thanksgiving break

How To Spend Your School Vacations Right!

August 28, 2015 in Campus Life, Travel

College Spring Break

College Spring Break

Like most college students, University of Rhode Island Rams are excited for spring break, Thanksgiving break, and just about any excuse to have off from school. Most students will travel home during breaks, but some will choose to travel with their friends. At URI, students usually travel to Mexico for spring break or even Florida (if they’re over 21). Whatever the destination may be, traveling during breaks seems to be a must. In addition to the destination, transportation is just as important. Please be reminded that URI is in the middle of nowhere and is sometimes a hassle to travel to and from. This is true for a lot of universities therefore planning ahead of time is really important. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck with a horrible seat or even traveling at an unreasonable time because you waited too long to book your traveling arrangements.

This spring break, students will be traveling to Mexico (most likely) with other college students. This includes students from URI, but also from 10-20 other colleges and universities. From personal experience, if you have not had the opportunity to go on one of these spring break trips…DO IT! You won’t ever get the chance to sit by the beach with hundreds of other college students, soak up the sun, and drink yourself into a week of unforgettable memories. It’s not always fun and games, but if you go with a good group of people and are there to enjoy yourself (be prepared to get five hours of sleep total), you’ll have a blast.

Habitat for Humanity Alternative Spring Break

Habitat for Humanity Alternative Spring Break

There is also an alternative spring break option for most students at colleges and universities, which I do not think is taken advantage of. Sometimes programs like Habitat for Humanity host alternative spring breaks where they bring groups of students to areas around the United States and build homes and/or schools for underprivileged families and communities. I think this traveling option is productive and a great way to get involved in and around the community. Besides, if you choose to travel somewhere else in the US, you won’t technically be going home. Isn’t that what school vacations are all about?

For other students who are just traveling home for breaks, make sure you purchase your plane, train, or bus tickets in advance. I’ve heard of people waiting until the last minute to purchase tickets and they’ve either missed out on going home or have had to pay a ridiculous amount of money just to get home. Know your exam/work schedule well in advanced in order to book your tickets. Luckily for us Rhody Rams, the Amtrak is a five minute drive from campus. These trains go to just about anywhere and are a convenient way to travel home. Public buses area also available on campus and travel to the city of Providence multiple times a day. The best piece of advice I have for students trying to travel home during breaks, is to book their tickets and reservations a few weeks or even months ahead!

Traveling while your in college is a great time to explore and learn about yourself and others. As much as I encourage people to study abroad, if some are unable to, traveling during school vacations is a great idea. We are lucky enough to have breaks that range from two weeks to five weeks during Christmas time, therefore we must take advantage of it all. Whether its going to Florida and having some fun at pool parties or going to Cancun with the rest of your university, traveling during breaks is a great idea and should be enjoyed by all college students!

Say Hello to the Holidays!

November 28, 2014 in Alive Campus, Colleges, Travel

Let the holiday season and the abundance of delicious cuisine begin! It’s Thanksgiving break, college is out for the week, and students are scurrying back home. Say goodbye to schoolwork and the usual dining hall meals and say hello to the family and mom’s homecooked turkey, sweet potatoes, and fruit pies. Being a Southern California native, used to sporting dresses and sandals in the winter but now bundling up in layers of sweaters, scarves, and everything warm in Boston, I longed to return back home and soak up the rays of the sun. I’m very fortunate to be writing this article as I sit in my backyard sipping a cold lemonade on an 80 degree day. However, because Emerson has a high out-of-state and international student percentages, not all students had the advantage to leave, due to finance and traveling concerns.

Where do Emerson students go for the Holidays?

To be honest, Emersonians go where the food is. This sounds a bit comedic, but it’s true. Fresh, homecooked meals that aren’t associated with the dining hall is all a student needs during the break. Many students who live in New England and along the East Coast go back home for break. They reunite with family, stuff their mouths, and enjoy the coziness of their home. My roommate who is from Framingham, MA (30 minutes outside of Boston) is spending the break with her close family and friends. Although I returned back to Cali, there are very few West Coasters traveling, instead, they’re staying with relatives nearby or spending Thanksgiving with roommate(s). Emerson dorms are also open for Thanksgiving, thus some students have that option of staying in 30 degree New England weather.

Thanksgiving food is the best kind of food!

Prior to college, I was never able to wrap my head around this statement, but now in college, I find it incredibly true. College goes by so fast. It’s already Thanksgiving break, and next week marks the two week countdown for winter break. But instead of one week off, students get one month off! Because Emerson closes during winter break, a large majority of students return home for the holiday season.

What are my plans for winter break? Spend time with my family during Christmas, then travel with my closest friends up to the Northern California. My friends and I have been planning a winter roadtrip for the past few months, similar to the one we did last summer. Because winter break is the second longest (summer being the first), students travel and make the most spontaneous memories as possible. Some go on family trips to Hawaii or the Carribean, others go backpacking up North and enjoy the wildnerness. Either way, winter break is always worthwhile because the semester has ended and no schoolwork is required.

How to Plan Your Breaks?

Are you looking to have a fun and memorable holiday break? Are you unsure of what to do and where to go? Are money or time keeping you from traveling or living up your life? Do you want some fun tips or suggestions on how to spend an unforgettable holiday? If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, read below!

1. Consider your budget - OK, maybe you can’t go to Hawaii or ride horses on the beaches in Mexico, but what you can do is be adventorous and discover new activities and places in your home area. If you live along the coast, consider a roadtrip. For Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington folks, you are home to some of the most bucket list worthy and scenic destinations. Consider Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Yosemite, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rainer, and Mount Hood.

Last summer, my three friends and I went on a roadtrip from San Diego to San Francisco on a $400 budget, which was perfect. We camped along the coast in Santa Monica, Big Sur, and Santa Cruz and reserved our campsites months ahead of time, to save money and stress. We went grocery shopping days before leaving, brought a mini stove, cooked our food the entire trip, and split the costs of gas and basic necessities. If you’re a nature person, hiker, or traveler, consider this option for a holiday break. Roadtrips usually range from 3 days to several weeks. Just an idea, but a beautiful and truly rewarding one.

The sunset view from my campsite in Big Sur. Consider this breathtaking town for an aestheically pleasing trip.

2. Take advantage of your hometown - If a roadtrip isn’t practical for you, that’s OK. You can still have a memorable break while staying home. Chances are, you haven’t been EVERYWHERE or have seen EVERYTHING in your hometown. If you live in a city, explore! Go on Google Maps and type in theatre, comedy, music, cafe, film, art, museum, etc… Research activities to do and jump on them. Discover hidden gems in your backyard, take the train or subway around the city, go to a few concerts or festivals, try new food in Chinatown or Little Italy, and have a curious mindset! Remember, YOU are in control of your break, no one else.

Always explore your surroundings, dream big, and discover new possibilities.

3. Get a unique job - Don’t grown or roll your eyes. Working can be fun, depending on the uniqueness of the work. My best friend recently told me that she’s applying to work on a cruise ship this winter, and my other friends will be studying marine life in Monterey Bay and working as tour guides at Yosemite National Park. First, ask yourself what you love. Do you enjoy painting, writing, hiking, dancing, or cooking? There’s a special job calling your name in every passion. Volunteer at an art museum, become a camp counselor, attend a poetry workshop or journalism program, work at an exotic hotel or music venue, make pies or sweet treats at a french bakery! The options are endless, and you have the power to decide.

This job may seem scary at first, but being a tour guide is a fun way to earn money, to meet different people, and to gain more knowledge on the area.

College Travel Guide: What to do During Breaks

September 5, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

map of the world

map of the world

Fall Break- Fall break is awesome because although it is short, it is a time to take a quick vacation to break up the semester.  Some students like to go home, others like to go to beach houses to relax with friends, and others like to take short trips to get away from studying.  Another fun activity to do during your fall break is to go to a concert, museum, or visit another friend who lives out of your home state.

Thanksgiving Break- Thanksgiving break is usually a time students take to spend with family.  It is usually a short break; so many students decide to go home.  But, if you like to travel, this break is a great time to possibly take a small trip.  Students can also utilize this time to do some intense “Black Friday” shopping.

Summer Break- Summer break is basically a free-for-all.  Students will do anything from an internship, a study abroad trip; take a summer class, or just work.  Also, students will take this time to go on vacations or spend time with family.  Possible summer trips could be:

Winter Break- Winter break is also a time that students can go home, study abroad for school credit, or just go on other vacations with family.  Study abroad during the winter intercession; allow students who are looking for a short study abroad experience, as well as a way to knock out some class credit during winter break.

Spring Break- Longwood University offers a program called Alternative Spring Break for students.  This program allows students to sign up for service projects, in the states and abroad.  Many students utilize this time to help others, as well as make lasting memories during their week-long break.

  • Here is a link to Longwood University’s Alternative Spring Break Page:

For me, typically I go home on spring break, or I go visit my family.  Last year, I surprised my cousin on her 21st birthday, and stayed with her to celebrate during my spring break.

Need Transportation?

Some good methods for transportation to get to and from somewhere for a break would be possibly a bus system (if you school has one), that takes you home to your local area.  You can also hitch a ride with a friend or someone else from your school that lives close to you.  Another way you can find transportation to and from school for a break would be to go onto your school’s “ride board” and post where you are going, when, and your contact information.

Breaking SU: Breaks During College

May 15, 2014 in Travel

This past spring break during my second semester of college I knew that I needed/wanted to go somewhere warm with a beach. I was so desperate that I probably would have settled for the crappiest of motels on the side of the highway as long as there was some sunshine involved. I love Syracuse, but the winters can become very grey and you start to go a little crazy. I needed my sun. Had my friends and I planned our trip a little but more in advance, we probably would have been more organized. Alas, planning a trip with a group of college students can be tough since money doesn’t grow from trees. My two roommates and I planned a last minute trip to Miami where we knew of another group of friends who were also traveling.

We ended up finding an incredibly well priced round trip ticket with Southwest where we flew into West Palm Beach and were able to take a car from there to South Beach. The hotel we stayed in was not five stars, but it was on the beach and the beds were (sort of) comfortable. What more could you ask for? Spring break is a popular time for students to travel to warm destinations. My freshman year of college I also made my way down to Florida with some friends and stayed in a friend’s family home. Warm weather and a suntan can truly change and brighten your mood.

Stereotypical College Spring Break

Meeting new people at school you’re usually bound to find someone that is from somewhere fun, or maybe somewhere that you haven’t been before. It’s never a bad idea to travel and explore, especially if you have a free bed to sleep. I’ve met students from all over the world—places like Hawaii, Brazil, Thailand and England, I’m actually surprised that I haven’t invited myself to travel and stay in their houses yet.

Thanksgiving break is always a time to go home; because of course there is no better place to celebrate Thanksgiving than with family. This past year I was abroad during Thanksgiving, so I spent my time eating Spanish cuisine in Madrid—not so bad. I live about four hours away from Syracuse so it’s easy for me to get home, but for students that live a plane ride away its more complicated. Some student’s fly home, and others piggyback on friends that live close by and spend the break with them. Syracuse has a weeklong Thanksgiving break, which has its benefits and drawbacks. Yes, its nice to have a week off, but by the time you end up getting back to school there ends up only being about two and a half weeks until winter break. This means a mad rush for finals and fun and suddenly you are home from Syracuse for a month for winter break.

This year I brought the car my brother and I share up to Syracuse, so traveling to and from school was easy. In the past I have taken trains or hitched rides. It’s usually quite easy to find someone driving in or around your area, as long as you’re willing to throw in some gas money!

by Ruthie

If We Could Just Bounce Around the Globe

April 11, 2013 in Travel

I love traveling. I wish I could just bounce around the world all the time. And whenever I travel I try to blend in as much as possible because GOD FORBID I look like a tourist. I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve lived abroad for three years. I don’t have one specific place I would call home and I’m one of those cheesy “home is where the heart is” kind of people. I had about 5 ‘homes’ at once. Call it an identity crisis if you will, but it works for me.

I want to live in Argentina for a few years. And England. And Spain. And Israel. And be able to go anywhere whenever I like. Sadly, all of my grand plans aren’t exactly possible unless I publish a book that everyone loves or start a company and sell it. And the latter is definitely not happening.

So, let’s be realistic. As an archaeology major I have to go on a dig somewhere. I’ll probably go during the summer since that’s usually when the digging season is, and I still have no idea where I’m going to go. I also hope I can study abroad, as many of my friends have done or will do.

People do travel with family during breaks when they can though. Since we have such lovely long vacations (I had six weeks off for winter break–it was the weirdest thing especially after being used to the two-day vacations during high school. Then again, you wonder where your money is going if you’re only in school for 8 months of the year…) Anyway, a lot of people go skiing during spring break or winter break, and a lot of resorts have a college discount week (hopefully I’ll be able to take advantage of this at some point).

College is an especially prime time to travel. Most colleges offer a ton of opportunities to study abroad somewhere. A friend of my brother’s got a grant to go study spirituality in India! (Why didn’t I think of that?) A friend of mine went to London for two weeks for a class, and there were trips to Italy, Spain, Turkey, etc. offered during winter break. If there is ever the chance, I highly recommend going on a trip your school offers during one of your breaks. Better yet, study abroad!

The more important question is though, as a college student, how do you travel with a budget? First, go stay at friend’s houses. If your friend lives somewhere you want to go, perfect! Another is: buses. Buses (at least in the US, they have it pretty down pat in Israel too) are the greatest idea ever. I usually take Megabus or Bolt bus, and they’re great, safe, cheap ways to go pretty much anywhere within 8 hours. (Don’t go on a bus ride longer than that–you’ll die of boredom) The trains are pretty expensive and the only plus is that it takes less time. And long journeys. But another way to travel cheaply is: plan way ahead and buy cheap plane tickets! Get a bunch of friends, decide what you want to do for Spring break or whenever, and just do it.

The Thanksgiving and Spring breaks are good times to bring friends home, especially the friends who have to fly home. It’s not too long of a break but there’s just enough time to show your friends where you come from.

As my friend aptly put it, when we’re in college, we are in Limbo. Not necessarily a bad limbo, but we have to make the most of it. So if you can, go to places you’d otherwise never go to. There are plenty of ways to save money and do what I, (and you too, I hope) love to do.

If only if only

If only if only

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