May 1, 2021

How To Afford Traveling as a College Student

As you’re about to leave your parents’ nest, college might seem like a sweet-to-be experience where you get to have fun with your new friends and roomies, enjoy a variety of roles you can only talk yourself into – and travel around the world, obviously. When it comes to being an actual college student, it may occur to you that things are a little bit more complicated. Overwhelmed with tons of assignments – and perhaps a job to deal with your student debt sooner – you may start realizing that you have neither time nor money to afford itchy feet when you’re ready to drop. But he who seeks will find, and there are three realistic scenarios of how you can afford to travel in college.

Study or Work Abroad 
College is the perfect time for an around-the-world trip. Not only are you unburdened with plenty of adult stuff, but also there are numerous student programs and opportunities that include student exchange, internships, or even a full-time job overseas. Quite often, you can expect your travel and accommodation expenses fully or partially covered, let alone that it’s a great chance to enjoy all the benefits of traveling, get some professional experience, and expand your list of social contacts.

If you don’t have an idea where to start, start at the beginning. Talk to your professors and student advisor – they may give you a hint about exchange programs available at the moment, as well as help you meet the requirements, if any.

Depending on which year you’re in, you may as well qualify as an intern or even a full-time worker for an international company. Ask professors you really get along with or surf the internet for job opportunities abroad. But don’t be negligent, you have to make your resume and cover letter perfect to get that job. If you can get any recommendations from your previous jobs, make sure to add them too as it may serve as a fine leg-up in your competition for the place.

Finally, don’t count off volunteering. Not only is this a nice opportunity to visit unexpected spots of our planet, but also you’ll be surrounded by other like-minded students who want to make their contribution to the fine cause. Central and South America are said to be among the most popular destinations for students who enjoy helping people and want to make difference in environmental protection. So if it sounds like you, check where you can come useful.

Build a Travel Fund 
Students are many while programs are limited. That’s why it’s good to have a backup plan in case if it doesn’t work out. The best way to stay flexible in your traveling choices is to have a traveling fund, which you can raise in several ways.

The most obvious is to get a part-time job. Many students have gigs in college. Who would mind some extra cash falling in their pocket every now and then? They keep you afloat, let you party a bit more often, and help you cover travel expenses, of course. 

There are many ways how you can earn on the side as a student: from an entry-level job in the company of your dream to freelancing. The former can be a great investment in your future career, while with the latter you won’t have to take a break from work even when you set off on a trip. This may be tutoring, coding, translation – just find what you are good at and turn it into your income source. If you have a way with words, you can help other students with their writing assignments and get some extra practice before you get to write your own grad school application essay

As an option, try to find donors. Look for scholarships, ask friends and family if they can help you, or address to the internet community. They may be willing to appreciate some talent of yours, or as well just kindly help you make your traveling dream come true. Don’t be afraid to ask – the world is full of good people. 

Save Where You Can 
While saving alone will only get you so far, it can be a good way to raise some extra money for your traveling fund, let alone that it will teach you wise and efficient spending. But before that, make sure that you have a clear budget plan. Otherwise, how will you know how much you can save?

When you do, get a savings account. You can do it manually or download one of many apps that will be saving a part of your income automatically.

Then, realize that discounts are your best friends. It doesn’t mean that you have to eat expired food from now on, but if you can buy something cheaper later rather than now but at a crazy cost, then wait just for a bit. This works for traveling expenses too. Air carriers and hotels often have pretty good offerings and if you stay persistent and alert, you can get a trip of your dream at a ridiculously low cost.

For those who’d like some adventure and new acquaintances, couch surfing can be a very beneficial way to save money on accommodation. In the social network with the same name, you can find plenty of native families willing to host a foreigner in exchange for their unique experiences and language practice. In addition to the couch you can crash on, the host may offer you to try their local cuisine, show you the best places of interest, and even give you a company to have fun with. If you’re really short of money, the idea is worth thinking about.

Bottom Line
Traveling abroad may be quite an expensive experience but it doesn’t mean that you can’t afford it as a college student. Track programs and scholarships, manage your budget wisely, or join a community of other avid travelers – put some effort and you’ll find ways before you know it. 

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