Last semester my roommates and I decided we were going to take a spring break trip to New York City and Boston. We made the decision with plenty of time to make all the necessary accommodations for lodging and transportation. We had the most amazing time exploring both cities, visiting museums, and eating lots of different foods. This trip reminded me of all the reasons I love to travel and encouraged me to take time during college to travel.
While it doesn't seem like there is much time in college, there is actually more time than once you enter the workforce. Structured break like spring, winter, and summer breaks planned far ahead give you plenty of opportunities to watch for sales for flights and get tickets when they are the least expensive.
If you are wanting to travel more, I encourage you to sign up for emails for different airlines. Yes, many weeks it will be junk mail but you will also be the first to know about the best sales the airline is having. Also, take advantage of Google Flight Tracker, which tracks the price of airline tickets and sends you email updates about different airline prices for the days you are interested in traveling. By planning in advance, you are able to watch prices for tickets and buy when it is best for you rather than buying out of necessity. By booking my tickets through sales I was able to get my airline tickets that normally would cost close to $300 for $150.
For the first leg of our trip we stayed with one of my roommates family and for the second leg, we shared an Airbnb. Since we saved money with our accommodations as well we were able to be more flexible throughout our adventures in the cities.
The final way we saved the most money during traveling is anywhere that we went, whether it was an exhibit or a museum, we asked if they had a student discount. Many places did as long as you presented your student ID. Sometimes places will give you a discount even if they don't advertise a student discount, so it never hurts to ask if they have one.
Overall, this trip really encouraged me to travel more as a college student. This was my first major trip traveling and planning everything with my friends and after this experience, I am encouraged and much more inclined to do it again after seeing that such a large trip really ended up being very doable once it was all planned out.
This trip has set a standard for my next independent trips. I know what type of planning and scheduling works best for me when putting together a trip and I feel that I can apply it to many other trips in the future. You just have to find your learning curve when it comes to traveling in college and on a budget, once you get there, the world is yours to explore.