Traveling for Less: Budget Transportation To (and From) NTSA

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I don’t want to say that we’re masters of traveling on a budget at NTSA — but we absolutely are. As you start planning your summer, we have some advice about how to make your travel dollars go farther. (Get it?)

1. Book your flights far in advance.

Make sure that you book your flights at least seven weeks out. (So if you’re participating in Session 1, you want to have your flights booked by April 28. If you’re participating in Session 2, you want to have your flights booked by May 20.) Prices will only get higher the longer that you wait. This is one of the reasons why you should start fundraising right now! The moment that you pay your deposit, get on GoFundMe and start creating your crowdfunding campaign. You’re never going to regret starting too early, but you’ll definitely regret starting too late.

2. Search for airports in the surrounding area.

Use Skyscanner to search for the cheapest airfare available. (We use them for everything.) The best flights might not be departing from the most obvious airport. For instance, our staff members usually fly out of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport because it’s the one that’s closest to us. However, sometimes, we can find a much better price leaving from the Rochester Airport (about an hour away) or even the Toronto Pearson International Airport (about two hours away). If you live in a small town, look for bigger “hub” airports in major cities. You can probably convince a friend or family member to give you a ride and help you save some cash in the process.

3. Look at other transportation options.

You might not even need to book a flight. Could your parents drive you to New York? (Parents: There are plenty of discount motels in the area if you need to get some sleep before hitting the road again.) What about Greyhound Buses? What about Amtrak Trains? It might take a lot longer, but it could also save you tons of money.

4. Need to come in the day before?

Are plane tickets way cheaper the day before check-in? Or did you find a train ticket for only $50, but you’d be arriving at 6:30 PM the day before check-in? No problem! Just let us know and, for an additional $40 charge, we can have your dorm room set up and ready to go a day early. You’ll need to email us as far in advance as possible, so that we can make special arrangements with Daemen College. Bonus: You’ll be super well-rested for auditions the following day!

5. You have return options.

If you’re flying out of NYC alone the day after the performance, you have options. Whether it’s having a staff member escort you to the airport on performance night so that you can catch an early morning flight, booking a private supervised hostel room with a group of students who will be leaving the next day (for a fraction of the listed $350 transportation fee), or making overnight arrangements with another NTSA family in the area, we’ll work with you and your family to find an option that's affordable and works!

FINALLY: Remember that while NTSA isn’t a travel agency, we’re more than willing to help you come up with travel options that work for your budget. If you’re stuck on part of your travel planning (these flights are too expensive! the time table doesn’t work!), just email us, and let’s work together to see what we can do! At NTSA, we believe that, as long as you’re flexible and willing to work hard, there’s always a solution for everything. Bon voyage, friends!

Posted on Mar 14, 2018 in Financial Aid  

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