even just enjoy the nature in an area for free.

OTHER TIPS

Student Discounts: Greyhound offers students discounts when they sign up for a Student Advantage card. The card provides a 20 percent discount on standard trip fare as well as discounts to many popular stores such as Barnes & Noble. Many airlines also offer special student pricing, so be sure to check applicability.

Book your trips in advance. The earlier a trip is booked, the less your tickets will cost. Megabus tickets start at a dollar — but cost $1.50 with the $0.50 reservation fee — when bought early enough. While plane tickets will never cost a dollar, the rates are still cheaper when booked in advance.

Take care of paperwork: Planning to leave the country? Make sure all passports and other legal documents are not expired. Getting detained is never fun.

Consider when to travel: Generally travel is cheaper during the week, so if it can be helped, avoid coming or going on a weekend. You might also plan your trip around festivals in the area for more to do.

Consider what to eat: Dining out can be expensive. Budget by going to a grocery store and picking up a few food items — even better if your destination has a refrigerator — and limit eating out.

NEW YORK CITY

How to get there: If booked about two weeks in advance, plane tickets for this short plane ride cost about $140; a ride on the Greyhound will cost about $60 without any discounts applied, and the Megabus will cost somewhere between $60 and $90.

Where to stay: Hotel Riverside Studios, located on the Upper West Side, close to Central Park, Broadway and the Lincoln Center. It offers a place to stay for about $120 dollars a night.

Hosteling International New York’s location has beds from $60 a night and is located three blocks away from Central Park. While the prices are low, keep in

mind that a hostel means sharing spaces with new acquaintances.

There’s also couch surfing.

What to do: Visit the Parks for free. Be sure to check out the Museum of Modern Art; Students pay $14 rather than the regular $25 rate. New York offers a variety of activities, from Broadway to the indie music scene to lots of shopping opportunities. For example, the TKTS Discount Booth on Broadway sells half-price tickets for Broadway shows the day before and the day of performances. Pick up a guide book or do some research to see what peaks your interest the most.

Estimated cost: $200-$350 for a two-day trip.

WASHINGTON, DC

How to get there: If booked about a month in advance, a round-trip plane ticket to D.C. will run about $250, a Greyhound ticket will cost about $30 round trip, and a Megabus ticket will cost between $30 and $40.

Where to Stay: Courtyard Washington Convention Center has rooms from $140 a night and is located right in the heart of downtown D.C. This hotel is close to shopping districts and the museums.

Washington International Student Center rents rooms to students for

as little as $25 a night with free pickup from Amtrak and Greyhound stations.

This hostel is also located near museums, the White House and other local attractions.

What to do: Visit our nation’s monuments and memorials — the National Mall is free to explore. Take a tour of the three houses of government. Look up a show at the Kennedy Center.

Estimated Cost: $120-$550 for a two-day trip

TORONTO

How to get there: If booked about a month in advance, a round-trip ticket to Toronto Pearson International Airport will run about $400. But Megabus and Greyhound both offer round-trip fares for about $60 or less.

Where to stay: Hosteling International Toronto offers shared sleeping areas for $20 a night or private rooms from $40 a night. Users of this service also receive complimentary breakfast and dinner. For $60 more, guests can go on guided tours of Niagara Falls and the CN Tower.

Bridge Street Quest also offers rooms from $60 a night and is located less than two miles from the center of the city.

What to do: Toronto has a great deal of diversity and many different cultural nests throughout the city including Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy and many others.

Toronto offers many bars and breweries as well — the legal drinking age is 19.

Estimated cost: $150-$600 for a two-day trip

Leave a comment.