I get it – we’re students, we have no money, and still all we want to do is travel. I always get asked how I make the money to travel while still in school, and the simple answer is traveling doesn’t have to be expensive; learn how make your dollar stretch and you can do it too. As students we spend the better part of our year stuck in a cold classroom or a stuffy library. We’re eating out of a vending machine and drinking heinous amounts of coffee. We tell ourselves it will all be worth it once it’s all done, so we suffer through it all for that piece of paper called a diploma which is apparently the key to a good life.
But what really happens once we get that good life? We’re start working ridiculous hours and will start with the least amount of seniority, so how can we book off vacation days? Obviously, the time to travel is now! Take that semester off, take that gap year, or squeeze in a trip between semesters. Get out there and see the world – or else we’ll be waiting another 20 years! So how can we afford this travel when the majority of our money is going towards school you ask? Well, here are some tips that have helped me!
Stiniva Bay, Croatia
Open a Separate Savings Account and LABEL It
Putting a label on your account such as “EUROPE 2019” will give you a visual goal that will motivate you. Set an amount of money that you feel comfortable with putting away each month, and do not touch it! We all use online banking so it’s super easy to open a separate account.
Hotels are a big cost, so forget them! Consider hostels, home-stays and Airbnb’s. Hostels are a great way to meet people and they are A LOT cleaner than you think. Home-stays are a cool way to immerse yourself into the town, and Airbnb’s are a great way to get a little bit of luxury and privacy for a great cost. Also remember that your hostel, home-stay, and Airbnb host are always there to help you make the most of you trip. Just ask for suggestions.
Sea view from our hostel room in Novalia, Croatia! It was $17 a night!
Last minute flight shopping will always be more expensive. Set the dates you’d like to travel well in advance, giving you not only more time to save money, but also to find the best flight deals.
Volunteering is a great way to get to know a country because it gives you an opportunity to see the country from a wider lens than a regular tourist. Most volunteer programs include a home-stay and meals in your fees, so it’s a great way to save money while also lending your helping hand to those who need it most.
Busses, Trains, Boats!
Flights and taxis will add up so consider the city’s local transportation networks. Most often ferries or trains are available rather than flights. Be willing to wake up early to get cheaper rates!
Ferry from Athens to Mykonos, Greece (You can’t get views like this from a plane!)
Don’t Forget your Student ID
Many places will offer student discounts – just ask! Take advantage of being a student and get some sweet discounts. (I got to see the Krka Waterfalls on a Student Discount!)
Krka Waterfalls, Croatia
Make the time, start the planning, and go. Enjoy your college years and see the world. Remember that a penny spent today can be earned back tomorrow!