Dates & Events

Give your student the gift of stress-free Winter Break travel

by Evanne Montoya

Making travel plans for Winter Break may be the last thing on your student’s mind as the end of the semester approaches. Between impending final exams and papers, end-of-semester celebration with clubs and student groups, and trying to fit in at least a little time with new friends, the mere mention of flight plans may overwhelm your student.

Here are a few ways to make booking winter break travel easier for you and your student.

Start early!

If you can get started before the end of semester rush kicks in, your student will have more brainpower to devote to finalizing plans. Some parents find it is easiest to book Winter Break travel when they book the flight home for Thanksgiving.

Break it into small tasks.

Asking your student to find out when their last final ends is way less overwhelming then asking them to figure out their winter break plans. They’ll feel more able to spend 10 minutes between classes checking the finals schedule than to hash out the whole trip (even if it ends up taking around the same amount of time in the end).

Book a flight that gives plenty of leeway.

Make your winter break travel plans. Find holiday flight deals.Chances are, the time before their last final will be spent giving their notes one more glance, rather than packing for winter break. Build in time after their last final to throw some dirty laundry in their suitcase, clean up the room, and take care of check out procedures (some universities will require that students empty and unplug the refrigerator, set the thermostat, and check out with an RA before leaving for a long break).

Don’t forget to also add some wiggle room for long lines at the airport — hooray for an entire university’s worth of student trying to get home at the same time! Speaking of crowded airports, it’s a good idea to book your student’s flight early. With normal holiday travel added to the student rush, flights are likely to fill up or get more expensive closer to the departure date.

Your student may insist they don’t need extra time, but they’ll be much happier arriving home a little late rather than having to deal with a missed flight.

Give your student airport transportation ideas.

We compiled a list of airport transportation options (and where your student can find information about them). We know students tend to procrastinate on this one; the transportation article was written after one UniversityParent mom discovered via text that her son had not yet figured out how he was getting to the airport days before his flight. Scrambling for a ride finals week is no fun — encourage your student to figure out this step in advance!

The best holiday travel deals. Book now.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter and purchase the Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year for additional tips, insight, and to help your college student succeed. You may also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our Community Forum and College Parents’ Facebook group.

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