Thursday, February 26, 2015

College students face trade-offs between convenience and price when planning spring break trips 

Spring break: a light at the end of the tunnel for college students across the country as they deal with the stress of school and harsh winter weather. Starting in just a few weeks, hoards of these excited young adults will file onto planes and journey to one of the many destinations offering escape from their busy schedules and freezing temperatures. But spring break presents an issue for many of these students: its cost. While some splurge on group trips to exotic destinations, others hunt for trips that won’t break the bank.

Pre-planned group trips offer convenience but are a splurge for some

Many college students opt for the convenient option of group trips that are pre-planned by a travel agency. These trips parallel that of a luxury vacation: an all-inclusive resort, an international destination, and exclusive nightlife.

Students like senior dietetics major Erin Goldstrom opt for these types of trips for their convenience and assurance they will be surrounded by their peers.

These group trips, although convenient, deter certain students because of their price range. Usually running around $1500, the international trips are definitely a splurge for some.

Domestic travel allows for students to still get the most out of their spring break without breaking the bank

Students that cannot afford the expensive option of an international group trip have more work cut out for them when planning their spring break vacations. By not working with a travel agency, these students have to pick a hotel, flight, and destination. When planning their own spring break trips, students will most likely pick a domestic vacation spot, usually a beach town in Florida.

Students like senior communication major Stella Gordon-Zigel are forced to get creative with their spring break plans to save money.

When planning their own trips, students can customize their vacation experience by spending money on those aspects that they value the most.  

Although exotic trips may seem to pricey, there are ways that students can still manage to afford them

There are also ways that college students can still travel to exotic destinations without breaking the bank, but when it comes to saving money, it is all in the planning. Many students will forgo a trip altogether out of fear of the cost, but there are easy tips to get the best value out of a spring break.
  • Pick the hotel wisely. Book a room that has certain amenities, like refrigerators and microwaves, and take advantage of them. Eating out can rack up a vacation bill quickly.
  • One word: complimentary. Even one free meal can cut down on the daily cost of a vacation, so try to find a hotel has a complimentary breakfast or complimentary appetizers.
  • Keep an eye on the going rates. A booked flight or hotel room price could possibly plummet later; in which case, it is easy to cancel and rebook.
  • Take a risk and wait it out, but only when it comes to the hotel. Flights usually need to be purchased two weeks in advance, but there are websites solely devoted to last-minute hotel deals.

When it comes to spring break, there are endless options that students take advantage of when planning their trips. And when it comes to pricing, students also have numerous choices within their differing budgets.   

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

College Students Balance Technology and Personal Relationships

     Universities across the country have transformed with the introduction of mobile communication. Because on college campuses, fellow students and friends reside just down the hall or across the street, relationships grow strong quickly. But today, these relationships seem to be growing even stronger.

     Mobile communication allows for students and friends to be connected at virtually any time of the day. Before these advancements, friends only experienced time with others during those times they were together, but now, friends can stay together all the time. With applications like SnapChat, friends can catch up with each other when it is convenient for both parties.

    At a popular lunchtime spot at the University of Maryland, the Stamp Student Union, students can be found meeting up with each other to enjoy the food court or grab a meal themselves in between classes. This is a time where students have a break from class time rules about putting away their mobile devices, so almost everyone has their phones out. Both the students eating alone and those with friends use their mobile devices during this time; they can be found texting, Snapchatting, checking Facebook, checking Twitter, and taking phone calls.

     College students today, like senior Communications major Jenna Chusid, take advantage of their ability to build relationships with their friends even when they are not around each other. 

     The growing relationship that college students today have with their phones poses the question of regrettable decisions with mobile communication. One university student explains that certain features of her iPhone have created issues.
listen to ‘iPhone voice memos’ on audioBoom

    With mobile communication always growing and changing, college campuses will forever be a breeding ground for these new types of changes to flourish. 
With mobile communication always growing and changing, college campuses will forever be a breeding ground for these new types of changes to flourish.