College offers many opportunities to learn, experience new things and meet interesting people, but there are a lot of things in the world that cannot be learned in a classroom or experienced within the confines of a college campus.
A great way to expand your horizon while in college is to travel the world on school breaks, visiting as many countries as you can and meeting new and exciting people. This may seem like an unrealistic proposal, given the tight budget of most college students, but I have managed to travel widely during my breaks without spending too much of my hard-earned money.
The first consideration in planning a trip always has to be the finances.
You can make extra cash by working a part-time job during the school year. This will let you put aside a little money every month for your trip. But earnings from a part-time job are not going to be enough to travel very far. You will need to borrow the rest of the money to properly fill your budget. There are a lot of ways to cut costs while traveling, but some expenses (such as plane tickets) cannot be avoided. If you don’t have a large sum of cash before your trip, it can be hard to pay for without a credit card. This is when I learned about borrowing; according to Credit Card Insider, more students are borrowing money to help pay for their education and travel expenses.
For me, a student credit card has become an essential part of my travel kit. Do some research and you will find a student card that suits your needs. Personally, I like mine because it gives me money back on purchases I make overseas, it automatically exchanges currencies for me and keeps me safer by allowing me to carry less cash–pickpockets can be a pain! So how do I save money by using a credit card? Most expenses on my trip can be charged, allowing me to pay it back in small amounts once I return home and work over the summer. Most likely, you are already borrowing money to fund your education. I always like to remember, world travel can be just as valuable in terms of experience and learning as anything I do in the classroom, and I consider it to be part of my well-rounded education.When exploring a new city, one of the first things I do is look for hostels in the area outside the city limits (cheap overnights become even cheaper). Hostels are great for students traveling on a budget; I wouldn’t want to stay anywhere else. They are much more affordable than traditional hotels and much more comfortable than train station benches (I can say that from experience). Many hostels even offer student discounts on food and drinks. Some may have special lodging rates for students, so remember to carry your student ID with you. I always compare hostels so I know which ones will work best for me and which ones users have disliked in the past.
When comparing hostels, be sure to find ones with 24-hour check-in times so you don’t waste a down payment on a night because your train was late and not your fault. Most hostels offer free Wi-Fi for their patrons but if they do not, don’t pay for it.
There are plenty of coffee shops all over the world that are happy to offer free Wi-Fi, so don’t spend extra cash.
If your budget is still tricky, you may also want to consider picking up a little work as you travel. This can be difficult in countries that require work visas (very expensive), but I have often been able to find small local businesses looking for little extra help in cities I’ve visited. Another great way to find work is through WWOOF, an organization that connects volunteer workers with organic farms and related businesses all over the globe. There are many small farmers that will gladly trade food, services, or room and board for a few hours of work. WWOOF provides an exciting (and safe) opportunity to work all over the world, I’d highly recommend looking into their programs.