Thanksgiving can be an expensive time to travel; take heart if your student travel plans involve flying home or elsewhere around the holiday: use some smart tools to plan your travel and it may be a breeze. Let's build the Thanksgiving student travel toolkit:
- Hotwire's holiday travel calendar
- Mark Kahler's "airport shopping" budget flight planning
- Best student travel discount airfare finders (including student-only standby tickets)
- Start with Hotwire's holiday travel calendar. The calendar shows us that November 22 and 23 are peak travel days ($$$); November 20 and 21 and 24-26 are "off-peak" airfare days ($$), though still spendier than normal, and November 17-19 and 27-30 are low / normal fare days ($). Great - choose one of those "normal fare" days to begin and end your travel.
Check an aggregator for the best airfare deals on those days, and compare the cost to that of a student airfare (check this week's current student airfare deals, too). Student Universe runs a constant special called "Go Deals" (changing daily discounts) -- watch that and, with luck, you may nab an especially good domestic deal there. And STA has a domestic fall sale going on.
About's Guide to Budget Travel, Mark Kahler, tells us that you may find a great deal at a smallish airport. He uses a Cincinatti-Birmingham example -- by driving 100 miles to Lousiville, KY, instead of using the Cincinatti airport, he saves $218 (from $306 to $88 round trip). Wow - drive a little and save a lot.
And if you're feeling adventurous, go standby with Airtran's $69 each way Airtran U standby tickets (formerly called X Fares, and still available to 18-22 year-olds only).