How do you travel in college when you have no money?
It seems like as soon as we become students, we all get obsessed with travel in college. With travel vloggers and travel Instagram accounts going wild, the FOMO is real. And they make it seem so easy, too! Like you can just walk out your front door, step onto a plane, and be in Greece in the blink of an eye.
But actually figuring out how to travel in college when you’re on a student budget can be difficult. Travel in college, although difficult, isn’t impossible! And it can be done in a financially responsible way, too.
So here are 7 ways you can travel on a student budget without adding to the debt!
1. Choose where you travel based on your budget
Whether you’re travelling for spring break or as a graduation trip, think about your location carefully. Instead of deciding “I want to travel to Italy,” figure out what you can realistically afford. Travelling to Italy might be a ton of fun, but going somewhere like Ecuador may be more budget-friendly and would still be an amazing experience where you get to explore a new continent and learn a new culture.
2. Travel with friends
If you’re going to travel in college, you’ve got to think about where to cut corners. An easy way to cut down on travel cost is to travel with friends. Splitting a 2-bedroom Airbnb with 4 people is a heck of a lot cheaper than getting a one-bedroom place for yourself!
As well, food costs go down if you’re splitting among many people. If you’re willing to cook 2 meals a day, it’s easier to do so on a budget with more people since you’re less likely to waste food.
3. Teach Overseas
This one’s a double-whammy, because not only do you get to travel in college, you also get an amazing resume-booster. If you’re interested in not only seeing new places, but really investing in getting to know the people who live there, this can be a life-changing experience. My husband’s family has a good friend who left to teach English in Japan around 7 years and just never came back—he fell in love with it!
The great thing is that many organizations that hire people to teach English abroad have summer programs specifically for college students. So look around for those opportunities and for certification courses in your area—or check out these websites to see if they are looking for teachers: Global Work & Travel, International TEFL Academy, Geovisions.
4. Get out into nature
Travelling doesn’t need to mean flights overseas and staying in villas in some tropical location. You can travel right where you are—simply by leaving your apartment and exploring the great outdoors. Grab a tent, a cooler, and some basic camping tools and head off to the nearest national park with some friends. Picture waking up to the sound of birds and the sun peeking into your tent, chopping up some fruit salad for breakfast and then grabbing some snacks and hitting a trail as you watch the sun rise over a mountainside. It’s pretty damn picturesque, and for less than $40 a night. If you’re working on budgeting in college, this may be a great option for you.
5. Look into exchange programs
If you want to travel but don’t have the time because of school or jobs, look into exchange programs. You’re going to be doing school just like always, but just in a different country. If you’re looking to really immerse yourself into another country’s culture and way of life, this is an amazing opportunity for you. Universities all over the world take exchange students—you could be studying in Paris or Berlin a year from now!
6. Be willing to leave last minute
Many airlines, airbnbs, resorts, and hostels will have “last-minute specials” where they’re just trying to fill seats and rooms instead of taking a loss. That all-expenses trip to the Dominican could be half-price for you if you’re willing to book last-minute. You have some risk while using this method, obviously—but if you’re in a position where you have a flexible job or have a few months off before a job begins, why not just check out the deals every few days until an amazing one pops up?
7. Save up for it all year
This is the unpopular option, but the most reliable one. If travelling is a priority, make it a priority all year. Go out for dinner less, don’t grab a drink with the girls after class. Make your own coffee instead of buying a Starbucks every morning. Then take every dollar you saved and put it in your travel fund. By doing this, you can save enough for a nice trip every two to three years.
Where is somewhere you would love to travel? Are you planning any big graduation trips? Let’s chat in the comments!
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