BY GORDON SCHORR
They say that youth is lost on the young, but not if you live your youth to its fullest. You are in college, and now is the time to get out there and see and do as much as you can. This includes traveling. But, you can’t just run off without a plan. After all, you do need to keep safety in mind at all times, and you need to have an idea of where you are going and what you will be doing. Here are some of the best travel tips for college students that will help you get the most out of these years.
- Know the Requirements – If you are planning on traveling outside the country, make sure that you know what the requirements are, and that you have all of the necessary paperwork, including your visa, passport, etc. The less time you can spend with customs agents, the more time you can spend enjoying your vacation.
- Jam-Pack Your Vacation – Whenever possible, don’t just visit one place. For instance, if you are going to spend a few days in New Hampshire, hop on a train and visit Boston while you are at it. Or, if you are going to Germany, you can visit many other European countries that are just a short drive away.
- Set Two Budgets – You should always have two budgets to work with when you are traveling. One budget is for the entire trip, including travel, accommodations, food, spending money, etc. The other is a daily budget, what you can allow yourself to spend each day to stay within the overall budget. Don’t forget to allow for emergencies, such as cab fares do you don’t end up stranded in a strange place.
- Pre-Book Activities – Depending on the time of year you are traveling, a lot of things you want to see and do may be booked when you get there. Pre-book the things you want to do. Not only will it insure you get to do them, you might even get special discounts for booking early. Don’t forget to ask for student discounts as well.
- Consider the Hotel – Before you reserve a hotel room, make sure that the hotel is in the area you need to be. Some are not close to local attractions, so you would be spending more time and money on transportation. Look for affordable hotels that are within walking distance of the things you want to do, that has easy access to public transportation, etc.
- Get Travel Insurance – Even if you are only going away for a couple of days, it is always a good idea to purchase travel insurance. You never know when you might become sick or injured, and medical treatment or a hospital stay could get rather pricey. Having that insurance gives you more peace of mind to enjoy your travels.
- Rent a Bicycle – Instead of spending a lot of money on a walking tour or a bus tour of an area you are visiting, rent a bicycle and create your own tour. Grab a local map that shows the best areas to visit, and set out to see the sites on your terms. You will save money, and likely see a lot more than you would on an organized tour.
- Avoid Big Cities – If you want to travel on the cheap, avoid visiting big cities where everything from meals to accommodations tend to be more costly. You will see a lot more if you travel off the beaten path and visit some of the smaller areas, and you won’t have to spend nearly as much money.
Gordon Schorr is an online educator and creative writer.