Most Antipodeans leave their comfortable, rural lives in New Zealand and Australia in search of world experiences. I’m definitely one of them.
Travel changes you. You learn independence, how to budget, organisation… KC Owens approached me about a guest post with his tips for College Students, but they apply equally for all cash strapped travellers. I hope you enjoy!
Affordable and Discounted Travel Tips for College Students
It can be difficult for college students to juggle classes, internships and fun but there are ways that students can relax without having to pay a fortune. If you’re a college student, traveling during your break from school can be very rewarding. You may think it is impossible to enjoy a vacation when you are not making working very much, but there are plenty of cheap and affordable ways for college students to travel so they can get the best bang for their buck!
The Finances of Traveling as a College Student
You may be wondering how you could possibly afford a decent vacation with the ability to travel to somewhere outside of the country. If you do not have the cash at your disposal and asking for a parental loan is out of the question, there are quite a few things that you can do. I have friends who have used the WWOOF Organization to help them travel and work. WWOOF is a great organization that helps people connect all over the world by offering lodging and small farm jobs to those who are traveling. Another great way to fund a trip is to look for a credit card that allows you to take matters into your own hands.
If you have a credit card with a travel rewards, you can use it to purchase your airline ticket or pay for some of the expenses while you travel. As long as you use the card in moderation, it should not be a problem to repay the bank when you return home after your travels. Your credit card can be your best friend overseas because it allows you to purchase almost anything without having to carry a lot of cash on your body- this is very dangerous and I do not suggest it!
Travel Lightly to Save Money
If you feel the need to carry several suitcases and backpacks, backpacking is not going to work for you and it could end up costing you more when you get on the airplane. However, you can save time and money by bringing along a simple backpack, which could be considered your carry-on bag for the plane, bus or train. Backpacks are super affordable, compact and will fit in a locker at your hostel. Packing light can be great because you can be comfortable all day walking around; your whole life is in your pack so it must be close to you at all times and it allows your to blend in more while in a foreign country.
Even though you are traveling light, there are still a few things you need to remember: always bring just a few items of dry fit clothing. Keep your forms of identification with you at all times. Aside from clothes and your identification, you will need a pair of decent shoes and a lock to keep your bag secure if you place it inside of a locker during your stay abroad. Also, a phone with a good camera and Wi-Fi can be a great way to save space in your pack!
Choosing a Safe and Affordable Place to Stay
There are tons of hotels to choose from when traveling; however, many of those hotels cost a fortune and will be out of your price range. There is another more affordable and equally safe option. Most places abroad have small hostels in which college students can spend a few nights while traveling. The hostels can be much cheaper (usually $25) and are always loaded with other college students who are traveling abroad and looking to enjoy a cheap yet comfortable stay. The majority of hostels offer safes with locks, but if you have your own lock it would be ideal to use it just to ensure that your belongings are secure. You could potentially save hundreds of dollars on your stay by sleeping at a hostel instead of a hotel. Of course, be sure to do your research ahead of time and check reviews and ratings for different hostels in the area you are planning to stay to make sure they will be a good fit for you. Be sure to keep your college ID on hand when visiting hostels because some are willing to lower their discounted rates even further to help out young college students.
Thanks KC, I really enjoyed your post! (Ps. None of the websites know us that are linked here, just some handy info – I’ve had friends & have used both links myself when planning travels in the past)
What is your top tip/tip you wish you had known when you first started travelling?