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Feet in a hammock on a beach

Not sure whether you can attend APA's 2004 Annual Convention in Honolulu on a graduate student's budget? There's still time to find reasonably priced travel fares-but book now for maximum savings. Here's the scoop on how to avoid a costly convention.


REGISTRATION

Members of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) can pre-register for convention for $60 before June 21; on-site registration is $70. Students who are not APAGS members can register for $85 in advance and $95 on-site.

Check with your university, student organizations and APA divisions for travel stipends. Also consider volunteering as a means to defray costs: For example, Division 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women) provides its volunteers with discounted accommodations in its suite, and APA's continuing education and convention offices waive registration fees for their volunteers. Consider serving as an APAGS convention ambassador. 


HOTELS

Attendees can save if they book rooms by July 6 at APA's headquarter hotels-the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa and the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel-or other convention-affiliated hotels. To reserve a room, contact APA's housing service, ITS, at (800) 974-9833. 

Students on a shoestring budget can scope out low-cost housing alternatives through APA. For example, the Ohana Maile Sky Court Hotel costs just $78 a night and includes kitchenettes so students can save on eating expenses. Several hostels, like the Hokondo Waikiki Beachside Hostel (www.hokondo.com), cost less than $20 per night and are within two miles of the convention center. For more housing and tourism resources, visit www.hawaiihostels.com or www.gohawaii.com.


TRANSPORTATION

Three rental car companies offer convention attendees discounted rates:

But your best bet for budget transportation is Honolulu's public transit system, The Bus. Routes 19 and 20 travel between the airport and downtown for just $1.75 one-way, while a four-day, unlimited-use pass costs $20. For more information, call (808) 848-4500 or visit www.thebus.org.


AIRFARE

United Airlines and Delta Airlines are the convention's official air carriers. United and United Express offer convention attendees 5% off published fares or 10% off unrestricted midweek coach fares; Delta offers 5% off the lowest published fare or 10% off coach fares. To make a reservation, call United at (800) 521-4041 and reference meeting ID number 597BD. For Delta, call (800) 241-6760 and refer to number 200704A.

Many Internet travel sites such as Orbitz, Hotwire, Travelocity and Expedia offer fare deals, as do sites that cater to last-minute planners, such as site59.com or lastminutetravel.com. If you dig for online deals, don't forget to check a specific airline's site, too: Sometimes you can trim a few dollars off the price by buying straight from the carrier. Also, check your airport's Web site to determine what discount airlines depart from your city.

-M. GREER