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How to save money going home for the Thanksgiving Weekend

Well, Thanksgiving weekend is slowly creeping up on us already! Although you still have some time, if you are planning on going home for the long weekend, it isnít too early to start thinking about how you are going to make your way home and which method is cheaper (especially if you live quite far from Hamilton). There are a lot of different options but of course it is up to you to decide which method you prefer.

1. Megabus
Megabus has stops at Buffalo, Buffalo Airport, Kingston, Kirkland, Montreal, Niagara Falls,
Scarborough, Toronto & Whitby
They actually offer very cheap round trips:
  • Ex. Toronto → Niagara Falls is about $13-15 dollars (one way) and Toronto → Montreal is about $30-45 dollars (one way) depending on your departure time

2. Greyhound
They offer students deals sometimes even offering 50% off the regular price. Example: Toronto → London is $32.40 + taxes (roundtrip)

Check the website to see if they have discounts for your destination
Greyhound also offers the Friends & Family Discount. If you can round up 3 people that live in the same area as you, this is a good idea! 1 person buys for full price and up to the next 3 companions pay only 50% of the applicable fare. Of course this isnít fair to the person paying full price, but if you split the total cost by 4, each person ends up saving a bit of money!

3. Via Rail
Offers the Youth Fare (need to show photo-id with proof of age)
They also have student fares for full-time students however at VIA Rail, the ISIC is the only recognized student ID card that entitles students 18 years or older to student fares. (If you are still 17, all you need is a proof of age)

So, what is the ISIC?
The International Student Identity Card is the only globally recognized student identity document. It offers over 40,000 benefits.

To purchase it, you need a passport-size photo and a document that identifies you and proves your age (ex. Passport, birth certificate or an official identity card issued by official authorities)
It costs no more than $20, and can be purchased at Travel Cuts (the travel store inside the Student Centre)

VIA Rail recommends purchasing the VIA 6 pak which offers savings of up to 50% on the adult regular fare with the purchase of 6 one-way trips (3 roundtrips) in Economy class between 2 pre-determined stations.

If you are someone who likes to wait till the last minute, VIA Rail also offers Express deals on last-minute departures.

4. GO-Transit
Remember that McMaster has its own GO Bus Terminal on campus. Buses travel to Square One, Brampton, Oakville, Burlington, York University and Union Station.

There is also the Hamilton GO Station downtown at which there are buses and trains. The 51 University HSR bus that comes right on campus travels between the GO Station and campus. (Donít forget that your student card also serves as your free HSR bus pass!)

If you are a frequent rider of GO, it is very beneficial to buy a ten-ride ticket. Not only do you save money, but you save time (Iím sure everyone has seen the line at Compass on a Friday afternoon)
Another thing to remember is that a lot of local transit systems connected with GO Train service. If you show the bus driver your ticket, you may be able to pay a discounted fare. (Note Ė this is not applicable at all GO stops so be sure to check your local transit website first)

As you can see, there are many options available to you and a lot of ways to save money. Just take the time to plan out your route, and youíll be able to get home for Thanksgiving with a little extra money in your pocket ☺
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Old 10-02-2010 at 08:49 PM   #2
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you forgot coach canada and that you should get your ticket early becasue the lines at compass will be insane.
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