Everyone always says to travel while you're young, but oftentimes students feel like this is impossible. Juggling classes and homework, while barely having enough spending money to go out with friends; traveling ends up being something that just never seems to happen.
Even though it may seem impossible, your college years really are the best time to travel. So, if you want to get some traveling in this summer, here are some tips to help you make it happen!
Get An On-Campus Job
Most colleges offer a number of different jobs for students that are right on campus. The nice thing about these jobs is that they are specifically tailored to students' schedules. They'll work around your classes, and on the days you don't have class, you probably won’t have work either (unless you choose to!). This means you will not only have funding for traveling, but you will also be able to get time off to make it happen.
Choose A Major That allows You to Travel
If you’re someone who loves traveling and being outside, then choosing a major that allows you to travel will be in your best interest. Some majors, such as Geology (in my experience), require you to go on field trips for classes or even go to a field camp during the summer. This allows you to go on small trips throughout the school year and also might help you meet and bond with other students in your major!
Save What You Can, When You Can
It’s easy to spend a little money here and there on small things and not think much of it. However, before you know it, you end up finding yourself barely being able to make rent. A good habit to get into can be to ask yourself a simple question before buying something on a whim: “Would I rather own this/eat that or be able to go on a trip this summer/spring break/etc?” I say this to myself before I buy almost anything (besides essentials). By doing this, I manage to save money and I’ll keep it in a jar, only to be taken out for whatever trip I have decided to save up for.
*Pro-tip: Before you start traveling, set up a credit card that has mile rewards or cash back. This can help you save money while on your trip and get you a little extra money for you next trip!
Befriend Like-Minded People
Being surrounded by fellow travel lovers will increase your opportunities for adventure. They may invite you along on some of their upcoming trips, and their company can motivate you to start planning your own. Not only is everything more fun with friends, but the more people you have, the cheaper your trips will be. Take advantage of the resources colleges offer to find friends. Join an outdoor club and start meeting people that love to travel!
You Don't Need To Travel Far
Don't be afraid to plan trips within your own state. I bet you haven’t seen EVERYTHING it has to offer. And if you have — then maybe try the next state over. The website hipcamp.com is a great tool to see all the different campsites available in your area and discover somewhere new! There’s no need to make every trip super extravagant. Sure you see all the Insta influencers and Youtubers making montage videos of their trips to Machu Picchu - but don't let those videos fool you. There's adventure to be had in your own backyard. Whether it's across the country or just 20 miles from your hometown, you are still exploring.
Camp When You Can
It’s no secret that it’s cheaper to camp than to stay in hotels and if you look hard enough you may even be able to find places to stay for free! The website freecampsites.net is a lifesaver. It shows you places you can camp for free among other campsites that cost money as well. That way you never have to stop traveling. Camping also gives you a lot more options for where you can stay. Why wake up in a hotel and hike to the view when you could just wake up next to the view?
Make It A Road Trip
It’s almost always cheaper to drive somewhere than to fly, and by using apps such as gas buddy that show you the cheapest gas prices near you, you can save even more money. Making your vacation a road trip gives you a lot more freedom in regards to what you can bring and the things that you can see and do along the way. If you’re going on a long drive make sure to plan some stops along the way, or take some unplanned stops at a scenic overlook or short trail. If you do decide to go somewhere too far to drive, websites like airfarewatchdog.com can help keep you updated on the cheapest plane tickets to wherever you want to go!
Bring Your Own Food
As easy and tempting as it may be to stop at restaurants after you’ve been on the road all day, it will save you money if you plan out your meals and bring your own food. Personally, when I’m packing I buy a box of Clif bars in bulk off of Amazon so that I know I always have something quick and filling to eat if I need it. Also, if you know you're going on a longer trip but don’t have a lot of space, you will most likely have grocery stores near you along the way to restock.
Even as a poor college student, travel is far from impossible. No matter what, there is always a way to make a trip happen. So take these tips, plan a trip, and explore the world, because it's so important to...