Students are inherently always trying to find more money wherever they can. Everything from scouring under the couch cushions to donating plasma, to thinking about traveling full-time if it’s worth the savings. There are few stones left unturned when it comes to getting some spare cash. Yet, no matter what, it may seem like other students seem to have money for travel somehow when you don’t. What is their secret? If you know for sure it’s not a rich mummy and daddy funding these trips, then they may have stumbled upon one of these secrets.
Splitting the Costs
This is one of the best ways to afford anything when you’re a student. It takes some effort and planning and it’s not always going to be comfortable, but it is doable. Splitting a hotel room and gas amongst 5 or 6 people can really be the key to a trip taken rather than one that’s indefinitely delayed. Also, use your student ID as if your life depended on it. You may be surprised at just how much you can save over time when you always have your student ID on you. Museums, movie theaters, public transportation: they already know you’re poor. You might as well take them up on their offers to help you get more options in your life for less money when you’re on the go. It’s also wise to figure if you should use a rental or your own vehicle while traveling.
Investing the Time
When you don’t have any money, then the next best thing is to use your time wisely. For example, plane fares can be exceptionally cheap when you do your research. It may take checking 5 or 6 times a day (every day) before you find the fare you want, but chances are it’s out there. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually when fares come down, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Priceline can be an excellent way of getting a better rate. You can name your own bottom-of-the-barrel price and hope for the best. The reason why more people don’t do this on airfare is that Priceline assigns you a flight without showing you the times of the flight before your purchase is confirmed. You’ll need to be available for the entire day on both days you request (coming and going), and you may end up having to cut your trip shorter than you think if you must leave on the early side.
Some people just know more than you do about travel, and there’s no shame in admitting it. Look to the people who understand the industry, and you may be glad you did. For example, some Facebook groups are completely devoted to travel, and they have travel agent members who are kind enough to update their fellow members when they run across a great deal. Even if the deal isn’t relevant to where you are and where you want to go, you can always send the poster a private message to ask them to either give you some tips about getting the price you want, or even request they keep an eye out for deals in the areas you’re looking for.
So maybe you won’t be able to make it to Paris this year. It’s not a fun thought, but it’s not a reason to despair. There’s no reason you can’t have fun where you are, or maybe just a town or a state over. Learning more about the unique geography around you makes you more confident. You get the insider knowledge that comes from having explored an area from top to bottom. And it makes you inherently more interesting because you’re now an expert in where to go and what to do around campus.