Stay home this summer and travel smarter in the winter

In Columns, Opinion
Students can save time and money by traveling smart.  Saving expensive trips for the winter will ensure low prices, minimal crowds and comfortable weather. (Courtesy of Flickr User Moyan Brenn)
Students can save time and money by traveling smart. Saving expensive trips for the winter will ensure low prices, minimal crowds and comfortable weather. (Courtesy of Flickr User Moyan Brenn)

As graduation creeps up on us, most everyone is looking forward to that beautiful monolith of summer break. Summer is a great time to relax, spend time with friends and waste away your days as you desire.

The one thing almost everyone will do is go on vacation, and that’s a mistake. Now, I’m not talking about taking a short road trip or going camping; those are perfect summer getaways.

When I say vacation, I mean buying plane tickets, booking hotels and hitting all those tourist spots on your bucket list. Summer is not the best time to do these things; it’s actually the worst time.

The best time to travel is during winter break, after the new year. As college students, our winter break lasts about a month. During this time, you should seek out any adventures you’ve been planning on doing for the summer. First off, you’ll save a ton of money. January is considered a lull in the travel season.

“The last two weeks of January and the month of February offer a reprieve from the holiday crowds,” according to USA Today Travel.

All the kids will be back in school, parents will be back at work and the holiday season is officially over. This means fewer people are traveling and many things will be cheaper than you could imagine. Airfare will be low and planes will be half empty. Hotel rates will be miniscule and many may come with freebies like spa packages, dinner credits or room upgrades. Cruise rates are at their lowest point, making it an extremely affordable option for college students.

You’ll also enjoy your vacation because the weather will be great. If you’re traveling somewhere tropical, the weather will always be fair, but in summer, every destination will be sweltering. Who wants to spend their hard earned money just to sweat a gallon everyday? There’s also the lovely bonus of minimal crowds during winter. You won’t be standing in ticket lines stretching out the door, leaving more time to enjoy that cool museum, fancy restaurant or expensive theme park.

What you should definitely do this summer is stay local. Easy trips like mountain hikes, going to the beach or taking a road trip are both accessible and affordable. For some, maybe  summer offers the only opportunity to travel. Gathering everyone together for a trip is always challenging, but looking to travel during the winter break is well worth your consideration.

The next time you’re planning a vacation, keep winter break in mind and you could save a ton of time and money, while making the most of your travel activities.

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