Guest Post by Jennifer Broflowski
Today we live in the age of internet and low-cost flights. This weird combination allows us to fulfill our dreams and potential. It has never been so easy: just to book a ticket and cross halfway around the world simply to eat THAT pizza in Napoli, or see THAT cherry blossom in Kioto, or feed THOSE turtles on Bali.
We have internet access to find about those things out, and we have cheap flights to implement our intentions. It is excellent, though, how many people realize that.
How often can you hear from someone mature and respectable that student years were the time of their lives? – Boring, but actually that's fair: students don’t have much to be responsible for, parents may still help them financially, they don’t have their own families, they have minds full of ideas and bodies full of energy.
Most of the memorable and life-changing moments happen here, during your student years. Then adulthood comes, and you realize that basically, life is not over, but it’s much more stable now – therefore more boring.
As an adult, I highly recommend you to use every second of your youth and discover your depth, meanwhile exploring the planet.
In this article, I will try to convince you that travelling is necessary. However, billions on your accounts – are not. I will tell you about 7 ways to travel, even if you are a broke college student.
So let’s see:
can we get from point A to point B? There are plenty of cheap and sometimes even free ways to do so:
If you want to fly cheap, always mind discounts and sales. So you need to monitor such things: subscribe for the mailing or follow social media channels.
What is more – always purchase beforehand. Earlier you buy – cheaper you fly. Sometimes you can even have a within-Europe flight for 2$. Always check those: Southwest Airlines, Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling, AirAsia, and other low-cost airlines.
Last but not least – always check prices on special websites like Skyscanner, Momondo or Kiwi, they will help you find the cheapest fare.
An ecological option. For sure, travelling by bus takes more time, although it is usually cheaper. Modern buses are well-equipped and are really comfortable. What is more, luggage is usually included in the price. I recommend you to buy tickets from international transport companies, they often have student discounts, first booking discounts, and vouchers. Check Flixbus, American lion, Eurolines, LuxExpres.
If you are literally broke College Student, you can try to hitchhike. You will receive plenty of stories, upgrade your socializing and stress-resistance skills. Always be cautious, better – hitchhike with someone you know, be patient, and before starting your trip – learn the important hitchhiking rules.
Let’s see what we can do to minimize the expenditures for the accommodation:
For young travellers, I suppose, it’s the best invention ever. Use Couchsurfing to meet locals, stay with them, and share experiences. I admire CS because it allows you to see the destination with real sight, what is always more fun. Before sending a request or accepting the guest, I recommend you to read all the references carefully. If you send a request, make an effort and write it properly, the way you would like to receive it.
Hostels are a great alternative for students with a low budget, but opened mind: sharing your place with other young travelers helps you to understand how big and diverse our World is. What is more, hostels often provide visitors with useful tips and sometimes even local discounts for food or amusement.
AirBnB was invented by the same broke college students just to keep their rent. However, today it is one of the most popular platforms for accommodation renting. The thing is, this app allows you to book an apartment/ room or even a couch directly from the owner, which makes it a good budget option. What is more, if you book for the first time, you receive a 20-40$ discount, which makes it even more appealing. Apart from this, you can find many workshops or tours via AirBnB.
When the question comes to `what to do`, please remember that you have your student card. Use it. It may be like a skeleton key for you. There are lots of museums, galleries, national parks, movies, and theaters that provide discounts or even free entrance for student card owners. If you travel worldwide, I recommend you to receive an ISIC card, which will be valid internationally.
Great opportunity to discover a new place is to take a Free Walking Tour. Register online, find the meeting point and join the adventure! The main zest in such activity is `free`: you don’t have to pay a particular price. However, you are free to leave tips, if you like the guide. Recommended!
Be rational. If you are a broke student it's okay to cook for yourself. To buy ingredients at the supermarket = 10$, Eat out = 20$.
Most of the cheap/free places to stay provide kitchen and all needed utensils, what's more – you can even cook something together with other guests and have a cool experience. But, I strictly forbid you to behave like cheapskates: cuisine is a massive part of cultural experience, so allow yourself to spend a bit and try something original at least once.
Tasting is always a good idea, especially if you travel during the holidays. Go to the markets and do not hesitate to ask for samples, vendors are usually quite welcomed to such request because they want you to buy something. So the main rule here is not to pig out and enjoy traditional food.
I think you will notice it on the ticket purchasing step, but everything is more expensive during the high season. If it’s the sea – that’s summer; if it’s the mountains – that’s winter. However, being clever enough, you’ll discover that the best time to go to the seaside is fall, and ski slopes are available in spring too.
There are many online platforms where you can find an opportunity to become a volunteer: Workaway, Woofing or AIESEC can provide you with unforgettable cross-cultural experience. What is more – with accommodation, food, acquaintances and emotions.
You should definitely consider international exchange programs for students. According to official Erasmus+ data, during 2017 almost 800 000 students studied by Erasmus programs worldwide. The fund usually covers all your expenditures. There are long and short terms programs in 33 countries. So, please, apply and connect your student life with travelling directly.
Hopefully, this article was useful and you have discovered some new ways to diversify your travelling routine and make it more adventurous.
Jennifer Broflowski is a professional social journalist and math prof from Canada. This unusual combination helps her not only to write about broad social topics such as stress, career choice, travelling, and studying but also give students math assignment help in Canada, by providing useful materials in her articles.