Travel Tips for Students on Spring Break


Words have power.

Generally speaking, most students would say they are too broke to travel.  As an Itinerary Planner, my response to that would be, “be careful what you say.”  The claims we make regarding our transient financial circumstances eventually are manifested in our lives.  Therefore, we would be best served if we spoke life into our aspirations, including travel dreams, rather than death.  Using the term “speak life” may be hard to grasp, and may sound a little like hocus-pocus, but, it is not.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Talk.  Yes, talk of your plans, they have a way of eventually become a reality like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Besides speaking out loud your travel intentions, you should add thoughtful planning.  That’s it.  No formula, equation or complex strategy.   The moment you conceive the vacation idea, tell friends, family, work colleagues, and whomever would listen.  The act of putting it into the air helps to convince yourself (possibly others too) that you can actually do it, and it is going to happen someday.  The more you talk of it the more it begins to take shape because of your interest and actions.  So, to the cash-strapped student who may be pondering spring-break plans, these recommendations are germane for you.

The internet provides a plethora of information re popular travel options.  Wade through the ones that are pertinent to your need, that will give you the result you are looking for.  Like tips on: how to save enough money; premium places to go; best and safest places to stay; budgeting while on leave.  Be prepared to spend a lot of time on this aspect of your research.  You will need a lot of discipline, flexibility and patience.  For example, I always wanted to visit Israel.  I had in mind the places I wanted to go, the things I wanted to do and the money I wanted to spend to cover it all.  I searched high and low until I found a charge that fell in line with my budget.  It took me approximately a year and a half to line up my ducks in a row to make this particular trip happen.  Thank God the trip was phenomenal, worth every penny, and the timing was perfect.

Following are my favorite go-to tips which you may adopt:

  • Save Money.  Look into the many ways you can raise funds to finance your trip.  Think of how much you are willing to spend on air ticket, lodging, food, transportation and tours and set a budget.  You will need money to cover the expenses, but the good news is you don’t have to rob a bank to afford your holiday respite.  If you reviewed the link you will realize that discipline and focus is all it will take to accomplish this number one tip.

  Methodically set aside money dedicated to the trip.  Collect spare change, these add    up.  Scale back or cut out completely spending that is not necessary, scilicet, the          morning coffee, movie tickets, impulsive shopping, restaurant dining, cable, etc.          Control your spending.  Challenge yourself to meet set money-saving targets each        week.

  • Set alerts – You have read this one before on a previous blog.  Bird-dog fare-alerts of the destination you have in mind.  A caveat to setting up your alerts is to occasionally reset or clear out cached data and cookies to avoid repeated data from populating your inquiries.  You always want to ensure recently updated data in your searches.
  • Compare quotes – Do not buy the first hog you see on the various websites.  Call an agency, see if they can beat your lowest quote through their business contacts.  Once you are satisfied you have exhausted all options, choose the one that is below or closest to your target price.  Recently I was able to find a fare below what the agency offered.  Way below.  I am still excited about my find.
  • Book tickets – Opt to purchase tickets that commences your journey on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. This may be difficult for a student who has a Friday class, but if you can wrangle a late-night escape the Thursday evening to begin your journey ahead of the crowd, this would be a sure bet to keeping your ticket cost within reach and affordable.  Always read the fine print and watch out for add-on fees.   Weekends and holidays  prove to be the pricier times to purchase tickets.  Not only on airfare but also tourist attractions.  Here again, choose to purchase your tickets in the country you are visiting versus at home.
  • Rest stop – Nowadays, accommodation trends for millennials include Airbnb, VRBO (vacation rentals by owner), Hostel, and Couchsurfing.  These are the likeliest lodging selections for college students and budget-travelers.  Hotels are still an option too, especially if you prefer a more luxurious and refined place to sleep, and not the backpacker experience.
  • Tour Tickets – Research the tours you find interesting before you leave, BUT only purchase the tickets on arrival at your location.  You will save a bundle if you follow this recommendation.  However, there are exceptions to this rule which may request payment for a tour before leaving your home’s shore.  For example, if you plan to join a group for a camping trip, logistics dictate that a monetary advance be submitted months ahead to accommodate participants.
  • Itinerary Planning – That’s what I do.  Why stress over planning every detail of your trip when you can have someone do the work for you.  Go to my “Itinerary Request Page and purchase a customized itinerary that will save you time and energy, and will ultimately give you a more rewarding experience.

After a hard winter season, choosing where to go on spring-break may be top of mind right now.  You may want to sprawl on a beach, hike up a mountainside, zip-line through a forest canopy or relax poolside.  Whatsoever your vision, it can be achieved by first believing and then purposefully moving towards it by using the steps I have laid out above.  Click the links in this post for added information, which I am sure you will find helpful.

If you have tips you would like to share, go ahead and leave them in the comment box below.  You can also like and follow to show your interest.  As per usual, I want to thank you for reading my blog.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Differently-able Loves to Travel


For the most part, travel for the majority of able-bodied persons is not a problem.  Standing on long lines, dragging bags through airport, train or bus terminals and running from one gate to the next, is not a hassle (well sometimes it is).  The same cannot be said for the differently-able.  Considerations and adjustments have to be made to accommodate their need.  As a versatile itinerary planner, my goal is to consider every aspect of a traveler’s profile when planning their dream vacation, including their disability.  Creating an exciting itinerary for the differently-able person can be a challenge, which I like, but not an impossibility.  To capture the travel experience of what it is like traveling with a disability, I interviewed a personal friend.  This is what she had to say:

Q.  How are you differently-able?

A.  I am physically differently-able; therefore, I must use a walker or a wheelchair

Differently Able1

Differently-able and caregiver – Traveltinerary

depending on the distance I have to travel.

Q.  Do you like to travel, and if so, where?

A.  Yes.  I love to travel.  I have traveled by airplane, cruise ship, and of course, every day by car.  I have been to places like:  Belize, Cayman Island, Honduras, Margarita Island, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States of America.

Q.  Tell me about your experiences at the airports and seaports.

A.  In 2010 I became differently-able when I lost my first toe.  Travelling at that point was not too difficult even though it had some challenges.  During that trip I was about five months post-amputation, so I did not ask for any special assistance. I was traveling with relatives. I found traveling throughout the various airports was a bit challenging as I tried to keep up with the crowd and not get left behind. I recall one of my struggles back then as I was leaving Barbados was climbing the stairs to the plane with my carry-on luggage.  I had no problems on the aircraft.  In contrast to my experience on boarding in Barbados, when I disembarked in the USA I was introduced to a nice gentleman with a wheelchair who assisted me through immigration and customs without any problems.

On the cruise ship, my only problem was walking the ramp with the bumps to get on or off the ship. For the wheelchair-bound differently-able person it would have been uncomfortable.  At some ports-of-call, the distance to exit or to pick up the tours were too far away, and I did not see any services provided for those like me who had a physical impediment.  It was a mad scramble to board a bus or taxi and to complete our tour in the allotted time we were at our destination.  Inside the ship was wonderful.  Elevators were available on every floor making it easy to move around the ship, so I did not have to use the stairs.  The bathroom facilities were spacious and easy to use.

Q.  How were you treated at the airport, in the aircraft and at your destination?

A.  In 2014 I travelled to the USA.  By now I had lost more toes – two on my left foot and two on my right.  This meant I needed assistance.  From the moment I arrived at the airport in Barbados, a wheelchair was secured for me and I was taken from the airline check-in counter, through immigration and to the passenger waiting lounge.  My daughter accompanied me on this trip.  When it was time to board we were loaded onto a vehicle which elevated us to the door of the plane.

We were the first to board the plane, and from there I walked to my seat.  We did not pay for special seats or extra leg room space. The only challenge on the aircraft was manoeuvrability in the bathroom.  The space is tight and uncomfortable.  When we arrived in the USA we were the last persons to disembark, but our wheelchair assistant took us through immigration and customs without having to wait on the long lines.

On this particular trip moving around our destination was more accessible.   Some places posed a challenge where there was a ramp to go inside the building, but to access the lower levels like the basement where some of the activities were held, for example, in the churches I visited, there was no ramp.

Q.  What changes would you recommend especially to help those who are differently-able concerning travel?

A.  My answer to this question is not a one size fit all and may not apply to many places.  However, I would like to see much larger spaces in the bathroom and dressing rooms specifically for the wheelchair-bound person and their care-giver.  Another change would be the soap and the hand towel dispensers.  Lower these bathroom services so persons in wheelchairs can reach them.  My observation of the paved streets/sidewalks in modern cities should be built with more level sidewalks and less bricked tiles.  Some of these things may look attractive but are uncomfortable for the differently-able person and they caregiver to navigate.

Q.  Do you see a difference in North America than anywhere else?

A.  The only places I have travelled to are: the Caribbean, Central America and North America. I must admit that North America is more developed than the other two regions. However, In the other two regions where tourism is one of their main sources of income, there has been some measure of progress to reach international standards.  More consideration is given to the differently-able, more public awareness, and more laws are enacted to prevent able-bodied persons from using services strictly designated for the differently-able.

Q.  Do you have a specific safety plan or an appeal for help if in difficulty?

A.  To be truthful I never thought of what I would do if I am in trouble, because I always travel with someone.  I remember once in New York City gun shots were being fired across the street from the store that I was in.  I hid behind the counter until it was over.  I guess if I am alone and need any help I would shout for help or ask a nearby stranger kindly for assistance.

Q.  Do you like to travel alone or with a chaperone?

A.  Since I am more ambulatory with the use of a stroller or a wheelchair depending on the distance, I do not mind going through the airport alone. I know the airport staff would assist me.  However, right now I would not take a trip to a strange place by myself.  Maybe I would do it in the future.

Q.  Do you believe that your disability has limited you from travelling to places you would like to visit?

A.  Certainly.  I like to travel, sight-see and experience the cultures of other people. I cannot travel solo yet, and I do not like the idea to travel if I am a great burden to someone else.  I would like my travel companion to enjoy the trip as well, and not have to worry about my every move.

Differently Able2

Wheelchair – Traveltinerary

Check out these other posts which highlight the pros and cons of using  wheelchairs in hotel rooms, or learn first hand the experience of this deaf traveler.   Their experiences showcase challenges, as well as, gives encouragement to those who are hesitant to travel just because of their disability.

I hope this post sheds some light from the differently-able person’s perspective regarding travel issues and challenges.  I would love to hear of other experiences or even share a best-practice with fellow itinerary planners who arrange travel for such a special group of people.  So what are you waiting for?  You have four choices:  comment in the box below, like, follow or share.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

More times,

Itinerary Planner

P.S.  If you receive this post twice, my apologies.