Dear Class of 2019:
The residency interview season brings excitement, anxiety and more often than not, a great deal of expense. From hotels, flights and other travel-related costs, the figures can add up quickly. But with proper planning and budgeting, the interview process doesn’t have to break the bank.
So, what can you do to save money during the residency interview season?
Travel Tips: Lodging
Look into IU School of Medicine Alumni Association’s Help our Students Travel (HOST) program. Through HOST, alumni provide free housing, meals, and/or transportation for fourth-year medical students interviewing in their community. By participating in the HOST Program, not only will you save a couple of bucks, but you will also gain valuable insight into the local community and the residency program. To be matched with an alumnus, you must apply online. Be sure to apply after you have confirmed dates and locations of your residency interviews.
More Lodging Resources
Travel Tips: Flying
If you are flying, choose your airline wisely. Before booking the cheapest flight, check out what the airline charges for add-ons such as checked and carry-on baggage. Investing in a solid carry-on bag will allow you to avoid checked bag fees as well as the baggage carousel and lines. You’ll also want to steer clear of airlines that charge exorbitant change or cancellation fees in case of your interview schedule changes on short notice. Save frequent flyer miles in hopes of getting a free flight or two, especially if you are traveling extensively. Applying for an airline credit card is another way to rack up frequent flyer miles.
Book flights after 3 pm EDT on a Tuesday for the best values. This is generally when airlines readjust their inventory and prices.
Flight price monitoring resources
Travel Tips: Driving
Drive if you can! Try to schedule your interviews by region so you can visit more than one interview on the same trip. Know your driving threshold though, for most people it’s typically six hours or less in one day.
Car Rental Resources
Travel Tips: General Apps and Resources
- Check out com. This website has a database with information to help you find the cheapest ways to travel for residency interviews.
Please share with me any other saving’s tips that I can pass along….and remember, while saving money is important, don’t forget that your ultimate goal is to secure the best residency position for you. Avoid getting so focused on penny-pinching that you sacrifice your ability to make a good impression. Sometimes it makes sense to spend a bit more on a particular interview if the opportunity is exactly what you’re looking for.