Spring Break Savings

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Korky Vann, the Hartford Courant’s “savvy shopper,” has some tips on how to save money on a college spring break trip.

If you’re a college student on a budget, don’t let spring break “break” the bank.

  • Watch for red flags like ultra-low-cost packages that claim to include premium airfare and top-rated accommodations for a very low price. Avoid any site that requires payment in order to see the details of the package.
  • Get details about your trip in writing. Be sure to confirm details such as total cost, any applicable restrictions and extra fees for flights, hotel reservations and car rental.
  • Use a credit card for payment. Paying by credit card offers the most protection should something to wrong.
  • Also, let your credit card issuer know that you are going out of town. Transactions may be rejected if the credit card company detects unusual activity, such as charges from another state or country.
  • Research the area for deals before you go. Check TripAdvisor, Yelp and other websites to get the inside scoop on happy hours, bars and club deals.
  • When you’re at a club or bar, don’t run a tab. It’s too easy for others to put their charges on your bill.
  • If you’re heading out a road trip, stock a cooler with snacks and bottled water before you leave, instead of paying convenience store prices at every pit stop.
  • Roadtrippers should download Gas Buddy, an app that helps you find the cheapest gas, the Pandora Radio app to keep the music playing while you’re driving, and WHERE, an app that helps you find nearby gas stations, hotels and restaurants.
  • There are lots of expenses on spring break, from cabs to drinks to groceries. Keep track of who owes what with an app like Splitwise, which will keep a running total of how much each person owes.
  • Set a spending limit and stick to it. You don’t want to come home to a mailbox full of bills you can’t cover.
  • If you’re leaving the country, check your cell phone contract before you go. Roaming charges can spiral out of control when you’re out of range.

For more tips on saving money, visit www.courant.com/savvyshopper.

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