How Can I Book a Summer Trip on a Budget?

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I’m planning a trip for this summer to take a break and de-stress. I’m a college student, so I don’t have a huge budget. I’m open to just about any destination as long as I can get away from school and family stress for a week. Do you have any suggestions, tips or advice for students wanting to travel on a budget?

Traveling is a great way to relax, de-stress and gain valuable new experiences. But it can also be stressful and overwhelming if you pack your trip with too many activities and spend more money than you should. It’s important to find a happy medium where you’re taking that time to relax, but also enjoying new experiences and staying on budget.

If your main priority is to relax and de-stress, I would recommend taking a cruise. A 7-day or even a 3- or 4-day cruise will allow you to completely forget about your stress and worries. You’ll spend some time at sea, but you can eat as much as you want (for free), and your only job is to lounge around. You don’t even have to leave the ship if you don’t want to.

Cruises are also really affordable.

But if spending a week on a ship isn’t your idea of fun (i.e. you get seasick), you might consider traveling to less popular destinations. The summer is the peak season for traveling, so you can expect all of the usual destinations to be crowded, fully booked and expensive.

Renting a cabin in a more remote area may give you the peace and quiet you crave. Consider renting a place through Airbnb. You can usually find cheap flights out of San Jose airport (you can even park your car there for pretty cheap if you know where to look) if you buy at the right time and on the right day – or you buy a last-minute flight.

While a road trip is always an option, I would caution against this if you really want to de-stress. Road trips can be stressful and exhausting. Of course, this isn’t true for everyone and a four-hour drive somewhere shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But a 14+ hour drive somewhere and then back home won’t leave you with much time to relax and unwind before having to get back to real life.

As far as accommodations go, you can normally save quite a bit of money if you choose an Airbnb, especially if you don’t mind sharing the place with other people. Camping is another option that will certainly save you money, but it’s not an option for everyone. If an Airbnb and camping are out of the question, I would recommend booking a hotel through a travel site, like Travelocity or Booking, to save money.

Another thing – plan your trip for the right time. You may want to avoid traveling during the Labor Day holiday because prices will be higher and more people will be taking vacations. I’m not sure when your first semester of the new year starts, but booking your trip later in the summer will save you the most money.

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