Economic downturn hinders spring break vacations

By Liz Garrett
March 5, 2009

The downward spiraling economy is to blame not only for hard-working Americans losing their jobs and having to keep a watchful eye on their budgets, it has also made traveling and vacations less obtainable. However, Americans have not let the economy’s grip on their finances cancel out all relaxation and time away from the office.

What if there was a way to stay at home during a vacation and have just as much fun? Staycation is the new alternative that includes spending time at home or nearby and enjoying all that the home environment has to offer. Whether it is taking advantage of TiVo, On-Demand, Net Flix, the Internet or planning outings with family and friends, people are discovering how to occupy themselves closer to home.

Cabrini students are especially feeling the squeeze from the economy as they plan for their spring breaks and summer vacations.

“This economic crisis is a killer,” Ali Kilpatrick, junior early childhood and elementary education major, said. “My family always goes to Sea Isle, but I don’t think we are this year because of the money. But I love using the $2 movie tickets and other special deals that Cabrini has so I can do things around here.”

Although the economy has put a constraint on summer fun, students are finding ways to have just as much leisure time close by.

“My plans for the summer consist of working a lot and the time that I get off, I like to go down the beach,” Courtney Flaim, junior elementary education major, said. “Since I have a pool, I will probably just lounge around there also.”

Some Cabrini students who live far have even found ways to dodge the high prices of traveling home for breaks.

“Even though the economy is hurting, I will hopefully have a fun-filled spring break,” Megan Bernatavitz, junior English and communication major, said. “I was not going to fly home, but because there are so many good deals out there and we use our frequent flyer miles, so I am going to be in the warm climate.”

One of the outlets people in the Philadelphia area can go to for news on local events, and to find discounts for countless venues, is The Web site provides several options for close-to-home entertainment and outings. Campus Philly has partnerships with nearby movie theaters, museums and coffee shops. Therefore, they can supply discounts for movie and museum tickets as well as coffee at local cafes.

“We’re really big on events and on what’s happening,” Megan Pellegrino, senior English and communication major and editor-in-chief of campus Philly, said. “We keep the college student’s budget in mind when advertising events. When there is a free event, we jump to cover it and get the word out.”

At the beginning of the academic year, Campus Philly hands out discount tags that allow students to receive price reductions for admission into nearby attractions.

The organization also emphasizes on their weekly newsletter, The Click, which arrives in the form of an e-mail every Thursday morning just in time for the upcoming weekend.

The Click offers information on popular events taking place in Philadelphia each weekend and also contains advertisements for SEPTAs late night train schedules designed for the weekends. Over 30,000 people receive The Click e-newsletters.

Campus Philly’s articles are meant to inform college students about what is going on in the area. All information on the Web site is geared towards college students and stresses their motto, “Run for college students, by college students.”

“I would say people living in the city know much more about Campus Philly than those on the Main Line,” Pellegrino said. “People just are not aware of the discounts available. I got a lot of my friends into it and they love it.”

Liz Garrett

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