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10 tips and tricks on how to travel the world on a budget as a student

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Mental health is a significant area of concern across higher institutions of learning in the United States. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of students that begin college life with a mental health disorder. This often starts from childhood or adolescence, and the overwhelming pressures of getting a college education make it a concern

The demands of having great grades, a social life, preparing for life after college, and still having to turn in excellent essays can be heavy. College students may have some help from an essay writer when writing their academic texts, but it does not make it less demanding. The anxiety of getting it right, being accepted socially, or the panic of not getting a great internship are all common mental issues in college.

It is no surprise college students keep coming down with different mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. Its prevalence is becoming a growing concern and creates the need to understand what causes it and how to tackle it. That’s why traveling as a student is now more important than ever.

Studying and exploring the world doesn’t need to exclude one another. Even though both demanded money, if you adopt clever and cheap ways of traveling, you can fulfill any wish your wanderer’s soul has. When traveling as a student, you need to take some extra steps to make sure your budget covers your plans. Here are some simple ways you can travel for cheap while still in college.

1. Find an Affordable Destination

First of all, you need to pick your destination with your budget in mind. Many incredibly beautiful places are very affordable. For example, Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina can bring you the spirit of Istanbul while cutting costs in half. There are also places like The Gili Islands in Indonesia or Nido in the Philippines which you can easily mistake for one of the Maldives beaches, but it’s ten times less expensive.  

Aim for countries with hidden beauty where excessive tourism still hasn’t skyrocketed the prices. It might take some research, but it is worth it. 

2. Save on Accommodation

A noticeable chunk of travel money is usually spent on accommodation. However, you can minimize or even eliminate that cost. With platforms such as Couchsurfing, you can find a free place to stay. The platform connects travelers who offer a spare room, bed, or apartment without compensation. If this doesn’t suit you, hostels are your best bet for finding accommodation that fits a student’s budget. 

4. Learn how to find cheap flights

A plane ticket can be a costly item on your travel to-do list. However, if you are patient and know where to look, you can save hundreds of dollars on cheaper flights. Sites like Student Universe and STA Travel are good starting points. With the help of these sites, you can get lower rates on plane tickets. 

The first rule of thumb is to always use incognito mode when browsing for flights because if you use your browser continuously, the airline algorithms will connect that with a sense of urgency and likely charge a higher price.

Always use Google flights to compare flights for different dates and different airlines but also don’t forget to check special discounts provided by some airlines at different times of the year (I’ve found a lot of cheap Etihad flights by just following their social media and using other websites’ affiliate links when booking. Last but not least, always try to figure out when the off-season is in the destination you want to visit. Flights will more often than not be significantly cheap when visiting during the offseason.

5. Consider Volunteering, Studying, or Working Abroad

Another way to cut down the accommodation expenses is to volunteer, study, or work in a destination that attracts you. The majority of universities offer exchange programs in exotic countries. In terms of volunteering, programs like WorkAway connect you with hosts who provide free accommodation and food in exchange for help (such as some basic chores). You can also get a summer job abroad and explore the country you reside in.

6. Exploit the Benefits of Being a Student

Get yourself worldwide-approved proof of being a student and score some great discounts. That proof comes in the form of an International Student Exchange Card (ISEC). With this card in your pocket, you can get student discounts on tickets, public transportation, food, accommodations, and activities.

7. Give Ridesharing a Try

Ridesharing is the perfect solution for saving on transportation. Some apps connect drivers with passengers who are looking for a ride in the same direction. The cost of a ride is much less expensive (around 50%) than a bus ticket. Some ridesharing apps you can check out are:

  •  RdVouz 
  • BlaBla Car 
  • OpenRide

8. Take Advantage of Long Layovers

A long layover usually comes with a cheaper ticket and sleeping in an airport. While some look at this as a tedious inconvenience, you can look at it as a sightseeing opportunity. Book a cheap airplane ticket with a layover and get to exploring the city as soon as you land. When the night falls, you can head back to the airport for your free accommodation.

9. Get Tours from Locals

Instead of paying for overpriced tours, connect with locals. You can ask the hostel if they know someone who would take you around and show you cool spots for an affordable price. Also, if you meet a nice person abroad, don’t shy away from asking them to uncover their favorite places. The locals know all the best spots that can’t be seen in brochures. 

10. Create a Savings Account

A savings account is a great way to save money for a specific goal, like a vacation. When you open a savings account, you’ll need to deposit money into it regularly. You can do this by setting up automatic transfers from your checking account, or by making manual deposits when you have extra money. The key is to make sure that you don’t touch the money in your savings account unless it’s for your trip. This can be hard to do if you have other financial goals, like saving for retirement or paying off debt. 

One way to stay disciplined is to set up separate savings accounts for each goal. That way, you won’t be tempted to use the money in your vacation account for something else. Another option is to keep your vacation savings in a jar or envelope instead of a bank account. This can help you avoid fees and make it less tempting to spend money on something else. 

Wrapping Up

When there’s a will, there’s a way. That’s the adventurer’s motto. Despite the limited budget, you can enjoy traveling. So, apply these tips and start roaming the world. 

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