How to get home on a budget

By Daphne DuMaurier

As we all plan our departures for Thanksgiving and, soon after, Christmas, the need for flying rises along with the price. It’s no surprise that many of us coming from the corners of the country and living off of the classic college budget that can rarely afford instant mac & cheese let alone a $500 flight, struggle with the guessing game that comes with attempting to buy a ticket at that sweet spot of affordability. Not that, but then there are the added costs of the carry-on, stow-away, trips to and from the airport, and anything else you may realize you need and can only get at the overly-priced restaurants and novelty stores found throughout the airport. These are some tip and tricks to get you home this season on a budget.


Get the App

One of the sure-fire ways to save some cash on travel no matter the season is with flight tracker apps. Once you know your arrival and departure dates, your best bet is to plug it into apps like Hopper and Momondo and start a watchlist for those dates. The apps then predict the best times to buy your ticket and send you frequent updates when the prices have hit their lowest predicted price. All you have to do is sit back and wait for that perfect flight to pop up and as easy as a few clicks you could be flying 600+ miles home for under $150.

Phone a Friend

You’ve booked your flight, but now you need a ride to the airport and back and aren’t willing to spend $100 or more on it. The best part about seasonal travel is that everyone is leaving. The even better part about seasonal travel at Miami is that campus is swarming with students with cars and appreciation for a budget. One way to drive affordably back and forth is checking your class facebook for anyone heading towards or to the airport with any open seats. This is typically an easy way for students to make a few bucks and are much cheaper than the counter taxis and Ubers. If traveling with strangers isn’t your thing, look out for friends or friends of friends heading to the airport too.

Invest in Your Personal Item

Depending on the duration of your trip, the one really good personal item can save you at least $50 if your flight doesn’t come with any included baggage. For most this item is a small purse, backpack, or Long-Champ tote; for me, it’s a Herschel hiking backpack. This is my absolute savior for those short trips in which I can live off the bare minimum, if not to avoid additional costs then to avoid waiting at baggage claim. I can vouch that a bag like this can fit up to 5 outfits, a fairly large toiletry bag, a pair of shoes, my laptop, and my laptop’s charger. These are a must-have for the random weekend home or even the expected Thanksgiving travel.


With these tips, flying home for the holidays doesn’t have to be a make or break moment for your bank account.