BY AMELIA MALONE
People often say that college is the best time to travel. You’re not married yet, you don’t have kids, there’s no rigid career schedule to work with, and you probably don’t have a mortgage. It all seems great, but people tend to forget that most students are working on a really tight budget. It’s possible to travel, but you might need to be clever in the way you fund that travel.
Here are 7 essential tips to help you fund your travels while you’re in college.
A lot of students have a hard time balancing a career alongside college. For these students, freelancing is often the perfect alternative. As a freelancer, you can work from your computer and make your own schedule. All kinds of skills – particularly writing and web skills – have a big place in the freelance market. So if you’re good at building websites or writing code, you can easily score gigs that will help you put some money aside. Start that savings account you’ve always wanted and fill it with your earnings.
If you don’t live in a dorm and you have some extra space, make money off of that space. You might be able to save more moving into a two bedroom apartment and splitting costs with a roommate. If you have an extra room or garage, you can use a site like Spacer to rent it out as storage to someone who needs a place to keep their stuff.
Volunteer organizations all over the world are always looking for students to help them with environmental or humanitarian projects. You might get to travel for free if you sign up to help. Of course you won’t wind up having your dream vacation, but you can still spend your off days exploring someplace new. Check with your college employment service to find out about these opportunities.
If you’re really strong at a particular subject and you have classmates who aren’t, offer yourself up as a tutor. Charging for your time is fair – you’re providing a service that your peers need. You can also tutor lower level students, such as high school students. Parents are often happy to hire a tutor who is currently enrolled in college.
If you’re majoring in a language, you might be able to travel abroad for free. Other learning institutions, as well as corporate entities, are willing to pay top dollar for language majors to teach their students or employees. You’ll be funding your travel by working while you’re away. You might even get to cash in on some of the company perks. Use your skill as a native speaker of English. Becoming an ESL teacher is easier than you think – many times you won’t even need that type of qualification to start teaching English abroad.
If you opt for a group travel package with some of your peers, everyone will be funding your travels. Group rates are often discounted, so everyone pays a little less. The money is pooled together to pay for everything, and you all are getting a bargain. You won’t need to save up quite as much. Try to snag package deals during a sale to maximize your savings.
Some college classes provide extravagant field trips. Part of the cost is subsidized by the college, which ultimately saves you money. If any of your classes have optional field trips that might take you somewhere exciting (especially if it’s out of the country), you’ll rarely find a less expensive way to see the world. Ask your instructors about that type of opportunities and you might land an amazing adventure at a low cost.
You might not be able to stay at an extravagant chateau in the south of France, but you might be surprised to learn how far you can actually travel in college. Stay frugal and keep your trips simple. They’re easier to fund than you probably think.
Amelie Mahone is a loving wife and a mother of 3. She loves to read about history and write articles on various topics, such as: business, education, history, teaching. Amelie is a Communications Specialist at Spacer – a sharing community website where you can rent or find space.