Due to an increase in travel costs around the nation, Emory students found ways to save this spring break.
According to USA Today
, data from Travelocity show a nine-percent overall increase in airfares compared to last year.
Bing Travel also found that prices for popular spring break locations went up this year, with a 23-percent increase for travel to Cancun, a 21-percent rise for travel to Miami and a 15-percent increase for travel to Fort Lauderdale.
Students such as College sophomore David Fishman chose to stay in the dorms during the break because doing so was the “cheapest option.”
Fishman, who also stayed at school last spring break, said that although very few people are on campus during spring break, he is glad that Emory allows its students to remain on campus in the residence halls during the week.
“It’s really awesome that I’m able to live on campus during break,” he said.
Other schools such as Johns Hopkins University and Boston University require that students leave the residence halls during spring break, which Fishman said would be fiscally impossible for him.
Other students left campus, but stayed in Georgia.
College sophomore Emily Wang said that she and a group of nine other students stayed in a cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains in North Georgia because her family has a frequent customer discount at the location.
“It cost $122 total per person for three nights and four days with three meals a day for each of those days,” Wang explained.
Many others who went off campus did so with organizations such as Volunteer Emory (VE) and the Korean Undergraduate Student Association (KUSA).
Every year, KUSA takes its members to the annual Korean American Students Conference (KASCON), according to College senior and KUSA president Eunice Kwon.
The event was held at Emory two years ago.
Most of the costs were covered by College Council, she said, but the group still looked for ways to save by registering for the KASCON conference early and checking Farecast for cheap tickets.
Kwon said that she and the other KUSA members bought airline tickets on Expedia.
When the prices fell again within 24 hours of their purchase, she said, they contacted Expedia and received a refund of the difference.
This year’s KASCON took place at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., and Kwon said that it was a good spring break alternative because although it was located in a spring break-like location, the trip did not incur typical spring break costs.
“Because of the way funding worked, we didn’t pay for much besides food,” she said.
Even with funding, Kwon said that the students took advantage of additional opportunities to save, such as using public transportation instead of renting a car and taking advantage of group discounts at hotels and restaurants.
VE took groups of students on community service trips to Janesville, Va., Pensacola, Fla., Leland, Miss., and remained in Atlanta with Staycation, a program that offers students on campus volunteer opportunities.
College junior and VE staff member Patrick Cook led the Leland trip with College junior Jean Chung, who organized the trip after doing a service project in the same community last year.
A group of nine students and four staff members participated in Habitat for Humanity to construct a house and repair another.
The University helped fund the trip — including travel, hotel stay and meals, Cook said. Students who participated paid a $100 fee, but all other costs were covered.
Going on a VE trip is a good alternative to a typical spring break vacation, Cook said, because it is a valuable opportunity to meet new people and to help a community and see the effects first-hand.
“It’s something where you do work and have something to show for it,” Cook said.
Groups including the Alternative Spring Break Organization and Hillel catered to students who wanted different spring break experiences by volunteering in New Orleans.
— Contact Alice Chen