You’ve devoted what feels like your entire life to law school and intense studying for the most grueling exam ever created: The Bar Exam.
Now that you’ve taken it, you have about two months to wait for the results. Besides taking a very long nap and responsibly networking, it’s common for almost-lawyers to pass the time and reward themselves with a bar trip.
A bar trip may sound just as fanciful as it sounds necessary—you deserve to relax and have some fun after working so hard for so long, but…how? Who has the money to go on a trip after paying for law school and not yet being employed and earning the impressive salary you’re sure to command? Unless your parents are loaded and generous, it’s going to be difficult—but not impossible. You can have a ton of fun even if you don’t have a ton of cash.
Consider a bar trip part of the cost of law school. You’ve earned it and it may be the last vacation opportunity you have for a while, so don’t waste time feeling guilty about it or fretting over whether you’re “deserving enough.” You have a trip to plan!
Apps That Can Help
There’s no reason to pay full price for much of your trip, and there are several apps that can help you with that goal.
You probably know about Groupon deals on restaurants and activities like escape rooms, but did you know about the substantial discounts you can receive on travel? You will find plenty of roundtrip deals, some including hotels—and some of those including all-inclusive meals—for both local and international locations. You’ll find 4-night trips, week-long trips, beach trips, casino trips, outdoorsy trips, every kind of trip! But most importantly, you’ll find affordable trips.
Skiplagged is especially dedicated to finding ridiculously cheap flights, both locally and internationally, but they also find cheap hotels. On this app, you’ll often find flights that are less than $100 one way.
Trip Advisor https://www.tripadvisor.com/
Trip Advisor has been around for a long time, so they have a treasure trove of information and the experience to back it up. They help you find the lowest prices on airfare, accommodations, and attractions, and the app also allows you to download maps and share itineraries with friends.
Make Money-Saving Choices
You can use an app to help you book cheap airfare and accommodations, but there are other details of your trip you can control to keep costs down.
Destination. This may be obvious, but where you travel to makes the most difference. You have to weigh what’s most important to you: Going someplace as far away as possible and seeing exotic sights, or just getting away and relaxing? Staying in the U.S. and visiting state parks and museums for free (or practically free) is one way to keep costs down. If leaving the country is a must, pick a neighboring country, like Mexico or Canada, and you’ll be sure to find a cheap flight. If you can afford to spend a bit more on a flight to a destination that is known for low-cost lodgings and grub, Thailand or Nicaragua might be perfect for you.
Don’t Fly. This is an obvious one, but who doesn’t love a road trip? If you don’t mind a few hours of over-land travel but aren’t thrilled about doing the driving yourself, an old-fashioned train trip might be a great idea. You probably haven’t read an entire novel since you began law school, so take this opportunity to catch up on the latest Stephen King (there’s always a latest Stephen King), a light romance novel, or an engrossing thriller.
Get a Group Together. Chances are, you know other almost-lawyers who want to get away, as well as a few friends who are always down to travel. Splitting accommodations between five people will be much more affordable than splitting it between just two.
Use AirBnB. Using AirBnB allows you to stay in a beautiful, well-kept home for a fraction of the cost of most decent hotels. You’ll also save money by buying groceries and cooking a few meals yourself—think about making breakfast a couple of days and dinner using local ingredients one night.
There is no reason to sit around anxiously worrying about your exam results when you can take some time to relax and have fun. Be smart about planning and keep a handle on your spending, and you’ll have no regrets; you’re sure to fondly remember your bar trip for years.