Budget Travel: Need-to-know Ideas for Students

student in the library
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Traveling is one of the many amazing experiences that we should do at some point in our lives. Some travel the world for leisure, while others travel for business. Regardless of the reason, traveling is a great opportunity to explore new places and cultures and make new memories. But if you can do it while you’re still young, why not, right?

For high school and college students, worrying about how their future would turn out can be stressful. Society secretly dictates you to find a high-paying career, get married, have kids, then retire. But we don’t often hear the advice to travel and explore the world, usually because it is an “expensive” hobby. Believe it or not, it is not. With smart planning, you can always explore with a student budget. Here are several practical ways on how you can make that happen.

Find the perfect time to go

First, let’s be real; you don’t necessarily need to go on a long trip to have the best experience. Weekend trips to see nearby cities and tourist spots are a fantastic option to explore without disrupting your schedule or shelling out a lot of money.

Also, being a student gives you a lot of control over your schedule. Planning out your classes, summer plans, or work schedule are great ways to make room for a trip. You even have more flexibility on your hands if you’re currently taking an online AMA University K-12 course or college class. If you’re up for it, you can hit the road while taking your online class. Or, better yet, use your school breaks, holidays, and weekends.

Another smart time to go on a trip is during the off-season. Depending on where you want to go, research the best time to visit and book flights before or after those dates. Go to any cool destinations while everyone’s on the beach during summer. Or, take advantage of cheap flights.

Plan your execution

in the airport

Finding stunning places and cheap tickets is easy. Planning how you’ll execute the trip is the tough part. For international travels, you might want to check in with your phone company and bank first. International data or roaming charges can hurt your budget, so make sure to confirm first if your regular phone plan will work internationally. If not, you can opt for alternative options like getting a local or tourist SIM card.

However, take note that tourist SIM cards can be quite pricey. If you can get access to free WiFi, then that’s better. As for the bank, give them a call and ask about international fees. If they have fees for using the card abroad, it’ll be better to set up a new account for travel. Another option is to get currency for the country you’re visiting. Ensure your bank knows where you’re going and when you’ll be traveling to avoid any problems using your card internationally.

And for a basic tip, pack smart and travel light. Now, this practical tip isn’t necessarily to ease your burden with heavy stuff. It’s also for your pocket or bank account. Excess baggage fees are things you can easily cut off on your budget, so do so. Only pack for essentials like money, medicines, electronics, and clothes you can mix and match.

Act like a true local

One huge mistake you can make as a tourist (and as a student) is to eat at fancy places when traveling, especially if you’re on a long trip. You can save so much if you eat like a local. Find local restaurants or cafes with reasonably priced food. Or, much better, try the local street food! Want to cook your own meal? Visit farmer’s markets for cheaper yet fresher options. Shop where the locals shop and eat where they eat!

Furthermore, a local (tourist) also knows how to score discounts. Discounted (sometimes free) entrances on several spots are probably among the best things about being a student. With a valid student card, you can score discounts on thousands of places in over 130 countries, from museum passes to train tickets. It is also a smart move to go on a walking tour instead of taking a cab to explore the place. You even get to see and appreciate the beauty of the destination and its culture.

As you see, there are plenty of tips and tricks on how you can save money on traveling while you’re still a student. Apply our suggestions to your trip and plan (always), so you won’t have to worry about an empty pocket while exploring the most amazing destinations.

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