As a junior in college, I know how hard it can be to balance school work, actual work, internships and personal life, all while wanting to see more of the world.
In my three years of college thus far, I have managed to travel to California, Kansas, Minnesota, Chicago, Mexico and Italy. Personally, I would have loved to have seen more states by now. But, things don’t always work out as planned and we have to compromise.
However, traveling and allowing room to grow should always be a top priority. So, I present to you:
HOW TO TRAVEL THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL YEAR
I know this plan is will not be compatible for everyone, but it’s nice to have a goal and at least try to get out of our comfort zones.
PART 1: Times to Travel
College has its perks, such as the much needed Spring Break and Fall Break. You should always try to leave your state during these days. As a working college student, I know how difficult it can be to ask time off when you could be making some extra cash. But for me, I know if I don’t use that time to travel I’ll end up regretting it and wishing I had spent my time more creatively instead of draining my body.
Summers are another great way to go exploring. Since you probably won’t be in school anymore, you only have work to worry about. Take a few days off, it won’t kill you, and see something you’ve always dreamed of seeing. You’ll instantly feel refreshed and ready to tackle another 12 hour shift at work.
I would recommend taking two trips in the summer. You can do this by NOT starting your job as soon as the spring semester ends. When applying for that summer job, put your available start date as a week or two after the spring semester, giving you plenty of time to relax and travel a little bit. You can reverse this at the end of summer too. Tell your boss you need to head back to school a few days earlier than you really need to and take a weekend trip to Kansas City or something. You will thank yourself later.
PART 2: FINANCES
One thing I’ve found that has held college students back from traveling, is money. Students need to pay for things like tuition, groceries, textbooks and more, so it can be hard to plan for a getaway.
Here are a couple of tips that have helped me finically.
- Putting as little as $5 a way each week
- Using sites like Airbnb and Green Tortoise Adventure Travel
- Traveling in groups in order to split the gas/rent/activity bills
- Using my credit card for gas and airfare to gain points
- Packing my own food
PART 3: Just GO
My final advice on how to travel as a college student, is to just go for it. Money and time will always be obstacles if you make them be; you have to navigate through life in order to experience it.
You won’t regret seeing the ocean, if even for a brief moment, or taking your picture with an iconic landmark, eating something too good not to Instagram or creating new memories with people you love.