The best part of being a student is that you get summer holidays, winter break, spring break, and multiple holidays to enjoy your time in between your hectic school schedule. Despite having a lot of free time on their side, the one thing that holds back students from exploring the world is a shoestring budget.
However, being on a tight budget should not hold you back from taking a trip to the other side of the world. When planned properly, you can make the most of your summer vacations by exploring new places and traveling around the world.
With a few budgeting hacks, you can travel to a new destination without making a hole in your pocket. Here are some tips that will help you budget for your summer traveling.
Plan in advance
With technology in your hand, you can take a quick look at potential travel destinations. With a little more research, you can find out ways to reach your destinations, fares, connectivity, accommodation, dining, and places to visit. This will give you an idea about the budget you will need to travel to the destination of your choice.
Planning in advance will give you adequate time to save money throughout the year. Additionally, at this time you can also check out the best deals, free or cheap activities to do, and off the beaten tracks.
Set goals to save money
By setting goals you can analyze your daily expenditures and reduce them significantly to save more money for traveling. The best way to track your expenses is by creating a spreadsheet. Here you can add all your expenditures ranging from buying groceries to ordering takeaway meals.
You can also set monthly goals to save a fixed amount of money. If you have been eating out a lot then try to prepare your own meals to cut down your expenses. Similarly, you could avoid the bus or train to the university and use a bicycle to save money on your daily commute.
Take up a part-time job
If you are really passionate about traveling and have some free time after your classes, then taking up a part-time job can help you build funds for your summer travel. Depending on the time you get after juggling between your classes and assignments, you can either work for a few hours every day or on the weekend. If you already have a part-time job then pick up a side hustle that only needs a few hours to save some extra money for traveling.
Choose your destination wisely
Depending on your budget you can choose a local or foreign destination of your choice. Local destinations can be great for students who have a tight budget. By traveling to a local destination, you can save a lot of money spent on flight tickets and currency conversion. However, if you wish to visit an international destination, then choose a place whose currency conversion rate is positive, where you get more for your buck.
Save money on flights
Instead of getting attracted to the luxury services offered by some of the popular airlines, look out for low-budget airlines. Often major airlines charge almost double the rate charged by low-cost budget airlines. A great way to save money on flights is by booking a red-eye flight. As these flights operate at night, they are comparatively more affordable than day-time flights.
If you have enough time to reach your destination then take a non-direct flight rather than a direct flight. Websites such as Skyscanner and Kayak offer travelers a comprehensive comparison of multiple airlines. By signing up for deal notifications, you can get instant alerts for flights that are offered at discounted rates.
Ditch the luxurious hotels
Similar to booking alternative airlines, popular hotels also charge a lot of money for luxury services. If you want to truly explore a new place like a local, then Airbnb can be a great choice for you. Many Airbnbs also allow guests to cook their own food in the kitchen. This can save you a lot of money on eating out during your holiday.
In addition to Airbnb, hostels are also very popular with students and solo travelers. Hostels not only offer cheap accommodation but also give you the chance to meet other travelers and like-minded people.
Carry your snacks
Carrying your own snacks can be an affordable choice when it comes to making impulse purchases. While packing for travel, make sure to carry enough snacks that will last during your entire journey. For example, you can skip that expensive sandwich at the airport and have your own. Granola bars, nuts, and crackers are some of the best snacks that can keep you going during your vacation.
While traveling on a low budget, you can also check out the local supermarkets for affordable food options. It will not only help you save money but also give you the chance to try some local delicacies at affordable prices.
Be flexible with your dates
Flexibility is the key to traveling on a fixed budget. During regular holiday seasons, both airlines and hotels add a premium to their regular fares. Changing your travel dates by one or two weeks can save you from paying a premium on your travel and accommodation. You can also select your travel dates during the non-peak months to save more money.
Check for student discounts
Many cities offer admission to various attractions, sights, and events at discounted rates to students. Before traveling, make a list of all these places and ensure to claim your student discount. You can also book tickets online and claim your student discount to avoid any last-minute hassle. Many airlines also give discounts to student travelers. Just keep a check on the website updates and save any promo code that will help you to get the discount.
To sum up, these are some of the basic tips that can help you prepare a budget for summer traveling. Planning in advance, comparing, and choosing your options wisely are the best ways for student travelers with a tight budget.