It’s no secret that vacation can get expensive pretty quickly. If you’re bummed about not being able to afford travel while you’re in college, this article will help you turn that perspective around. Read on to find out how I have managed to afford more than a handful of weekend-long trips in my time at college.
Start saving. Open a savings account or dedicate a small amount of each paycheck to travel. Even if you don’t have a trip planned, this stash will come in handy when there’s an opportunity to get away. If you struggle with budgeting, try downloading a travel app to help you plan a budget for your trip and stay on track. TripCoin (https://tripcoinapp.com/) can be used with or without internet connection, so you’re covered no matter where you are.
Hunt for cheap flights. Prices can drop or spike quickly, and you never know when a great ticket will become available. Avoid searching for flights in peak travel seasons, like during the holidays, and use multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best deal. If you’re not picky about location, let your wallet decide. Websites like Skyscanner.net (https://www.skyscanner.net/) are great for searching flights by cost rather than destination.
Pack lightly. By traveling with a carry-on, you can avoid extra fees at the airport and save yourself the misery of lugging around a bunch of extra weight. Keep it simple by consolidating all of your necessities to one backpack. This list (http://thetickettotravel.com/how-to-travel-with-a-backpack-only/) will help you decide what to take and what to leave at home.
Skip the hotel. Don’t waste your money on an expensive room. With Airbnb, you can rent an apartment or room for a fraction of the price you would pay at a hotel. If you’re really looking to connect with the locals, stay with one—Couchsurfing.com will connect you with possible hosts in nearly any city. If you’re going somewhere with a lot of tourist traffic, backpack hostels might be an option, too.
Avoid overpriced experiences. If it seems like a tourist trap, it probably is. Try to find local places to dine and shop instead—if you’re not sure where to begin, make friends. Ask your taxi driver or restaurant server where their favorite hidden spots are and start exploring.