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Peacemaking on a Budget:

Summer Conference Travel Tips

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October 1, 2012

Peacemaking on a Budget:

In 2012, the BPFNA spent a wonderful week on the beautiful campus of St. Olaf in Northfield, MN. The week focused on community and how to build sustainable communities that enable us to act for peace rooted in justice.

Times are hard, and travel gets expensive real quick! We are all very much aware of this! One of the blessings of our Peace Camp is the opportunity to see new places across North America: from Utah to Rhode Island, Montreal to Minnesota! Many of us enjoyed the beauty of St. Olaf’s campus in Minnesota this summer. In 2013, our next Peace Camp adventure takes us to beautiful Spokane, WA. We know for many of us, travel expenses can be a hardship. So we’d like to share some tips for traveling on the cheap to see as many people join us as possible.  Let’s start thinking about how to make it to Spokane in 2013:

Book early: Now is the time to start shopping for fares. 

Shop around: Visit discount travel websites (a simple Google search will yield an abundance of options).

Sign up for alerts: Many travel websites offer price updates. You will receive an email alert anytime the price drops for flights. Sign up! Make sure it doesn’t go to your junk folder, and get ready to save some money!

Consider cards: Many credit card companies offer different plans that allow you to accrue miles with various airlines. Shop around, and see if one of these might help get you to Summer Conference for years to come!

Acquire frequent flyer miles: If you have one preferred airline, join their frequent flyer program to accrue miles with them. You can also see if any friends or family would be willing to donate any transferable miles that are about to expire! 

Increase you flexibility: Many people use Peace Camp as an opportunity for family vacation. If this is your plan, consider searching for travel arrangements with open dates. You may find it can save you some money!

Ask about companion tickets: Some airline credit cards also offer companion tickets. The card holder buys a regular ticket and then gets two extra tickets for a greatly reduced fare.  This can be a great deal for families or friends traveling together.

Consider neighboring airports: This can make a significant difference in pricing within driving distance from you.

Ask for a refund: If you see that prices have dropped since you purchased your ticket, many airlines will give you a refund.

Planes, trains and automobiles: Consider taking the train, or breaking up your trip and mixing modes of transportation. Get creative as you look for options!

When buying online, be sure to read the fine print. You may save a buck or two by choosing a non-refundable ticket but be aware when they say non-refundable, they mean it. Even if it is a completely valid reason such as illness or a missed connection. Buyer beware! Also consider a few extra dollars for travelers’ insurance. 

Finally, please consider contributing to scholarships if you have the means to help others make it to Peace Camp.  Every little bit helps as we work together to make it a blessing to all!

Have other tips? Do you have any ideas for fundraising? Share in comments, and get a discussion going!

See you in Spokane,

Thea L. Mateu Zayas
Summer Conference Director

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