How to Plan a Reading Week Trip on A Budget 

I planned the most epic NYC trip on a university student's budget and here’s how...


First, some back story. It was summer and I was working a 9-5 like many university students home for their 4-month break. I would often lean back in my wheelie chair so that I could look beyond the walls of my cubicle and see the outdoors. All I wanted was to be travelling and taking cool Insta pics, but instead, I was stuck in an office. I wanted something to look forward to for the summer and going into the new school year. 


(^Me after realizing I will be working a 9-5 the rest of my life…) 


SO, like any other impulsive teenager, I scanned the web for the cheapest flight to any big city that wasn’t Toronto. After very little discussion and completely unrationalized decisions, I had booked a flight to NYC to meet up with friends. 


The last time I went to NYC the only thing that mattered to me was what American Girl clothes I could get and if I was allowed to sleep on the window bed. Spoiler: my Mom thought the glass would break and I would plummet to my death from 40 stories up. But I just wanted to have fun, so boo you, Mom! 


(^My brother after spending three hours looking at doll clothes…) 


Now at nineteen I’m living out my ‘New York Minute’ dreams and taking on The Big Apple! Here are a few steps (rather simple, almost all are implied) about how to plan a trip on a budget! 


1. Book a Flight 

I booked my flight relatively early in advance. This can save a lot of $ and is also a good first step in planning your trip.


(^How I’m trying to be on this 6 am flight to NY...wait can I even drink on a plane to the US?)


2. Book an Airbnb 

Airbnb is a great option for students - it’s affordable, private, and doesn’t require a credit card to book! 


Look around at different parts of the city and which neighbourhoods are cheaper. Make sure to factor in any travel time to and from and see if you are actually saving money. 


(^Just make sure you read the reviews and information about the host so you don’t end up with a Dwight!) 


3. Make an Itinerary 

I really want to get the most out of my trip. There are certain spots that just make sense to do all on the same day, so try and have a loose schedule. It’s a good idea to start a list of restaurants, tourist attractions, and shopping that you want to cover on your trip. 


(^When they ask if the trip is for business or pleasure…) 


4. Save that $$$, Sis! 

I want to be able to be a tourist and eat ALL the food, and I want and really enjoy my trip. So it’s important to save up enough money to be able to do all the NYC things of your dreams. Pick up a few extra shifts at work, participate in research studies, walk dogs - just do what you gotta do. 


(^Me allllll the time!) 


Planning your trip in advance and budgeting how much you are willing to spend should help out! 


5. Pack

This is the best part of travelling in my opinion! I love picturing outfits in my head and then seeing them come to life in the pictures I take there. 


Make sure to check the weather right up until you leave so you are all covered. The worst is getting somewhere and not having weather appropriate gear. 


(^Do you think security will notice if I bring my sister in my carry-on?) 


6. Have fun! 

The whole point of planning a trip is so that you can actually HAVE FUN on the trip! 


(^Exactly Scott!) 


But, make sure to get some reading in while you travel, I mean it is reading week after all! That could be menus or price tags, and hopefully a little from your textbooks too. 


Wherever you may be this reading week, relax - you deserve it, Warriors!