7 Cheap Vacation Tips for College Students

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Travel Budget

We all need a break from the real world every now and then. But, if you’re in college and are working with a limited (alright, practically non-existent) vacation budget, escaping for a getaway can be a bit of a challenge.

Don’t stress yet! Escaping campus for a vacation while you’re on a shoestring budget involves some research and coordination. But, it’s not impossible! Here are seven tips you should keep in mind.

1. Do plenty of research.

In order to recognize a good deal when you see one, you need to be informed. So, do plenty of research ahead of time in order to ensure you’re getting the best price on airfare and hotels.

Sign up for a site like Hotwire’s Trip Watcher, which will take care of tracking travel trends for you and displaying handy price comparisons for you to analyze. The site will also send you notifications when there’s a change in prices, so you can pounce on deals as soon as they’re available!

2. Don’t have your heart set on going far from home.

A relaxing getaway doesn’t necessarily mean you need to fly across the country. So, if you’re working with a particularly restrictive budget, look into a few different vacation options that are within a drivable distance.

Perhaps your state has an amazing beach or a great state park with tons of hiking trails. Before looking into airfare, take a look at your own backyard. You’ll likely be surprised with your options. Plus, you’ll save plenty of cash!

3. Be flexible.

They always say that you save the most money in the grocery store when you aren’t loyal to one specific brand. Well, the same concept applies to saving money on your travel plans.

Instead of deciding on one specific vacation destination, come up with a more of a general idea of the type of vacation you want. Are you hoping to explore a big city? Well, then you can keep your eye on travel deals in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, Miami, and many other locations. Do you want to hit the beach? Take a look at Florida, California, Hawaii, South Carolina, and Maine. Keeping your options open will help save you some money!

4. Bring your student ID.

Tons of different attractions and tourist destinations offer discounts for students. So, be sure to pack your student ID along with the rest of your travel essentials. Even if you save just a couple of dollars here and there, it all adds up really fast!

5. Go with friends.

Traveling with friends is not only a great way to stay safe and have tons of fun, it’s also a smart method for saving on expenses.

Going on trips with friends means you’re also splitting shared expenses. Whether you’re dividing the bill for a hotel room, gas, or even a pizza at dinner—it’s always cheaper to travel in a pack! Plus, it’ll make your parents feel better.

6. Skip hotels.

Hotels aren’t your only option for accommodations when traveling. If you’re hoping to pinch pennies, check out AirBnB or Couchsurfing.

These sites will connect you with someone that’s willing to rent out their couch or a spare bedroom for a minimal cost. In addition to the savings, you might also get some great recommendations of things you need to check out in the area!

7. Ask for suggestions from locals.

Sure, tourist traps are fun. But, they can also be quite expensive.

So, before heading out to that popular and crowded spot in the middle of town, ask some locals for suggestions of things to see and places to eat. You’ll have an awesome, authentic experience and save some cash in the process!

Heading off on a vacation while you’re on a college budget might seem like a pipe dream. But, it’s actually quite doable if you’re smart about it! Keep these tips in mind, and get ready to enjoy your getaway!

Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard is a Midwest-based freelance writer and blogger who loves lending her voice to a variety of publications and organizations. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she enjoys reading, babying her rescued terrier mutt and obsessively organizing her entire home.
Kat Boogaard
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About Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard is a Midwest-based freelance writer and blogger who loves lending her voice to a variety of publications and organizations. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she enjoys reading, babying her rescued terrier mutt and obsessively organizing her entire home.