The holiday season is in full swing and Gen-Z college students are headed home for semester breaks. All school year long, they’ve toiled over books, written endless papers, and sat through lectures counting down the days til they can visit home. Now, the only thing left to do is get them there. 

The winter holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. It’s also one of the most expensive times to travel with the demand skyrocketing between Thanksgiving and the New Year. According to a study from Deloitte, 32 percent of Americans aren’t traveling this holiday season due to the cost. Here are a few ways to get Gen-Z college students home while still saving money on holiday travel.

You Can’t Go Wrong With A Carpool

College Students
Photo credit: Hareez Hussaini

Carpooling is hands down the best way to save money on traveling home for the holidays as a college student. This is especially true for those who live in the same state as or close to their college or university. Instead of spending money on plane tickets, reach out to your circle of friends to see if anyone is heading in the same direction as you. Piling into the car with friends and heading home together can be exciting and fun. It’s a convenient, cheap method of travel that will only cost a few bucks for gas. 

Consider Slow Travel Methods 

train travel during sunset
Photo credit: Nilantha Sanjeewa

Slow travel, like buses and trains, aren’t as popular as they used to be. However, the tickets are sometimes significantly cheaper than flying. Do some research to see if your school is anywhere near a train or bus station. Most major cities have one and, depending on where you’re headed, a one-way ticket can range anywhere from $21 to $150. Traveling by bus and train forces you to slow down. This can be a relief after spending a semester running back and forth between classes. So if you want to save some cash and have a little extra time, consider booking a train or bus ticket.  

Check Out Zipcar

college students
Photo credit: Obi – @pixel8propix

For those who want to drive but don’t want to carpool with others, Zipcar is a great option to get a car and head home fast. College students near select campuses can rent a car temporarily on Zipcar. The car-sharing community gives students access to rent a car anytime in cities across the country. It operates very similarly to most rental car companies but is a much more simplified app created just for college students. Everything is simple and convenient to help college students get around and even travel home for the holidays. 

Book Plane Tickets Early

college students
Photo credit: Praveen Thirumurugan

If you have to fly home for the holiday season, be sure to book your flights early. This is the best way to get deals on plane tickets during this time. With so many people traveling, ticket prices typically go through the roof. Many travelers advise buying plane tickets for holiday travel between September and October to avoid astronomical prices.