Throughout my time in college, the number one question I always receive is “how the heck do you afford to travel this much?” If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question, I would be able to afford 5 trips to Europe. Listed below are my unbeatable tips that have helped me see the world with a relatively low budget!
Newsflash… there are more ways to travel than just taking an airplane. I have mainly traveled through the US, so I can only attest to my own experience. In the United States, people seem to forget there is a thing called Amtrak! It is a commercial railway system with routes all over the country. If you are flexible in the timing of your trips, I highly recommend looking into taking a train. I have taken two Amtrak journeys, one from Indiana to California, and one from Indiana to Boston. In my personal experience, I saved about $200 by taking the train to Boston rather than flying. Taking the train is an adventure in itself, so it is perfect to add to the itinerary of a trip. Other alternate methods that could save you money is renting a van from Escape Campervans, completing a road trip in your own personal car, or taking a Flixbus.
I need to preface and say that I love hotels, I am literally a Hospitality and Tourism Management Major. However, hotels can get quite pricey, and I personally enjoy having a whole cabin or house to myself, so I typically opt into Airbnb and Hipcamps. Sometimes hotels can be cheaper too, but when I am planning a trip, I consider ALL options. The plus side of Airbnb’s and Hipcamp’s is that I typically book ones with kitchens, so I also save money by cooking my own meals rather than going out for every meal.
Travel with friends!!!! This is my holy grail tip. I know solo travel is on the rise and I fully support it; however, I don’t have the desire to pay for all my lodging, gas, and activities by myself. Traveling with friends has saved me hundreds of dollars and it creates everlasting memories with people you love. A common rebuttal to this is that some people say they don’t have friends that want to travel, or their friends always back out, etc. The one tip I have to combat this problem is to join groups on Facebook like Travel Bff. This group has 40K+ followers and women can join and find travel buddies!
Sometimes I will get the random urge to go on a trip or I will have a random few days off and I want to make the most out of them. When this happens, I immediately go to apps like Skyscanner and the Airbnb “Explore Anywhere” page. These features allow you to input the dates you have off or desire to travel, and they show you the cheapest places to travel and the cheapest places to stay. This is a great resource to utilize because it does the work for you and you just have to determine your own budget!
Traveling can cost a pretty penny, but with patience, budgeting, and research, it can be doable. If you have any additional questions on this topic, please comment or reach out to me on social media. Do not forget to follow me on my socials! Click the icons below.