How to Plan an Affordable Vacation as a Student
Being a student can be pretty difficult and demanding sometimes. There’s the struggle to attend classes, do assignments, write tests, do term papers, participate in group and individual projects, and the list just goes on and on. Sometimes the mind and body needs some sort of escape from the heavy workload and stress, even if it’s just for a weekend. Students get a lot of breaks during the school year and can take advantage of the various discounts available to them because of their ‘student status’. This time of your life is the best to travel as you may not get as much time again when you leave school. However the biggest hindrance to this thirst for adventure and rest is money.
There are many ways to make trips more affordable whilst retaining the fun factor. Here are a few tips on how to plan a vacation on a student budget.
Be a Traveller not a Tourist:- The difference between a tourist and a traveller is in how much money they spend. Tourists go on tours and buy a lot of gifts for their family and friends. Being a traveller should be much easier than that, be smart and visit the right places at the right time. Many sites of attractions offer free admission at certain days and hours, try to catch them at these specific times, this helps to cut down on the cost of paying to visit. You don’t have to buy things for everyone at home, more gifts means more luggage and more luggage means more fees during your time of travel. Learn to live like a local while on vacation, try to learn and research on the habits of the people in the places you intend to visit, this helps you cut down on your expenses because most street sellers and vendors tend to hike their prices for ‘perceived strangers and tourists’. Eat like a local, try to walk away from those places where tourists eat and you would be shocked to find how much money you get to save on really good local cuisines.
Be Smart about Transport Systems:- While travelling on a budget, you have to be smart about transport systems, find a way to get the cheapest possible, flights, buses or trains. Don’t travel during festive seasons as prices are outrageous during that time. Plan your trips the season before or after the holiday periods. During these periods, a lot of people avoid travelling either in preparation for the holidays or they just got back from travelling because of the holidays. Airports and bus stations tend to reduce their prices around this time to attract tourists; this makes it a good time to take advantage of the price slash. Try to put money aside for your return so you don’t over spend and become stranded. While at your destination, try to opt for buses or public transportation instead of cabs, this could help you cut down on cost.
Look for Budget Friendly Destinations:- I know it may seem so tempting to want to go to Paris or Italy for a vacation, as much as all of that seems exciting, try to look for a destination that can fit into your budget. There are some places you should consider that are amazing and budget friendly, for example; in Nigeria, you could consider visiting Calabar or Benue state. Do a quick search and find out as much as possible about these places, talk to people who have tried out going on vacation in these locations. Be aware of the climate changes and weather conditions of these places so you can pack correctly.
Be adequately informed about possible options for accommodation:- Try to switch out staying in hotels for those hostels with shared accommodations, this avails the opportunity of meeting new people and could even turn out to be a great learning experience. Some locals also offer a spare room in their houses at a reduced cost for a time, this could cut down your living expenses in half and if you’re lucky you may have found a personal tour guide as they could give you pointers on the best places to visit for cheap, ways to get souvenirs at a reduced price, spots to get food at low costs if you’re interested. Remember to check out ratings and gain as much information as possible before choosing a place to stay. Remember, safety first. Also try to connect with people living in the cities you intend to visit, who knows you might find someone you know that has lives in the city and get free accommodation.
Search for Volunteer Programs:- A cheap way to visit various countries (yes you heard me right, countries!) is to sign up and volunteer through ‘work away’. It connects travellers with individuals, families, and organizations that provide accommodation and food in exchange for some sort of voluntary work. Find out what suits you and you are well on your way to visiting a lot of amazing destinations without having to spend money.
Bring a Friend:- Taking a friend on your trip helps to cut down your expenses by half, if you choose to stay in a hotel, you get to share the bills and pay less, cab rides, and a lot of buy one get one free fees where you can get two and split the bill for one. Basically you get to vacation for cheaper. So you should consider planning your vacation with a friend of yours. You get to be with a familiar face and this could make your vacation more enjoyable.
These tips are a sort of guide to enable you plan for an affordable vacation on a budget. Don’t forget to not get lost in the excitement of things and you would do just fine.
I hope this helps to shed light on why your time as a student is the best time for you to travel. The opportunities available are endless. You cannot put a price on the experience you would gain or the people you would meet.