As November rapidly approaches its end, college students are counting down the days until the brief Thanksgiving break where they’ll finally have the chance to relax, watch football, recuperate from tests and reunite with family.
And while Thanksgiving offers much needed respite from the academic, extracurricular and social rigors of campus life, Turkey Day travel can easily make a dent in your wallet, cause you to fall behind on school work or simply eat away at your valuable time. So, here are four tips to help you minimize travel costs, keep up in the classroom and save some precious time.
1. Travel on Thursday. Thirty-seven percent of Thanksgiving travelers opt to depart on Wednesday, making it the busiest travel day of the weekend. By heading home on Thanksgiving Day instead, you’ll score lower airfare, avoid the airport rush and enjoy a traffic-free road trip. And if you hit the road by Thursday morning, you’ll still arrive at your destination in time for the Thanksgiving feast.
2. Carpool (if driving). Although, at under $3.00 per gallon, gasoline costs are at a recent low, its cost doubtlessly add up when you’re on a road trip. To mitigate these expenses, find other students who are heading in your direction and share the journey. That way, you’ll be able to split the cost of gas and get some roadside company. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll get some karma points for lessening your impact on the environment.
3. Stay on top of your schoolwork. Thanksgiving has managed to sneakily wedge itself in the short lull between midterm season and finals week. And while you may still be breathing the sweet air of liberation after weeks spent slaving away under the tyranny of midterms, it’s dangerous to get too used to your newfound freedom. Using the entire break to kick back and become one with your parents’ sofa may catch up with you once you’re back in the lecture hall. Don’t push all your schoolwork aside for after the break. Rather, do a little bit of work each day to stay in motion, academically speaking.
4. Remember to relax. Though keeping up with school is definitely a priority, it’s also important to spend time reconnecting with high school friends and family. While you may put currency into being a good student (and rightfully so!), make sure to put an equal emphasis on being a good child/sibling/grandchild/friend/ and put that extra effort into striking that fine balance between academics and home life. So no matter your academic will, be careful not to lock yourself in your room with your chemistry textbook for the entire long weekend and be sure to dedicate time to the people who matter and made your education possible.