Who said the only way to learn about money was to read articles on top of articles? Financial education is all around us—provided you look closely enough. Increase your awareness with the SALT™ Blog video of the week, picked fresh from YouTube.
A lot of things have changed since I was in college in the early 2000s. However, one thing has gracefully stood the test of time: Jean-Claude Van Damme. As this video proves, the “Muscles From Brussels” still has it. (I mean, I bet Steven Segal has trouble just climbing into a truck nowadays.)
JCVD makes hitting the road look ever so easy, but getting home for the holidays is a struggle for many—whether you’re in college or not. So, in honor of this epic split, let’s look at some different ways to help you split town. These may not be “universal” soldiers options, but they’ll at least let me use some puns.
1. Target Your Social Network
Finding someone within your social networks to swing a ride with shouldn’t be a hard target. The key is asking the right people.
Looking up tweets this morning, I saw a few “can anyone drive me to [destination]?” messages. Maybe spamming like that will work, but you’re better off focusing on a few people. Think of it like networking for a job. You wouldn’t contact everyone you know, right? Instead, make smart connections.
I once caught a ride home by asking a good friend whether his friend would drive me. The ride was awkward, but mostly because the guy’s stereo was broken and we made small talk for 5 hours. Another time, my mom connected me with her friend’s son to get home. That guy listened to rave music the whole way. (Why couldn’t his stereo have been broken?)
The bottom line: I got home safe both times, which is what mattered.
2. Look Into Rideshare Options On Craigslist
I’m as leery about Craigslist as anyone is—no one wants to see this happen to you. However, if social networking doesn’t work and you have nowhere to run, check your city’s Craigslist rideshare board. Post your itinerary or see if it matches up with someone’s already there.
With so many people traveling this time of year, you’re likely to overlap with someone. Or, maybe you find someone who can get you close enough to home to make plans from there. (In college, I’d typically hitch a ride to western Massachusetts, an hour away from home. My parents would then pick me up.)
Sharing a ride also lets you double team on gas or the driving itself. That always helps if you can’t afford the trip on your own—even if it means ending up in a car with someone a little strange, like Dennis Rodman, for a couple hours.
3. Buy Early
The least fun, surprising, and helpful option (especially with Thanksgiving a week away). You can’t go back in time to get a deal now; still, remember this one for the future. Like any Van Damme movie, holidays are fantastically predictable—Thanksgiving or Christmas won’t sneak up on you.
You’ll probably never find mythical $1 bus fares or cheap plane tickets around these times, but former-intern Shane did land a great deal on the train by planning ahead. And he didn’t even have to deal with Eric Bogosian while on it. (Shoot! That’s a Segal reference! I’d totally be the first one to die in an action movie.)
Safe travels—and happy holidays, everyone!
Know a cheap way to get home for the holidays? Share it below.