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Save when you visit your college kid

They may not have already left for freshman year, but you may be wondering when the next time is that you will be able to see them. Depending on how far away your child's college is, jumping in the car and taking a day trip to visit s/he might not be feasible. On a tight budget, it can be even more difficult to plan. Here are some tips to visit your student without going broke
Plan ahead Your best bet for saving on hotels and other travel costs is to plan well in advance. You might be able to get a deep hotel discount by booking months in advance. Flexibility in your visit time may also help you save. If your student is far enough away that you need to fly, find cheaper rates by leaving a day early or coming home a day later. 
Get a schedule of events Get a schedule of the major events at your child's college, such as sports and alumni days. Hotels are more likely to be booked during these events, and you could pay more while everyone's in town. 
Check out your rewards program Whether it's your credit card or a loyalty program with a travel company or store chain, rewards programs can save you money. Find out if your credit card offers cash back or free gas points. If you have more than one card, compare rewards programs to maximize points. You may also find that your favorite hotel in your student's college town has its own rewards program. Enrolling in this program may help you earn free nights on future visits or other perks. 
Keep up with hotels Sign up for hotel newsletters to get the latest info on discounts and events. Groupon and other discount sites are great savings resources while visiting your student.
Save when there
Once you've arrived, continue saving by choosing free or inexpensive activities. Consider buying groceries and cooking dinner instead of dining out. You'll save money and your student will get a home-cooked meal.

Visiting your student while they’re in college is a great way to give him or her support and give yourself peace of mind that they are doing well in your absence.     
About the Author: Freelance blogger Angie Mansfield covers topics for both individuals and small business owners. Her work addresses health, social media and how to remove persona information from online records.


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