When you’re a college student, life seems to be an endless cycle of classes, tests, internships and part-time jobs. When heading out for a movie night with your friends seems a little dull, you know it is time to take the bull by the horns and make some memories! College is a fantastic time to learn more about the world at large and you will never be in a better situation for world travel. Take a moment to think about how you can get a cheap and fun filled trip to another part of the world. College is a great time to do this, and you can even do it without putting yourself into significant debt, if done properly. Do you want to backpack through the Andes, or are you interested in sipping real Italian coffee in Verona? Consider these important tips to keep money in your pocket when you are seeing the world.
Working On the Go
If you are someone who loves to see the world and you want to save some cash while you do it, consider finding work when you go. There are a number of ways to work when you are thinking about an extended stay. Legally, you need a work visa to work in another country, but there are plenty of people who are looking for some odd jobs here and there, which may not require a visa. Just be safe while you do it. Some local pubs might be willing to pay for dish washing or bartending but you won’t know if you don’t ask. If you are looking for more official job opportunities when you are on the go, consider learning more about WWOOF. They are a great organization that connects people all around the world with jobs on farms. Why not get your hands dirty while you’re traveling? If farming is not your idea of a good time, then you can try to find see if any websites want your expertise as a blogger or photographer.
The first thing that many college students consider when they are heading on the road is their financial situation. When you’re already paying tuition and dorm fees, how can you possibly think about sending yourself across the world? The truth is that the best way to handle yourself in regards to funding your trip is to do as much research as possible. How do you know what your options are if you don’t look?
Before my first trip I some research and I learned that I was qualified for a reasonable travel credit card. Even though I was working as a lifeguard at school, I did not have enough funding to buy tickets, hostel accommodations and food before I left so borrowing money was my only option. This worked out great and it is what I currently do for all my trips because I can prolong my payments for when I get home from my trip, find a summer job and can repay the bank. Even if you have the money in the bank, a good credit card will help you out in a foreign country; it prevents you from needing to trade currencies every time you hop a border, which can be quite expensive. Ultimately, my travel credit card is handy because I earn rewards points for future trips that I take as a result of spending on my line of credit. If I were to recommend a way to finance a student trip, I would suggest researching a card that would work for your specific needs.
When you are in a new city, you need to make sure that you have a place to rest your head, and this is where the hostels come in. A perfect hostel is clean, gives you student discounts on food and introduces you to all sorts of new people. Hostels can be less than forty dollars per night, but make sure that you find a good one; I always use Hostelworld because it compares different hostels and you can book your trips in advance. Because you will likely be sharing a room, look for a hostel that has lockers, where you can lock up your backpack while you stay there. Also make sure that any hostel you stay at will be open for check-in when you arrive; some hostels close their doors at 10 P.M, preventing you from getting a bed even if you already paid for it.
When it comes to keeping yourself safe, one of the most important things for you to consider is your wallet. Pickpocketing is a bigger problem in other countries than it is in the United States. Make sure that you put your things in a zipped pouch that you carry around in your pocket. These travel wallets can be bought all over the Internet and they can be a lifesaver. Do not carry your important documentation in a purse or in an exterior backpack pocket if you can help it. If you find yourself without your wallet, passport and tickets, find the United States embassy and they will take care of you.