Hiking tips

Tips and tricks for traveling on a budget

In the future, I will see the whole world with my friends! It’s a fantasy I dreamed of in high school. After all, once you hit college, meals become cups of instant noodles and the reality of being a college student requires living on a budget. The thrilling European summer dream quickly diminishes once you look at your monthly rent and weekly grocery expenses.

However, this fantastic fantasy is not yet to disappear altogether.

Being a student and fending for yourself financially is tough, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to spend more money. Planning a fun trip to a smaller beach is always a possibility! Let’s face it, you’re a student, not the Queen of England. You don’t need to stay in a five star hotel and have a limo driver.

With these tips, hopefully, you’ll be able to plan a fun trip and stick to your budget!

Sleep for less

Chances are you’ve already lost the privilege of living in your own room and got used to roommates. Why should your vacation be any different? You don’t need to book a hotel room because chances are even a three-star hotel will be more expensive than staying in a decent hostel. Hostels are much cheaper and you will meet different but interesting people in the common living areas! If you’re not up for the hostel, you can look for an Airbnb, which is usually half the price of a hotel. One of the advantages of Airbnbs is that you will live like a local! Staying in an Airbnb with a kitchen will also help reduce food costs. You can save money when cooking your meals, but more on that later.

Other means of transportation

Navigating abroad can be tricky, and you might be tempted to call an Uber or taxi to cross town. However, if you have access to the Uber app, chances are you have access to Google Maps, which shows the alternate transit route! Get in touch with the metro or city buses, which will be cheaper! Or, you can even rent a bike, which is a more fun way to get around! After all that navigation work, you’ll know the city much better than if you had to call a car for any destination.

Cheaper flights

Although being a student may seem financially difficult, at least there are discounts. Various airlines offer student discounts to get you to your destination for a cheaper airfare. Be sure to scour all the budget websites first to make sure you’ve found your lowest price and compare the various potential flights. Airlines that offer student discounts include (but are not limited to) United, Lufthansa, American Airlines, and Delta.

Look for cheap dishes

If you are traveling to a foreign country, the most authentic foods in the region will likely be sold by street vendors or small businesses. Eating at great restaurants for every meal will add up, and sometimes the best meals come from the most unexpected places! Plus, as enticing as airport snacks are, they’re overpriced and usually not great, so bring some snacks from home to save some money.

Take only what you need

If you feel the need to bring three bags, then what do you overload your bags with? Try to limit your load by only packing what you need. This way you won’t need to check in your luggage which is an additional cost. When you’re packing, look at everything and think: should I bring this? Maybe I’ll bring this dress in case there’s a fancy occasion! No, you don’t. Leave it behind if there are doubts involved – your wallet will thank you later. Odd clothes and unnecessary items may seem small, but the weight adds up!

Do your research

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably figured this one out already. Nonetheless, I’m still going to repeat it because, seriously, that’s how important it is. Research your destination for free and cheap activities because there are always options no matter where you go. Your budget options can be city walking tours, free museums, public landmarks and more! Don’t judge a book by its cover, because even seemingly lame activities could be the best experiences!

Have fun planning your next vacation and avoid overpriced tourist traps!

Contact Annabel Chia at [email protected].