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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at C Mich chapter.


Traveling provides the most liberating and unique experiences you will ever have. Unfortunately, traveling can also be really expensive, making it difficult for us college students to ever make it off the ground. However, there are some tricks you can use to make traveling a little less taxing on the wallet while still getting the most out of your experience.

First, start by cutting back on what you spend now. If you tend to eat out a lot, try to cook a few more meals at home. If you buy a new shirt every week, try to buy a new shirt every other week. Creating a monthly budget can help you pinpoint exactly where your money is going and areas where you might be able to cut back. The more you can put into savings for later travel, the better!

Second, if you are booking flights, start looking early and use an app like Hopper to help you determine the best time to buy. This app predicts when airline prices will rise and fall so you have a better idea of when you can get the cheapest tickets. If you are flying overseas to Europe, consider flying out from larger airports or even driving over to Toronto. They typically have cheaper flights.

Third, don’t be afraid to book hostels and/or Airbnbs. These are much cheaper (and more eco-friendly!) than hotels. When it comes to these types of stays, make sure to check reviews and the location of the stay to make sure it is safe. Airbnb is typically really good about this, so definitely take the time to read the reviews!

Fourth, stock up on snacks! Granola bars, bagels, trail mix and dried fruit are all good options for snacks on the way. If you are going to be in one spot for a while, it might help to buy a few groceries from the local store and make your own breakfast and/or lunches to help you save a few bucks. If you end up going out and leave with leftovers, save them – they can be used for a meal the next day!

Fifth, try planning your travel for the off-season. Not only are tickets to cities cheaper in the off-season, but you also get the added benefit of fewer crowds in the city you are going to. This may mean the weather won’t be ideal, but it’s likely the city is just as beautiful in the off-season as it is in the in-season!

Sixth, pack lightly. This will save you in checked bag fees and make it easier to carry your luggage around once you’re there.

Finally, if the city is too big to walk everywhere, try renting out a bike or utilizing the public transportation system to help you get around. Uber and Lyft exist in a lot of cities, but using them all the time adds up quickly. Plus, learning to bike around the city or using public transport will give you even better insight into what the city is like.

There are many other little ways you can save on travel, and this article from Hostelworld provides a lot of other tips as well. It’s possible to travel on a budget, it just takes some work. But the work is certainly worth the experiences you gain!

Happy traveling!

Abigail Shepard is a junior at Central Michigan University studying music and psychology. She is the alto saxophone player in Kefi Quartet and the lead alto of CMU's Jazz Lab. She is also treasurer of To Write Love On Her Arms, a mental health advocacy group on campus, and an undergraduate researcher in the Psychology Department. Outside of school, Abigail loves drinking tea, petting cats, and exploring nature.