Trips should not break the bank

Jill Fier

Jill Fier

With Spring Break less than a week away, students have more important things on their minds than studying. No, it’s time to kick back and relax and get the much needed R&R we all deserve. Some of those students will be kicking back at much more exotic and luxurious locations, though.

Phyllis Swiden, President and Certified Travel Counselor at Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Brookings, said the hot spot for spring break trips this year is Cancun.

While Swiden said she has seen people coming into the travel agency to plan trips since October, the time when students return from Winter break in January is when she sees a surge in planning for trips.

Swiden said the key to saving money when you are planning a big trip is to plan ahead. Airfare is almost always cheaper when is it reserved in advance. The only exception here would be empty seats left on charter flights, but ticket prices for empty seats on scheduled flights can cost flyers thousands of dollars.

Swiden said travel agents are also a good resource for saving money because they can check up on ticket prices daily to get you the best deal. Hotel rates can also be much cheaper through a travel agent because companies can have negotiated rates with hotels the agency uses frequently.

Take advantage of your time off, and be sure to plan ahead. Here are some other tips for inexperienced travelers:

*Make sure the spelling of your name is exactly the same on your ticket and your driver’s license. You may not be allowed to board if there are differences.

*Try regional trips, like skiing in the Black Hills or seeing plays in Minneapolis if Cancun isn’t in your budget.

*Be careful that anything you pack can’t be confiscated because it could be used as a weapon.

*You can’t get group rates with airlines or hotels until you have at least 20 travelers.

*Most car rentals businesses won’t rent to anyone under 25, or they’ll charge an extra fee to cover the insurance liability.