Traveling is something the vast majority of us all desire to do before life hinders us from doing so. In between semesters and during breaks are some of the prime times for college students to travel locally and abroad. So many students don't think that they can get the most out of traveling or even attend a country abroad, due to the restrictions of cost. In lieu of that, here are seven ways to travel and not break the bank.
1. Make your budget beforehand
This sounds incredibly obvious to do, however, many people do not make cost the very first priority when looking for flights and places to go to. By having at least a general budget of transportation costs, spending money, food allowance, etc. it will help immensely narrow down places to travel to where you won't end up spending more than desired.
2. Determine what time of year to go
Figuring out the peak tourist time for the destination will save you an incredible amount of money. Not only is the peak of the tourism season, but the weekend is also a money trap for tourists. By going during the offseason and the weekday, not only can you do more but at a cheaper price!
3. Book a cheap flight
There are many different flight booking websites and agencies that can be utilized to find the best available flights. Kayak and Google Flights are incredibly useful as it has many different filters, flexibility, and can send you price alerts for destinations of your choosing. Looking for a flight on the actual airline website will also tend to cause you to spend more money than if you use a third-party website such as Expedia.
4. Use alternate housing
While staying at a hotel is the most common, it is also the most expensive comparatively. Using Airbnb will ultimately save you money and give you even more options than just a hotel. Additionally, choosing to stay in a room or a home instead of a hotel will open up more opportunities such as staying in an area tourists aren't as common. By doing so, you can make your trip even more enriching than staying in a touristy hotel! Not only that, but staying in a youth hostel in big cities will save you a mass amount of money, but also give you new opportunities to find new friends and new experiences.
5. Experiences over materials
Buying some souvenirs and keepsakes will always be a good idea to have something physical to remember your trip. However, it will never top the actual experiences and memories that will come from it. Prioritizing going to areas of your destination such as waterfalls and significant architecture will bring an immense amount of happiness and save your wallet in the process.
6. Talk to locals
Locals will always know a cheaper way to do something that tourists will spend upwards of hundreds of dollars. Not only that, but they'll know the best places to eat for cheaper, best places to visit for enrichment, and the best places to buy a couple of items without being ripped off.
7. Walk around as much as possible
Walking is undoubtedly the cheapest form of transportation there is. When traveling to a bigger city or where things are closer together than in a rural area, by walking it'll save more money than paying for an uber or renting a car. This'll even help you find hidden gems around your destination too!
Many people, especially college students, view traveling both domestically and internationally as too expensive to be realistic. However, that is not true at all. By utilizing these seven ways to budget and save your money, travel can be realistic for every college student. When safe travels become available once again, I encourage everybody to go travel and enrich their lives - whether it be to a nearby state or a faraway country!