10 Ways to Travel on a College Budget
You might think that travel is an unattainable goal while you’re at college but there are ways you can do it: It’s not easy but travel is such a fabulous escape from academia that it is well worth making the effort to afford a trip or two.
Consider a Tour
There are a variety of travel tour groups that will escort you around the world, often at a big savings. The reason? Because you pay upfront for airfare, hotels and much of your food. You can save a lot of cash by bundling this way and can see the world with a group of people who are also in college.
This is a great way to keep up with your college courses and also get to spend time in other countries. The cost of most travel abroad programs is similar to what you’d pay in room and board at any major university and it allows you to spend a few months exploring other parts of the world.
Stay in Hostels
A large portion of your travel expenses could be dedicated to hotel rooms, but there are hostels everywhere that cater to college students. They allow you to stay for a small fraction of the price of a typical hotel. The catch is that you are often staying in large rooms with other college students. If you can get past that, you can save a bundle.
Look for Free Activities
Just because you are technically a tourist doesn’t mean you have to act like one. Don’t waste all of your money on seeing every museum and attraction. Look for free walking tours, festivals and monuments that you can visit without spending a dime.
Be a Volunteer
If you volunteer for a program abroad, room and board is often included in exchange for your work. Typically, you’ll stay with a host family so you won’t have to spend anything on a hotel and meals are often included as long as you’re at their home.
No matter where you go, eating out is always more costly than going to the supermarket. Instead of eating all of your meals in a restaurant, consider picking up ready to eat meals at a grocery store instead.
Use Public Transportation
It’s easy to overspend if you’re taking cabs everywhere you go. Save your money by taking the bus or train from place to place. You might also consider walking or biking some of the time, which is free and lets you see more of the city you’re visiting.
Check for Student Discounts
There are places all over the world that offer a lower price if you’re a college student. Check into this before leaving and make sure you get the student discount when you get there. This applies for all kinds of attractions and tours so take advantage of it.
Travel in the Off Season
If you can manage it, plan your trip in the off season. Not only will transportation be cheaper, but many of the attractions will also be less costly. As an added bonus, things will be less crowded.
Look for an Internship
There are many paid and unpaid internship opportunities available to college students. If you participate, you can often get grant money to help with expenses while you’re there. This is a great way to travel and build your resume while in college.
Traveling in college takes a bit of dedication, but you will never regret getting out there and seeing as much of the world as possible while you’re still young. Planning and preparation goes a long way toward sticking to your budget.