April is one of the busiest months of the year for prospective and accepted college applicants to visit campuses. While the college trips can be insightful and enjoyable, travel costs can also add up quickly. Here are 3 tips for planning budget-friendly college tours:
1) Save Money at Hotels-Review the admission office websites for the schools that you plan to visit. These websites will often have recommendations for local restaurants and lodging accommodations. More specifically, colleges will frequently partner with nearby hotels that offer prospective and current students (and their families) discounts during their stay. When making a reservation at a hotel that advertises such a discount, simply mention your affiliation with the college, and a discount should be applied to your bill.
2) Save Money on Meals– Choose a hotel that offers a free breakfast to all guests. In addition, consider staying in a hotel that offers suite style rooms with a kitchen. You can pick up groceries at a local supermarket and reduce costs by preparing your own meals. With a kitchen in your hotel room, you now have the option of bringing leftovers home from a restaurant for another meal. Lastly, try to eat on the campuses whenever possible. Food sold in dining halls, campus centers, etc. is usually less expensive than what you would spend in an off-campus restaurant. Enjoying a meal at a college is also the only true way to assess the quality of food served at the school.
3) Save Money on Travel– Many employers offer discounts to their employees for travel related expenses including rental cars, hotel accommodations, etc. Parents should contact their employers’ human resources offices to inquire about any available employee discount opportunities.