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When do students leave and return for Thanksgiving break?

SMMboysSMMboys Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2013 in Vanderbilt University
In planning airfare to the west coast, I am wondering when my student would want to leave and return for Thanksgiving. Do most freshmen students leave on Saturday before Thanksgiving, or Sunday? Do most return on Friday, Saturday or Sunday? We have no idea when would be best.

How many out of state students stay on campus for fall break? Not really enough time to get back and forth from our area.

Also, what about Christmas break?

Thank you.
Post edited by SMMboys on
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Replies to: When do students leave and return for Thanksgiving break?

  • Go9ersjrhGo9ersjrh Posts: 303Registered User Member
    We are evaluating the same situation. We met with the marching band director last week. The band will be at the Tennessee game on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and he needs to return the Friday after Thanksgiving for the Missouri game at Vanderbilt. We are thinking of having Thanksgiving with him in the south and going to both football games. We don't think we can get him back and forth to California for the Thanksgiving break. I'm waiting to see what his class schedule looks like. Depending on his schedule we may fly him home for fall break instead of Thanksgiving due to his band commitments.
  • LBowieLBowie Posts: 977Registered User Member
    They close the dorms for Thanksgiving, so unless your child has a local friend to stay with, staying on campus is not an option. This year they closed them initially at 9 am Saturday - you had to be out, but at the last minute they extended that to later in the day. I also think you need to wait and find out what your child's schedule is, like when is their last class of the week, etc. It's possible they could leave Thursday night or something.
  • LHSCaryLHSCary Posts: 160Registered User Junior Member
    LBowie is correct, a lot of students are able to leave at least on Friday, which this year will be Nov. 22 so your student could have 9 nights at home before returning on Sunday, Dec. 1st. (Of course this doesn't work for kids on the athletic teams or like Go9ersjrh's child who are in the band.) This year with the Wake Forest football game at home on Nov.30, I imagine Coach Franklin will succeed in persuading the university to open the dorms early for students to come back to cheer at the game.
    Christmas break is a little different in that it will vary for each student depending upon final exam schedule (which the school posts very early in the semester, just make sure your student doesn't change/drop/add classes after you make a reservation) and return times in January will depend upon whether you have a daughter who wants to go thru sorority rush. Think dorms will be open Friday Jan 3, 2014 so that girls can go through rush but anyone can get back in at that date.

    Speaking of flying in/out of N'ville--the Student Government runs a shuttle to the airport near holidays but only during VERY limited time spans which have never worked for my daughter so she now relies on In-Shuttle for a reasonable rate and can easily be reserved online. Some kids coordinate sharing taxis to the airport.
  • PancakedPancaked Posts: 2,942Registered User Senior Member
    Most students leave Fri/Sat, return Sat/Sun. Only thing to keep in mind is there is no meal plan available on campus during Thanksgiving week, so returning early (Friday, early Sat) may be a little inconvenient for the student. But otherwise it doesn't really matter.

    Fair number of people stay on campus for Fall Break. It's such a short holiday.
  • SMMboysSMMboys Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
    How about Christmas. We are using skymiles reward tickets, so we don't want to wait for finals schedules. Would you go home Friday night or Saturday morning?
  • LBowieLBowie Posts: 977Registered User Member
    If that is the case, I think you should just call Vanderbilt to find out when they plan to close/open the dorms for each break, because that will probably dictate what is the latest time your student could leave and the earliest s/he can return. I know there was one break (fall? spring?) my son could not leave on the Friday because he had class until about 5pm, and by the time he would get to the airport, there were no more evening flights out to our city, so he stayed until Saturday morning.

    2013-2014 Academic Calendar | Office of the University Registrar | Vanderbilt University
  • PancakedPancaked Posts: 2,942Registered User Senior Member
    Its totally up to the kid? There's no general rule for preferring one day over the other...
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,528Super Moderator Senior Member
    Speaking of flying in/out of N'ville--the Student Government runs a shuttle to the airport near holidays but only during VERY limited time spans which have never worked for my daughter so she now relies on In-Shuttle for a reasonable rate and can easily be reserved online. Some kids coordinate sharing taxis to the airport.
    *****
    My D took the student government shuttle once & found it to be way too crowded. The other times, she walked over to the Lowes Hotel to take the Gray Line shuttle (Airport Express ? Services ? Gray Line). It was reliable and inexpensive. Once she moved off campus, she was on the other side of campus (behind the Commons). Instead of walking across campus, she preferred to use a shuttle service. I can't remember which she used, but it may have been In-Shuttle.
  • SMMboysSMMboys Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
    We went ahead with the frequent flyer skymiles tickets for Thanksgiving, leaving Friday evening 11/22 and returning Saturday evening 11/30 (hope they open the dorms because of the football game) and for Christmas, leaving Saturday 12/14 evening and returning Friday afternoon 1/3. The tickets were disappearing in front of our eyes so we felt like we should take advantage of the availability. Hope the dates are all good. Son may have to hang out in the dorms a day or two extra.

    Thank you for the shuttle info, kelsmom. I am going to bookmark those sites now.
  • dtotheustin09dtotheustin09 Posts: 248Registered User Junior Member
    When I was in school you could request dorm access before holidays if you were going to be staying after they "closed" the dorms. I did it once or twice if I was leaving a day late or coming back a day early.

    I'm pretty surprised that flights are filling up already. I fly several times a month and generally book my flights less than two weeks in advance with no problem.
  • fdgjfgfdgjfg Posts: 109Registered User Junior Member
    You can let housing know that you will be staying for a certain amount of time over break through a quick online form.

    I have done this for thanksgiving and spring break, when I came to the dorms before they were supposed to open. The dining hall is closed though, so other meals have to be found.
  • lenny2lenny2 Posts: 470Registered User Member
    You may end up needing to change that Christmas ticket. Most students head home as soon as their exams are over, which could be early in the week. If Southwest flies to your area, you should always try to use that because you can change flights (or even cancel them) without penalty.
  • SMMboysSMMboys Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
    We may have jumped the gun, but hopefully it will work out. The frequent flyer tickets to our small town were the tickets disappearing (or going up in miles needed) quickly. We are 3 1/2 hours to the nearest large airport, and no southwest airlines to us.
  • Go9ersjrhGo9ersjrh Posts: 303Registered User Member
    SMMboys - Are you any where near San Luis Obispo? Your travel situation sounds the same as ours. We're 3 1/2 hours to the nearest large airport (LAX) and Southwest doesn't fly into any of our "local" (within 2 hours) airports.

    I've been looking at flying our son out of Santa Barbara since there are flights with only one connection. Everything else seems to have 2 connections or a drive to LAX.

    I'm holding off on the flights until I see his class schedule. There are few options son I want to try to pick the best, but not wait too long so the airfares are sky high.
  • SMMboysSMMboys Posts: 30Registered User Junior Member
    I wish we were there. We are in a small town in WA state. Any flight close to us is expensive (especially holidays), so frequent flyer tickets are the way to go when we can get them. Or a long drive to Seattle, which doesn't save much when considering two round trips to the airport for one person.
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