by Julia Evelsizer, Reporter

This time of year, most students’ heads are swarming with final exam study guides, presentation notes and, best of all, thoughts of summer vacation. 

While education is a huge part of college life, so is traveling. Some students even take a year off after graduating just to travel and explore the world. While many people can’t take a whole year off, it’s easy to plan a week over the summer for a fun trip.


Some of the most popular college vacation destinations include Miami, Las Vegas and the Bahamas. While it is fun to travel to these locations, they also tend to be the priciest, especially during summer or spring break.

Tim Davis is the president of Suzi Davis Travel, a popular travel agency in the area. He believes there are many more options students haven’t completely considered that will save them a lot of money.

“Florida has so many great spots. Miami and Fort Lauderdale are some of the most popular destinations there and the most expensive,” Davis said. “Consider St. Petersburg Clearwater beach on the west coast. It is a little more affordable, and it is a great beach with beautiful weather and good food.”

For those who want to save even more money, there are tons of affordable, interesting destinations within Illinois to travel to this summer.

“Obviously, one of the best places in Illinois is Chicago. There is tons of architecture, history, museums, shopping and Navy Pier,” Davis said. “It’s the most fun to take a train up there, or to St. Louis. That way you don’t have to spend money on gas or parking, which can really add up in big cities.”

 Some other fun spots in Illinois for those who like hiking, camping
and the great outdoors include state parks such as Starved Rock and
Shawnee National Forest. These beautiful parks offer hiking trails,
fishing spots and great camping locations.

Davis mentioned not only some helpful tips for students who are
planning on taking some time off this summer to travel, but also when
they should start planning.

“First, figure out when you’re going to go, then determine how
you’re going to get there. Order tickets and reserve hotel rooms as far
in advance as possible,” he said. “Also, don’t worry about spending an
extra 10 to 20 bucks on a hotel because that can make a major

Davis recommended using tools online to research the location and
read reviews. Travel agencies can also come in handy to answer any
questions or concerns about the process.

“Travel is a blast,” he said. “Don’t worry about little things that
could go wrong, because that’s what makes a trip memorable.”

Don Missel is the account technician in purchasing at ISU. He works
through Suzi Davis Travel to help faculty and staff get the best deals
when traveling. While these deals are not available to students, Missel
still has good advice on how students can plan an affordable vacation.

“The best time to travel is actually off season,” Missel said.
“Though many students like to travel during the middle of the summer,
it’s best to hold off until the end of summer or early fall in order to
get the best deals.”

Missel also mentioned that many popular cities, such as Las Vegas,
will list events online and how many people will be attending. That way,
visitors can tell when the city will be less crowded and the hotel
rooms less expensive.

“It’s always cheaper to rent a car when visiting big cities like
New York and D.C.,” Missel said. “But be careful, because many car
rental companies won’t rent cars to anyone under the age of 21, so call
in advance.”

Remember that typically every college is on summer vacation at the
same time, and most students like to travel to the most popular
locations. This summer, try exploring what other destinations have to

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