A Student’s Guide to Traveling on a Budget

School’s out, you’ve got time saved up for vacation, so why not get up and go? Or are you like so many Americans today where the word vacation sounds unfamiliar, perhaps even foreign. Yes, Americans work long hours, but this isn’t the hindrance I’m talking about. I’m talking about that empty wallet and pinched bank account. These days minimum wage doesn’t pay the rent with much to spare, but does that mean that you can’t enjoy yourself? Let’s hope not or we’ve become a very stale country Even those on a tight budget can still take that dream vacation to Italy, France, or the Orient. With a skeptical smile I’m sure you’re wondering how. Well, there are simple ways to cut back on the price and still enjoy yourself without sacrificing the experience you’re looking for.

First, before I get started, lets clarify something. You’re not going to be staying at the finest hotels or eating the best cuisine to be offered. However, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be sleeping in a tent and eating canned food either. Simply be realistic about what you can and cannot afford. Remember, planning and keeping to your budget is very important in making a delightful trip and return. Now that this has been said, here are some tips to help you plan the perfect vacation at the perfect price…

1. First keep in mind your status. You’re a student, so benefit from it There are many agencies and online ticket vendors that give discounts to students for domestic and international flights. Check with your local travel agencies or even your school to find out what is available.

2. Decide what it is you are traveling for. If you are going for a cultural experience plan a trip that meets those needs. For example, there are many camps, short summer exchange programs, and the like that allow for a fun traveling experience and a close encounter with the locals of your destination. Some programs also contribute to your education by giving credits Check into these things at websites like goabroad.com. Additionally, your school might have some information on these types of programs.

3. Plan ahead to get the best deals. Of course this sounds logical, but there are many things that you can plan for before a vacation and probably don’t. In many countries the best way to get around is by train. As this is the case, it is often possible t get discount tickets or passes before you go. Doing this will save you money and allow for an easy way to get around during your entire trip. This concept also applies to attractions or events that you might want to attend. Research and do your homework on where you are going, you might find that such discount tickets are available.

4. Find a cost effective place to stay. Again, another logical suggestion. However, there are many options that are often not considered. Throughout the word there are many types of places to stay, consider the less costly such as; homestays, renting a room or cottage, hostels, or even participating in a home exchange with a foreign family. Such options can be found at various traveling sites online. Be careful of advertisements and check them out thoroughly, but these can provide an amazingly inexpensive option for your budget.

5. Make a packing list. This sounds very anal retentive, but it can save you money in the long run. I don’t know how many times people end up buying things that they could have brought from home. Your packing list will ensure you have what you need with you so that you aren’t spending your souvenir money on a tube of toothpaste.

These are just five simple tips, but the options for your trip are limitless. Simply remember that you are on a budget and plan things so that even though this is the case, you will be comfortable. Plan your allotment for food, gifts, activities, travel, accommodations, and the like and stick to it. This will eliminate any overspending stress, you’ll know what you have and what you can spend. It’s the perfect way enjoy your vacation and stay within your means.

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