Affordable adventures await savvy travelers

by Sandra De La Torre

STA

With the semester coming to an end, it’s time to think about how to enjoy the upcoming weeks of freedom. With so much time available, the possibilities for travel and exploration are endless, even for students on a budget.

STA Travel has affordable deals for students who wish to travel to another state or country. Location is often an indicator of how expensive or inexpensive a trip can be, but discount travel websites often have special deals if booked at the right time.

For example, students who wish to go to Europe during winter break can book a round trip to Barcelona, Spain for less than $2,000.

Travelers can choose from hotels, hostels, apartments, guesthouses and hostals. A hostal, though similar to a hostel, is a lodging option like to a guesthouse or small hotel. When booking a hotel, the Barcelona Tourist Guide recommends travelers search according to location, price or star ratings. Staying in a hostal or hostel is usually cheaper than staying in a hotel, with prices as affordable as $22 per bed.

STA Travel offers a Eurail Pass, which applies to train travel across Europe. Prices are determined depending on the places and the number of days individuals want to travel.

In Barcelona, travelers can ride the metro, bus or taxi.

Barcelona is also home to an evening tapas tour that allows individuals to walk through the city and learn about local restaurants while sampling their food.

Travelers who would like to stay in the same continent also have a wealth of options. Expedia.com has a page titled Deals & Offers, which displays available deals on a map using the new Trip Explorer tool. Deal-seekers only need to know the airport they’re leaving from, the month they plan to travel and the amount of time they wish to stay.

Some available offers include a trip to Las Vegas for $269, a trip to San Francisco for $285 and a trip to Seattle for $461.

A trip to New York can also be reserved through the STA Travel website for $291.

For those who fear flying, get carsick or just don’t want to leave beautiful San Diego, planning a “stay-cation” is always an option. Stay-cationers have the advantage of saving on traveling costs and hotel fees if they decide to commute to their points of interest.

For the full stay-cation experience and a taste of the countryside, reserving a lodge or cottage like those available at the Orchard Hill Country Inn is an option. The inn, located in Julian, was named “one of the top six lodges in the west” by Sunset Magazine. It boasts several fireplaces, patios for picnics, breakfast and afternoon hors d’oeuvres. Visitors can even go horseback riding or arrange a carriage ride during their stay.

With seasonal and holiday packages available, room rates at the inn range from $195 to $450.

Others interested in staying in San Diego still have adventurous options to choose from, such as ice-skating at Horton Plaza. There will also be a number of light displays around the county in communities such as Chula Vista, Del Mar and Mission Bay.

With the semester mere days from concluding, these options may serve as perfect motivation to persevere through the stress of finals.