How to Become a College Budget Traveler
If you are like me, one of the worst parts of being a college student is not having enough disposable income to do all of the things that you want to do. For me, the one thing I want to do above all others is travel. However, traveling can be very expensive… unless you know how to do it.
I am currently living in Spain for a year, and while I am here, I plan on visiting many cities while also staying on a limited budget. There are various tricks to the trade that you can use while traveling to help yourself stay within your budget. This post will tell you some of these tricks, while the following posts will focus on specific cities and tips for visiting these cities in particular.
1. Ditch the four-star hotels. When you are traveling, you really aren’t spending too much time in your hotel. So why should you spend a lot of money on it? Obviously, you want to be safe and feel secure where you are staying. However, you can feel safe in a hostel, which will cost much less than a hotel. HostelWorld.com is a respectable website that I have used several times to find lodgings while traveling. If the idea of sleeping in a bunk bed in a room full of other people freaks you out, you can find a hostel that offers private rooms. Most private rooms cost about $20-$30 per night, which is much cheaper than an expensive hotel room will cost.
2. Don’t eat your entire budget. Yes, you need to eat while traveling, and trying local foods is a great way to experience a culture, but you shouldn’t spend your entire budget on eating out. Instead, look for a hostel that offers free breakfasts, pack sandwiches to eat for lunch or dinner, and only eat one meal at a restaurant each day. Also, try to avoid sodas or other drinks that cost money. Drinking a glass of water instead will keep you hydrated and your wallet more full.
3. Watch your actual travel costs. Getting from place to place can be very expensive, especially if you don’t know some budget-saving tricks. There are several websites that allow you to combine your airfare with hotel room to save some cash. Some other great websites to check before booking a flight are StudentUniverse and STATravel.
4. Pack light. By not lugging around a large suitcase, you are going to save your back and your wallet some pain. Many airlines now charge fees for luggage, so if you can carry everything you need with you as a carry-on, you will have less luggage to carry around with you and you will not have to pay any fees.
5. Look for student discounts. Many museums, historical sites, and other attractions offer discounts for students. However, not all of them advertise their student rates. So before you pay an admission fee, ask if there is a discount. Make sure you have your student ID with you, because many of these places will ask to see it before they give you the discount.
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