TRAVEL

Tips for students flying on the cheap

Dalhousie workshop gives advice for when, how to book

Students at a Dalhousie talk on travel earlier this week.
Students at a Dalhousie talk on travel earlier this week.   Annika Bunkis

Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov, an experienced traveler, has advice for students who want to travel the world. The Dalhousie professor has travelled to more than 20 different countries, and plans to add to that list later this year.

He led a workshop for students at the university earlier this week through DalConnects, which is a leadership program on campus.

Kondrashov said transportation, accommodation, and food are three main issues for travellers, but students need to know that “safety concern is critical wherever you go.”

When it comes to flights, Kondrashov recommends checking several websites to find the best price.

He suggests students look at

Kondrashov praised google/flights/explore,  saying that when he uses this site, “I become a travel agent to my friends and family.” The site tells potential travelers what days to book flights in order to get the cheapest deal.

SkyScanner.ca allows you to not only compare flight costs but hotel costs and car rentals as well.

Kayak.com is a search engine that allows you to scan through hundreds of travel websites and claims that you can save 35 per cent on hotels as well.

When it comes to booking a flight, Kondrashov urges students to look at flights a day or two before and after their preferred date, as he says moving one’s flight by one day can significantly change the price.

Another tip is to make sure the price of the flight is in Canadian dollars.

Emily Forster frequently uses travel booking sites like these but once made the mistake of not changing the currency.

My mistake was looking at prices in US dollars and so the prices looked sweet,” Forster said. “ I didn’t end up saving as much as I thought.”

Dana Barkley, a student at Dalhousie, has never used these sites, but she’s willing to try them now.

I usually just go for the last-minute deals or just price watch over the span of a few days,” Barkley said.

At the workshop, Kondrashov also said longer trips tend to be cheaper as it costs less per day.