Travel Planning Tips

This year’s YSC Summit coincides with the world-famous South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin. It is a really exciting time to explore the city, but we want to be sure our YSC attendees are preparing to travel during a busy time there.

Ready to plan your trip to Austin for the 2019 Summit? Check out these 9 travel hacks to get the most bang for your buck!

  1. Register early to make sure you get the best deal. Our Early Bird registration and travel grant applications are now open. The travel grant application awards up to $700 in travel reimbursement per person. Funds are allocated on first-come, first-served basis and due to demand, may run out quickly, so apply today!
  2. Use our Hotel Discounts. YSC has secured a discounted hotel rate of $169/night. This is a great deal, especially while SXSW is taking place! Secure your hotel room early to ensure you get the group rate at the hotel. Make your reservation for the Renaissance Austin Hotel here. You can also find a roommate using YSC’s Summit Roommate Board.
  3. Set Google Flight Alerts. Using Google Flight Alerts is super easy and cost effective. Once you chose the number of stops, cabin class and ticket amount, choose your departure airport and destination and turn on the “Track Prices” switch. You will then get email notifications when cheaper flights become available. We encourage you to research your options – don’t delay making your reservation when you see a flight in your budget!
  4. Travel on Weekdays, When Possible. Airfares are often less expensive when traveling on a weekday (Monday to Thursday). When researching fares, click a “flexible date” option and see what deals you can find. There is so much to do in Austin that you can make a mini vacation by traveling a few days earlier or later than the Summit – with lower airfares to boot!
  5. Download Travel Apps. Similar to Google Flight Alerts, apps such as Skyscanner or Hopper generate calendars to give you the lowest prices. Turn your notifications on for these apps as well in order to be notified of updated information. Other apps, such as Kayak and Tripomatic, can be really useful to find hotels, car rentals and attractions. Remember to refresh your browser once it loads, as newer fares can pop up even a few minutes later.
  6. Fly into a Nearby Airport. It might be cheaper to fly into a nearby airport if flights are expensive to your destination city. For example, San Antonio is only 1.5 hours from Austin and Houston is 2.5 hours away. A drive to Austin would also give you the chance to see more of Texas!
  7. Look into Airlines with Flexible Cancellation. Some airlines, such as Southwest, often allow you to cancel your flight up until a few days before departure. If you are unsure you will be able to attend, but find a good fare on one of these airlines, you can book now and cancel later. Just be sure to read the fine print and set a reminder to make any necessary cancellations!
  8. Rack up Rewards. Consider signing up for a rewards program that allows you to collect frequent flyer miles. By doing so, you can save money and time on future trips. Also, check whether you have already accumulated points on your existing credit cards or rewards programs.
  9. Pack Light. If you are traveling for a few days, or even a week, considering bringing a large duffel bag and a carry-on bag in order to avoid heavy fees associated with checked luggage.

What are your travel tips? Share them in the comments below and we hope to see you in Austin, TX!

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