Most college students have to stretch their budget as far as possible, so traveling might seem out of the question. While it’s true that seeing the world can get pricey, there are some great ways to travel on a college budget, without having to sacrifice too much elsewhere. College is a great time to travel because you don’t have the full-time obligations of a job or a family to take care of. If you want to see more of what’s around you, use these handy tips.
Travel in the Off Season
The best way to save money on travel is to go in the off season. That means planning your trip sometime that isn’t spring break or the holidays. By going on your trip during the off season, you can save a bundle on flights, hotels and attractions. Travel in the winter or early spring for the best savings. Besides being cheaper, you’ll find that traveling in the off season means fewer tourists so things won’t be as crowded.
Bring a Friend
Instead of going on vacation alone, consider bringing a roommate. That can save you money on lodgings because the two of you can split the cost. You can also take advantage of buy one, get one deals, allowing you to split one cost and save money for both of you. On top of that, traveling with a friend is enjoyable and gives you a chance to bond with each other.
Eat in the Supermarket
It’s no secret that eating out can cost a lot. If you shop for your meals at the grocery store, you can save quite a bit of money on food costs while you travel. Buying a few items for a picnic is much less expensive than a meal in a restaurant. Shopping at the supermarket is also a great way to sample the local cuisine.
Look for Free Tours
Most cities offer plenty of free tours, including at museums, art galleries and other attractions. By spending some of your time doing things that don’t cost any money, you can save some dollars for other things. If travel seems out of the question while you’re in college, it makes sense to see the world for free whenever you can. You can often bundle a few tours with your hotel, which is another way to save money and still get to see the sights.
Use Public Transportation
You can quickly go broke by spending money on cabs to get you from place to place. Save yourself a bunch of money by using public transport. Most large cities have public buses or a subway system that is a fraction of the cost of calling for a taxi or Uber ride. Familiarize yourself with the options before you arrive so that you aren’t overwhelmed. If you plan to see several countries on your trip, consider taking a train between them, which is usually much cheaper than other methods of transportation.
Stay in a Hostel
Hostels are set up for college students and you can save a whole lot of money staying there instead of booking a hotel room. You may have to share with other students, but it’s a great way to meet new people and the cost savings could be enough that you can make a trip fit in your college student budget. If you travel in the off season, you might find that hostels are empty and you’ll have the place to yourself.
Study Abroad or Do a Service Trip
Most colleges and universities offer study abroad opportunities. This allows you to work on your degree program and see the world at the same time. Typically, you’ll spend a semester in another country, allowing you to travel without having to spend a lot of money or take a break from your education. Service trips are another way to save money on travel. This type of trip involves doing some type of volunteer work in exchange for room and board. Internships are another way to see the world without going broke.
While you probably won’t be staying in five-star hotels and eating all the finest foods, you can make a trip here and there fit with your college budget. The trick is to book early so you can take advantage of savings. You must plan your trip well so you don’t find yourself stuck in a foreign country without any money. That means booking a room beforehand, planning which tours and attractions you’ll see and where you’ll shop and how you’ll get around. It’s not out of the question to travel on a college student’s budget, but you won’t be able to make the trip spontaneously. It’s still going to be fun though, so get started planning your trip today.