Students are gearing up to travel home for Thanksgiving break. Many are going home for the first time since the beginning of the school year, while others are making their fourth, fifth or sixth trip home.
Traveling can be costly, especially for students who live far away. Some students are choosing to stay in Oxford over break, as flight costs inflate to outrageous prices during the holiday season. More than half of the university’s undergraduate students live out of state. Pricey travel costs can be a downside to picking a school that’s miles away from home.
All residence halls except for Luckyday RC, RC South, Northgate Apartments, Residence Hall 2 and Residence Hall 3 will close during Thanksgiving break. Residents must be out of their buildings by 10 a.m. Sunday. Residence halls will reopen at noon Sunday, Nov. 26.
For a nightly rate, Student Housing offers an off-campus location for residents in halls that close over break. It is $35 per night for double occupancy room with exterior room entrance, $40 per night for double occupancy room with interior room entrance, $70 per night for single occupancy room with exterior room entrance and $80 per night for single occupancy room with interior room entrance.
There are four students signed up to live in the off-campus location during break, according to Don Rogers, assistant director for facilities. Rogers said he does not expect that number to increase based on previous break numbers.
Senior elementary education major Samantha Kruger lives in Laguna Beach, California, 2,000 miles away from campus in.
“I’m not going home for Thanksgiving, it’s too expensive to fly home and then two weeks later fly home again,” Kruger said. “Flights at this time of year to where I’m from range from $500-plus.”
Other students have chosen not to go home for break and decided to work instead, and they prefer to be in Oxford rather than their hometowns. This is the case for sophomore political science major Katharine Vana. Vana said she enjoys the peace and quiet in Oxford while students are away, and she works at the Ole Miss Golf Course to make some extra money.
“I prefer living in Oxford over San Antonio, so I rarely go home. I work at the Ole Miss Golf Course, so I figured I could get some extra hours and save money,” Vana said. “I love Oxford when no one is here. It is so quiet and peaceful.”
The trick to saving money on flights home is to book a flight very early. Students find that the later they wait, prices surge and the cost can sometimes be twice what another person paid for a similar flight.
According to Southwest, if someone booked a roundtrip ticket this week to Washington, D.C., from Memphis, Tennessee, it would be an estimated $1,000.
“I bought a flight to Houston in September, so it was not too expensive. I think I paid something like $300,” Jack Collier, a senior integrated marketing communications major, said. “I enjoy going home to see my family and friends, so the cost to do that is worth it.”