Halloween for the broke at heart

For most Halloween is a beloved holiday of fun and fright, however those plans can be jaded when your wallet has tumbleweeds. The plight of the college student falls upon all of us but that shouldn’t stop the scare and camaraderie of Halloween.

Of course, the easiest and most obvious is your very own home fright fest, certain remakes excluded. With the innovation of Netflix, Hulu and even videos on Youtube, you could have an entire evening of . On the list is the all-time favorite- Thriller (Michael Jackson). Watching the full length video is like adding another movie to your list of films to watch. If you haven’t ever watched the film in length, it’s a 1980s masterpiece including special effects from the same artist who did Freddy Krueger’s make-up in 1984’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (which is a must watch!). Here is a list of suggested films, let’s start with the classics:

Prom Night

In this film, the most anticipated night of high school takes a turn when childhood friends start dropping like flies after they receive mysterious phone calls. Prom Night falls in the slasher film category; but its twists and turns make it unpredictable (here is where the remakes excluded applies).

Rosemary’s Baby

Adapted from Ira Levin’s novel, the story follows a couple expecting their first child. Rosemary’s husband, a struggling actor, makes a debt that he cannot pay off.

Psycho

One of the films that started the slasher genre, directed by master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Before Michael, Freddy, or Leather-face, there was Norman Bates (loosely based on real-life serial killer Ed Gein). Norman Bates is the mild-mannered mama’s boy who manages the Bates Motel. and his composure unravel when Marion Crane checks into the motel but doesn’t exactly check out.

House of Wax

After a fire in a museum, the only survivor is a disgruntled employee looking for more than back pay.

Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, Beetle Juice, Sleepy Hollow

 You can never go wrong with Tim Burton films ranging from animated classics to more suspenseful thrillers that take a twist on classic literature.

These films are just suggestions to get your list started;  there are tons of films ranging from campy to “must sleep with the light on scary.” If movies get boring after a while, the simplest thing to do with a group of people is Halloween Trivia ranging from history to pop-culture. You could make your own trivia cards from index cards and colorful pens or highlighters. Use the high lighters for different categories and Google as your trivia guide! To get moving you could either turn your house and/or neighborhood into a

 scavenger hunt. Create a list or map with places and/or things to found by each participant. Take a selfie for proof and keep moving. Baltimore is full of places believed to be haunted, gather a round of people to see how many haunted places you can find in one night.
If party games and movies aren’t your thing then of course, you’re never too old for trick or treating!

Budget of Traveling

Thanksgiving isn’t just for turkeys

This Thanksgiving I’ll be in Mexico, away from my family with whom I’ve spent countless wonderful Thanksgivings, in a place where Thanksgiving Day is just a regular day. It won’t be my first holiday away from home, and I didn’t want to be away for Thanksgiving, but school breaks are typically during the holiday season and it’s often the only time to travel. Traveling over the holidays is always bittersweet. I’m going to miss reminiscing and toasting with mimosas in the morning while peeling potatoes with my mom and sister and drinking a beer with my dad and brother outside by the turkey fryer. I’ll miss seeing relatives that I don’t often see, and of course I’ll miss the delicious food. On the other hand, I’ll be with one of my best friends in seventy-degree weather making new memories and reliving the old ones we’ve shared.  I will be thankful that I’ve spent so many lovely holidays with my family, and that I am able to spend this Thanksgiving with my amazing travel buddy.

When considering booking a trip over the holidays there are a few more things to think about before making definitive plans. The first is: whatever the holiday may be, will it upset you to be away from family? The first holiday I spent away from home I was with family. Although all the traditions weren’t there, the people I loved were, and that made it feel like home. As kids grew up and people passed away, the holidays and our traditions have changed. It gradually became easier to be away for the holidays. Assess your priorities—is it more important to have extra time on your travels or to be home with your family? If it is important to be with family, another option is to celebrate a different day. My family and I always pick a day to designate as our holiday celebration with everyone together if one of us is gone for the real holiday. This is very personal and only you can decide for yourself.

Once you’ve decided you’re willing to be away from home, the next thing to consider is budget. Traveling over the holidays is often more expensive than at any other time due to the fact that it is a popular time to travel. Unfortunately I’ve learned that, when it comes to flights, it doesn’t make much of difference if you’re traveling to a place where your holiday isn’t a common holiday, or isn’t a holiday at all. With your possible destinations in mind, find out how much more the plane ticket will cost rather than traveling at another time. It is important to look at different dates, as traveling on the actual holiday is often cheaper than traveling on the days leading up to it.

Accommodation may or may not be more expensive, depending on the destination. Hotel prices within the US rise during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not necessarily in other countries, depending on local customs. In addition, it’s always smart to be aware of local holidays that could cause prices to rise, street closures, or accommodations to be unavailable.

There are other things to consider especially when traveling near a holiday. If possible, fly early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid long check-in and security lines that form at peak travel times. Try to avoid layovers in locations prone to bad winter weather. There’s nothing more depressing than spending a holiday in a hotel alone when you planned to be on vacation.

I hope my column has inspired some of you to take full advantage of your winter break by traveling somewhere, be it far or near. I’m preparing to set off to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, on my first extensive solo trip. I can’t wait to share all of my adventures with you!