The 2018 Best Student Travel Planning Guide

student travel guide

Are you and your friends planning a big trip for the spring break? Want to go somewhere new and exciting? checkout our student travel planning guide for everything you need to know to plan a trip.

  • Choosing Where to Go

This is the critical first step in your trip planning – deciding where you want to go! This can be particularly complicated if you are traveling in a group,  as everyone has their own thoughts and opinions about the best destinations.

The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to go on an overseas destination, or stay in the u.s.. They are pros and cons to each – overseas destinations can be exciting and exotic; and in some cases, much cheaper when it comes to food, accommodations and entertainment! However, overseas trips also require a lot more planning and organization; airfares will be more expensive, and in some cases may involve extra risks like getting sick or mugged.

philippines-boracay-
BORACAY, THE PHILIPPINES

But wait… Don’t discount domestic destinations too quickly – there are some great Spring Break destinations within the US! Of course, there’s the spring break classics like Miami, Vegas and the Hamptons; however, there are others which you might not have considered which also make a great spot to party or just chill out on spring break – like Napa Valley ,Cape Cod or Nantucket, Massachusetts.

If you’re going overseas, you will need to make sure everyone has a valid passport. Also be sure to visit your doctor to check if you need any shots before you go (especially if traveling to places like Latin America or Asia) and it is essential that you buy travel insurance. For most countries, you must not only have a current passport, but one which won’t expire within the next 6 months.

  • Getting the Best Deals on Airfares

There are a stack of websites these days – JetRadar.com, kayak.com, kiwi.com and skyscanner.net just to name just a few; which will shop around all the Airlines and find you the best very best deal. This not only saves you hours of searching and comparing, but also can help you find special deals and discounts you would probably never find otherwise.

Some of these sites will even show you the cheapest flight options from any origin. Just type in where you’re flying out and it will show you the destinations with the best deals!
A good tip is to shop around on this sites and then check back to the airline’s own website to check the price.
If you can get the same discount rate through the airline’s own website (which you normally can) it is better to go direct with the airline, as this often gives you better customer service and options to change your flight, etc .

Flight Deals
Thira Airport / Santorini, Greece - image courtesy of flight-report.com

When you search for flights, always look with flexible dates – sometimes a day or two’s difference can get you a much cheaper fare! And as a general rule, flying mid-week is much cheaper than the weekend. Generally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly, so try to plan your trip with this in mind.

When you book is also important booking far in advance as you can get some great deals and early bird airfares. However, there are also some last minute deals If you can be flexible and willing to take a chance and leave the booking process for later.

  • Pack Like a Master

Don’t underestimate the importance of paking! Packing your suitcase well can be the difference between having a great spring break or ending up sunburned, bug bitten and miserable.

What to pack will depend on where you go of course – if you will be hanging out in Cancun, Mexico you won’t need a bunch of sweaters! However, with that in mind, here is your essential Spring 

Student Travel Guide
The Art of Packing and where is mom when you most need her :-)

Spring Break Packing List Essentials

  • Swimsuit
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach Towel
  • Flip Flops
  • Sarong
  • One Nice Party Outfit
  • One Nice Pair of Shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Outdoors/Bug Repellent
  • After-Sun Lotion
  • A Good Book
  • Chargers for your Mobile Devices

Also, keep in mind that it is important you don’t over pack – consider if you really need four pairs of heels and five swimsuits (Save yourself carrying around too much and un-necessary luggage!).

  • Getting to & from the Airport - Taxis, Ride-Share & Limo Service

Once you have booked your ticket, planned the trip and packed your suitcase, next comes the most important part of the whole process – getting to the airport!

If you don’t think ahead and organize your airport transfer correctly, you could jeopardize the whole trip by arriving too late at the airport and missing your flight. Uber and other Ride-share companies can seem like a good deal, but when it comes to getting to the airport, they can be very well give you a price sticker shock due the undisclosed charges  (like tolls + taxes), and the now infamous “price surge” that could more that triple your fare (oh.. and gratuity for the driver is optional and not included).

Another option you may not have thought about is hiring a private car or limo service. Not only do they supply a very reliable service which will ensure you get to your flight safely and in a timely manner.

UberBLACK VS Limo Service Rate Compare
A Limo Service might be cheaper than UberLUX or UberBLACK if ride distance over 20 miles +/-

When you do a black car & limo service cost comparison vs Uber rates (comparing apples to apples. Meaning comparing vs UberBLACK or UberLUX),  you will often find they are comparative in cost; and most of times, way  cheaper if traveling over 20 miles for much higher level of service on a licensed vehicle with a professional and hack licensed chauffeur (Want to Fare Estimate Uber? Click here for UberBLACK & UberLUX fare estimator).

Black Car & Limo service companies will do just so many things neither an Uber or Lyft will do; such as providing a licensed car and chauffeur,  performing terminal concierge/meet and greet services for you airport pickup, and their fees includes everything so there are no hidden charges like tolls, price surges or booking fees (and the tip for the driver is 90% of the times included as some black car/limo companies will have an “optional gratuity policy”, but in my experience it’s rarely the case).

  • Miami Beach Hotel Finder Map

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