Useful Tips on How to Travel on a College Student Budget
Travelling is a wonderful and very useful activity. In addition to gaining new experiences and positive emotions, it helps to obtain valuable knowledge and a lot of essential skills, which makes it a powerful educational tool. However, it may seem quite challenging to travel while studying at the college or university, considering the burden of school obligations and the constrained budget students normally have.
Unfortunately, many professors do not consider travelling to have any educational value. Instead, they rather see it as a major distraction, indolence, and a waste of time. Nevertheless, it really can teach a lot of things. Apart from gaining new knowledge about other countries, people, cultures, and economies, this activity can teach valuable skills of communication, collaboration, planning, analytical thinking, self-reliance, and even financial management. Here are some useful tips on how to travel on a college budget that will teach you to manage your finances.
Open a Savings Account
The best way to get some funds for your dream journey is saving. Open a savings account and put a certain sum of money into it every month. Make it a regular payment like a bill. It is good to get such an additional account from the very first days in college. Even if you are not planning to go anywhere right now, it will be an awesome asset the moment you finally decide to get under way. Moreover, even if you cannot set aside more than $10 or $20, you’ll have quite a considerable amount in a year already.
Plan ahead and Be Flexible
Last-minute decisions are usually much more costly. Tus, it is wise to start planning your trip ahead. This way, you can secure more favorable transportation and accommodation offerings and also book them cheaper. Be flexible with the places to stay at as well as the dates of the trip. A slight day or two shift can save you a considerable sum of money for other, more important experiences.
Choose Cheap Destinations
If your dream to see the world is not fixed to some particular place and you just want to travel anywhere but do not know where to start, look for more budget-friendly destinations. It is not a secret that some locations in the world are much cheaper than the luxury and popular resorts. Search the web and compare the prices. It’s not only about the flight tickets and hotel rooms but also about the local prices for food, tours, souvenirs, transport, etc.
It is good if you chance to have a friend or some online buddy who lives in another country. You may start your round-the-world voyage with a friendly visit to this place. In such a case, you get numerous benefits. In addition to seeing and spending time with your friend, you save considerably on housing, food, and a touring guide.
Travel during the Off-Season
It is not a secret that everything in the tourist industry gets more expensive during the major tourist’s months. In addition, the prices are also higher on holidays and weekends. Thus, consider taking a trip during the off-season.
Hunt for Discounts
Of course it will take a big deal of time and efforts, but if you spend a day or two researching, you are sure to find some flash deals, low-costs, discounts, sales, promo codes offerings, and credit-card rewards. The slightest opportunity of getting some of these is a wonderful way of saving the money and getting more experiences from your trip.
By avoiding overweight suitcases and opting for a carry-on only, you can save considerably on checking your luggage. Thus, consider taking only the most necessary things that can fit into your backpack. In addition to saving money, it will also bring you a couple of extra benefits. Firstly, you will avoid the trouble of carrying all those bags around. Secondly, you get more flexibility in terms of local transportation (like a bus instead of a taxi). Finally, you save extra on souvenirs since there is no room for them in your backpack…
Travel in a Company
Apart from being much more fun, your trip may also be much cheaper if you travel in a company. Firstly, travel deals are mostly based on double occupancy, meaning that you definitely overpay if you get under way on your own. Secondly, you can share the expenses for a private housing or a hostel, gas bills, and eating out.
However, it is important to make sure that your companion (or companions) shares the same travel priorities, including spending habits, destinations, transport, past-time, safety, etc., to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and conflicts on the road.
Look for Cheaper Housing
Of course, the best option is to visit a friend living in another country and stay at their place for free. Nevertheless, even if you do not have anyone to stay at, it is still very possible to save on accommodation. Youth hostels are definitely cheaper than hotels and are very popular with students. However, some safety measures will need to be observed. Besides, there are other options of getting cheaper accommodation including house-sharing services like Airbnb, Couchsurfing, and the like.
Save on Transportation
To start with, you can opt for cheaper airlines or even choose another mode of transport like a train, a bus, or a car. But of course, it all depends on your destination. While in a foreign country, the choice of transportation can also save you a lot. No need to mention that going everywhere on taxi will deplete your travel budget really soon. Car renting services are also pretty costly; hence, it is better to avoid them. The cheapest way of moving around a foreign city and even country is public transport. Renting a bike will also cost less than a car. Still, walking around is not only free, but also healthier and more educative since you can see much more this way.
Forget about the Excesses and Look for Free Options
Of course, a holiday is the chance to enjoy yourself. However, you do not want to go broke even before you get back home, do you? Thus, it is better to avoid overly expensive experiences and activities. Here are some tricks on how to save on little things:
- Cook for yourself instead of going out every day and night
- Visit small local diners instead of big restaurants
- Walk around the city exploring its streets and buildings instead of taking tour guides
- Find budget-friendly activities
- Visit free museums and free beaches
- Walk instead of taking taxis
Stay on Wi-Fi
Roaming is really expensive in any country of the world, irrespective of the phone provider. Stay on Wi-Fi in the hotel or facilities you visit. On the other hand, it is a perfect opportunity to get some rest from the studies, social media, and the Internet at large.
Consider Student Travel Options
A perfect solution is to combine studies and travelling. There are numerous study abroad initiatives that can be available in a college or university, including exchange programs, student conferences in other countries, and special courses and units abroad learners may participate in. Very often they may be partially or even fully funded by your school or the government, which makes it a perfect option for your student budget. Secondly, you may fulfil your dream without taking a break in the studies.
Get a Job
Finally, to strengthen your college student budget, you may get a side job and put the earnings from it into the savings account you have already opened after reading the first tip of this article. You can do anything on campus from working in the cafeteria to the gym, library, or any other facility or assist in the office of a local company. Any job provides valuable additional savings for your dream.
There are a lot of freelance jobs that you can do distantly even while travelling, securing the constant flow of money while you are on the road. You can do some programming, manage websites, or offer your term paper writing help, for example. Just make a small research, and you’ll find loads of offerings.
Work in the Country of Your Destination
Another good opportunity to earn some money during the trip, especially if you are planning a longer stay, is getting a part-time job in the country of your destination. In addition to the opportunity to earn and save some, you get a chance to get acquainted with the local culture much closer, which is always a perfect experience and an extra plus to your resume. If you join a community like WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) or Workaway, you’ll be able to secure a placement in any part of the world absolutely legally and safely, without the risk of getting in some fraud with the employers in a foreign land. Mind that at WWOOF, they offer volunteering options, which means that you will not get paid for the work you do. However, you get free accommodation and access to other jobs.
Travel on a Student Budget
The world is open for anyone, and you can go wherever you like, especially now, while you are still young, energetic, and full of hopes. There is no need to refuse from your dream or postpone it for the later since it is quite possible to travel even on your constrained college student budget. We hope our tips will be of use and will help to fulfil one more dream.