If at all possible, try to avoid peak traveling days. Not only are airports a crowded disaster on these days, but these peak travel days can cost a bundle. Typically, the two best days to travel by air during the Thanksgiving holiday are on Thanksgiving and the Friday following. If you choose to travel during the Christmas season, it is generally best to avoid flying between December 17th and January 3rd to avoid paying premium prices. However, if you do fly during these two weeks, try to be flexible to cut back about the price as much as possible. As a student trying to survive on financial aid, the best option would probably be to choose a red eye flight and leave during the work week.
Really want to pinch those dollars? Consider this: check into airports not only in Monterey, but within a 100 mile radius. Two hours of driving can save you huge amounts of money. Take advantage of the Institute’s blogging network and post on the Ride Share forum for carpooling opportunities. For example, if another student is traveling up to San Francisco for the holidays, try to get a ride with them and pay them half of the cost of gas. Both of you will benefit, and YOU will forgo the high price to park long-term at the Airport!
If you really want to bypass the North American airport bustle, why not take the train? You’ll save a lot of money, have enjoyable scenery, and you may even have extra time to catch up on some leisurely reading that went to the back burner during the semester. Salinas has an Amtrak station located at 11 Station Place. Amtrak offers student discounts on ticket prices, food, entertainment, and books.
Carpool with other classmates! You can post advertisements on the Ride Share forum to see if anyone is travelling somewhere in the near vicinity that you are. Even if one of you has to go out of their way by an hour, the cost that both of you could save may be worth your time.
Obey posted speed limits! Not only will this prevent you from getting pulled over, but fuel economy decreases substantially at speeds above 55 miles per hour. Also, during the holidays such as New Years many police departments step up highway patrols. Speeding tickets usually start at $100, and the amounts double in construction zones. Add in the extra money it will cost on auto insurance, and you have a formula for wrecking your financial aid budget.
Set your cruise control! This will allow you to maintain a constant speed which can also improve fuel economy. If your car has overdrive, use it. It reduces fuel consumption during highway driving and may prevent your lead foot from getting you into trouble.
Know where you are going! Carry a map of the area. Getting lost is not good for fuel economy. And hey, if you are a little map illiterate, ask a knowledgeable source to advise you on the best routes to take.