Life as a student can be really tough sometimes. We all have moments when we’re struggling to complete our school assignments but to no avail. Our mind and body need nothing but an escape from the work overload and stress, at least for the weekend.
As a student, you’ve got lots of holidays and can take advantage of the discounts available due to your status. You might never have as much time and opportunities to travel as you do when you’re in college. The biggest problem, however, is money.
I don’t see why not quench the thirst for adventure. There are many ways to make trips more affordable and to do just that here are 5 tips on how to travel on a student budget.
Be a traveler, not a tourist.
The major difference between a traveler and a tourist is how much money they spend. Tourists go on tours and excursions, buying fancy gifts for their family and friends.
Be smart by visiting places at the right times. Many museums offer free admission days and hours.
Avoid buying souvenirs for everybody! More knick-knacks in your bags mean more weight, which means more fees for your luggage. Besides, street sellers and tourist stores often target foreign language speakers and overprice their goods.
Having meals at tourist spots is expensive. Eat like a local. Walk a few blocks away from where most tourists go and you’ll find cafes and restaurants that offer tasty local food at reasonable prices.
It is important not to get lost in the excitement of things and make sure you also keep up with your academic studies while exploring the world. Sometimes we all need a little essay help and companies like EssayPro do just that. Whether you are on the road or simply overburdened by the amount of work that built up while you were away, there are always options to make sure your grades don’t get impacted by traveling.
Be smart about flights.
One thing we all forget sometimes is to avoid airports during the holiday travel season. This is the time of endless ques, hassles booking flights and obviously higher costs. It is recommended to plan trips during the “shoulder season”, which is before or after these dates. Airlines and hotels cut down their prices in the off-season to attract tourists. So, you have huge chances to get really cheap deals.
Book your tickets in advance, especially the return ticket. You don’t want to find yourself running out of money in a foreign country without a guaranteed ticket home, do you?
You can get a killer deal with Secret Flying, The Flight Deal, or Skyscanner. They’re great tools for spotting the cheapest flights from any airport.
While visiting Italy or Spain may be your cherished dream, the reality is that such trips are too expensive for most college students. Fortunately, there are many budget-friendly travel locations out there. These are the countries located in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Central America.
Though these places may not be at the top of your list, they offer great options. You can spend your vacations at an exotic location while having a tight budget.
Nowadays, its a lot easier than you’d think just start with a quick search online to help you make a choice. Always ask around to see which locations your friends have tried out themselves, visit travel forums, check tourist information centers, or look through official city websites. You’ll find there are actually a number of ways to optimize your trip to a particular destination.
One of the most important things is being aware of the local climate and packing properly. It’s better to bring everything you need with you than buy it while you’re away. For example, you’ll definitely need a waterproof jacket or an umbrella when heading to London.
Hotel costs can be astronomical. When it comes to the cheapest accommodations, hostels might be what you are looking for then. The largest benefit of that is making new friends there.
If you want to get an authentic snapshot of real life in the city, use Airbnb. Just book a spare room in a local person’s apartment or house. You’ll reduce your living expense by half. Moreover, your host may be your personal tour guide and advise the best eateries and tourist spots in that place. If you go the Airbnb route, make sure to read ratings and reviews before choosing a room.
You could stay with relatives or friends. Connect with people you know or plan a trip to a city where a long-lost cousin or a school friend now lives. You’ll get their support, advice and free accommodation!
Search for a volunteer program.
A much cheaper way to visit Europe or the rest of the world is to volunteer through Workaway. It’s an organization that connects travelers with individuals, families, and organizations worldwide who will provide bed and board as compensation for some sort of voluntary work.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Sign up (29$/year).
Step 2: Explore volunteer opportunities. They range from ranch work in Canada to winemaking in Italy.
Step 3: Contact hosts. They don’t always respond fast, so apply ahead of time! Many hosts are flexible about the time of staying with them. In some cases, you’ll even be offered payment!
I hope this helps put things into perspective and explains why your college years are a good time to travel. The cost of such trips isn’t directly proportional to the experience gained or the new people you will meet.