Traveling On A College Budget

Traveling On A College Budget

I swear, there's no ramen noodles involved in this "how to"

I know you're thinking, "I call b/s," because I definitely did. Although we know, deep down in our soul, that travel's endless possibilities are priceless, traveling comes with quite the price. It takes some wit and a lot of saving, but it is possible to travel on a college budget.

Find your travel buddies: First, find a group of friends that is willing to take the trip with you. Self explorations are also welcome, but it makes spending a lot easier when you have friends to help. GasBuddy shows the cheapest gas around you when you and your friends are on the road (they even have an app).

Public transportation is your friend: Greyhound, although still a little too pricey for me, provides The Greyhound Student Advantage Card, which can help you save up to 40% on travels, clothing, food, and movie theaters near you. Mega Bus also offers great bus tickets; I’ve even seen some for $1! It’s definitely a rare commodity, but I’ve gotten $10 bus tickets multiple times.

It’s all about research: Be smart about your travels and find search methods, like Wanderu or GoToBus that offer cheap rides. Sometimes, you will have to take dreaded transfers, but it will save you quite the penny. I’ve taken a 22 hour trip from Providence to Savannah, GA for just a little over $100.

Food: Now, when it comes to food, there’s always little hole in the wall eateries you can find. Mashable offers a list of iPhone apps for frugal foodies. Among the list is ScoutMob, which offers 50%, and sometimes 100% off, deals at restaurants in the area.

Even taking a trip to the nearest grocery store can get you acclimated to the city you're in. Make sure that wherever you're staying has a fridge to store food and chef it up. This article shows nifty tricks on how to use hotel appliances like the coffee maker, iron and hair dryer to make soup, quesadillas, and paninis!

Take advantage of your school’s study abroad programs: Summer programs are usually not paid by the school, but exchange programs are. Go to your student services for a chance to immerse yourself in new cultures and languages.

If the prices are still too high coming from your university, try working for room and board. Workaway is a great site that lets you pay a small fee to get in touch with 19,276 hosts in more than 155 countries. Help with an eco retreat in Belize or at a B&B in a rainforest. All hosts offer a place to stay and meals.

Now these are all volunteer opportunities, but if you’d like to get paid, have room and board, and free meals, BackDoor Jobs is the site for you. Some are long term internships, but most are short-term summer jobs. The field range on this site is endless: resort and hospitality, outdoor adventure, mind and body quests, summer camp and ranch, and teaching abroad, just to name a few.

Traveling within or out of the U.S. doesn't have to be so difficult. Save up a bunch of cash, do your research, and have the time of your life!

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15 Spring Break Essentials

Keep Calm it's Spring Break

With Spring Break season upon us, here are 15 essentials you will be needing this spring break whether you’re flying, roadtripping, or just beaching it.


1. Starbucks

Regardless if you are driving through the night to the final destination or stopping half way to sleep, Starbucks is a must

2. Camera

You never know what’s going to happen or what you are going to see on the road that you would say “oh I wish I got that on video!”

4. Aux Cord

Whether you have to buy a radio plug in or a tape or anything, as long as you have a way to connect a phone for music. But be sure to have the friend with the best taste in music make the playlist.

5. Snacks

There is nothing worse than being hangry on the road, it will not be a fun trip for you or for anyone in that case.

This is a MUST on a roadtrip. Nothing sucks more than wearing shoes in a car, and nothing sucks more than getting to a stop and having to take time to put your shoes on.


1.A comfy, but cute, outfit.

Airport pictures can always be the cutest, but skinny jeans on a plane ride are not the comfiest.

2. Earbuds

No one wants to listen to the couple arguing, the kid crying, or the old man snoring. Safe to say, earbuds will save your life.

3. Laptop

Not all of us are always sitting first class so you will need something to watch a movie on! Or just download a season of your favorite Netflix show.

4. Something warm

You don’t have to wear it in the airport, but just throw a hoodie, sweater, or blanket in your carry on because the AC on an airplane is always out of control

5. A book

Whether or not you are listening to music, what’s a better time to read compared to when you are thousands of feet in the air?


1. sunscreen

Yes, all of us on the beach are probably laying out or doing something in the sun with the end goal of going home tanner than when you left. But don’t ruin it and fry yourself the first day and then not want to go into the sun for the rest of the trip. Wear sunscreen!

2. Yeti

Whether it be a Yeti or just an insulated cup, nothing will keep your drink cold for the whole day in the scorching sun.

3. Flip Flops

Are there really any other forms of shoe to wear on the beach?

4. Bluetooth Speaker

This is everything on vacation to be able to set up on the beach and blast music from. They tend to be small and portable but can be very loud as well so it’s the perfect accessory. But once again, make sure the friend with good taste in music is the one who makes the playlist.

5. Camera (…again)

We all know everyone’s Instagram feed is going to be blowing up with pictures of everyone on the beach, so why not join the trend.

Cover Image Credit: self taken

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What I Learned During My Mission Trip To Puerto Rico

It truly was a life changing experience and I hope that what I learned inspires you.

This year, I spent my spring break on a mission trip in San Juan, Puerto Rico with 19 other students from Charleston Southern University as well as three chaperones. We spent four days doing hurricane relief work and we also were able to visit a local church and pass out food in the surrounding neighborhood one day. On the off chance that you didn't know, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September of 2017. When I found out that our school would be taking students to the North American Mission Board campus to help with hurricane relief in San Juan, I immediately was interested and I asked for more information. My main concern with the trip was that I would be going to a place I had never been with people I didn't know. As humans, we naturally have the fear of the unknown and that is exactly what I was dealing with. I finally decided to go on the trip and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Puerto Rico and for my leap of faith in deciding to go. I learned so much on my trip and so I thought I would share some of what I learned while I was there.

1. Your circumstances don’t have to affect your attitude.

The people of Puerto Rico have been completely devastated by Hurricane Maria. Some of their homes are unlivable, some areas are still without power, and a lot of their personal items are either missing or destroyed. What surprised me the most about my trip is that despite the suffering around them, the people we met were still smiling and laughing.

2. No matter how little you have, you always have something to offer to others.

A lot of the homeowners that some of our groups worked with were devastated and didn't have much, but still brought food to feed the workers with. Some other people in the neighborhoods surrounding the houses we were working on offered to come by and help rebuild or paint. These people put aside their own devastation and suffering to help others in their time of need.

3. Prayer is sometimes the best gift you can give someone.

Throughout our trip, one thing remained consistent with every homeowner and every person we met and that was that they gladly accepted prayers and we were always glad to pray with them and for them.

4. Life is better lived when you’re not busy worrying about everything.

I was really worried about this trip because I didn't know anyone there and I had never been to Puerto Rico, but when I put those worries aside and focused on why I was there, I was able to really enjoy my time serving the people of Puerto Rico. By the end of my trip, I didn't want to leave. To be honest, if I had the chance I would have stayed there for months and months and I would have enjoyed every bit of it.

5. Sometimes it’s good to unplug from social media and technology.

When we were in Puerto Rico, we had limited access to power outlets and we also were busy most of the time. This caused me to not pay much attention to social media while I was gone. Don't get me wrong, I stayed in touch with people back home and I took tons of pictures, but I didn't find myself as focused on what people were posting on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter while I was away. This was actually really good for me and it made me realize just how unessential social media is in our daily lives as well as how it can distract you from your bigger purpose.

6. God's plans for you are always greater than the plans you have for yourself.

If you had told me a couple years ago that I would be going to Puerto Rico to aid in disaster relief, I would have told you that you were crazy! I am so used to staying in my comfort zone, but when you take a leap of faith and actually do what God is calling you to do, you actually find a sense of peace and you find that you will actually enjoy all that you're doing. I wouldn't trade the memories and experiences that I got during this trip for the world and I am so glad that God gave me this opportunity to share His love through disaster relief.

7. The people you go on mission trips with can easily become some of your best friends.

Going into this trip, I had met most of my teammates once or twice at our mission trip meetings and that was all. I would never have imagined that I would become so close with so many of them and that I would genuinely miss seeing them 24/7 after the trip was over. The truth is that God handpicks your groups because He knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows what we need in a team as well as what we need in friends. He brings us together to not only get the work done but to also grow in our faith together and to challenge each other.

8. When you build your life with God as your foundation, you will be able to weather the storm, but when you build your life based on worldly things, you can easily find everything you know destroyed.

This was an analogy that my friend Cameron shared with us one night while on the trip. It really stuck with me because it was based around the two homes that we were working on: one that was built with concrete and the other that was built with just wood. The concrete home lost its roof, but the wooden home was completely destroyed. This is how it is when we build our life around Christ versus when we build it around worldly things.

9. Seeing God in nature is extremely moving.

For those of you who have been to Puerto Rico, you know just how beautiful the island is. Whether you're in El Yunque Forest, a random beach or just driving through the island, you will see God in nature. It is incredibly relaxing and moving just sitting there and looking at God's incredible and beautiful creations, knowing that the God who made these beautiful things made you and has awesome things in store for your life.

10. God breaks down language barriers for His glory.

One of the things that is intimidating about going out of the country to serve the Lord is the language barrier. I had taken some Spanish classes growing up, but I was definitely not confident enough to carry on an advanced conversation with native speakers. Luckily, God gave my group a teammate (Bruna) that spoke Spanish very well and that was willing to translate for us. Honestly, the week would have been extremely hard if we hadn't had Bruna to help us out and I am so grateful that I met her and that she is gifted enough to know multiple languages. Thanks to her interpreting, we were able to not only communicate with the locals but we were also able to understand the inspirational message that the pastor shared with us on Sunday.

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