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8 Awesome Travel Ideas for Broke College Students

If you think that you can’t afford to take the leap into the unknown, think again.

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When friends post photos of themselves in exotic places on Instagram, do you feel like you can’t afford to have the same kind of fun they’re having?

Well, don’t worry: almost everyone in their 20s feels like that at one point or another!

Traveling during your college years is such a good way to expand your mind and learn about other cultures and make new friends, that you can’t afford it. The truth is that almost anyone can explore for much cheaper than you think---all it takes is a little creativity and an open mind. Even if you feel like you have to scrape up the cash or use a little bit of credit, there’s every reason just to get up and go. Almost any type of traveling will give you heaps of material for writing projects like a report or a narrative essay. If you’re a college student who is struggling with cash flow, but you want to make the most of these amazing years, here are a few ideas for cheap n’ cheerful trips.

1. Short trips or staycations

You don’t have to go the distance to expand your world---there are always amazing experiences just around the corner. If you’ve been dying to explore a nearby city, for instance, try checking sites like Groupon for discounted multi-day group tour trips.

3. Relocation car rentals

If you love a good road trip, why not check in with a nearby car rental place for relocation rentals. The fun thing about this is that you can choose an alternative mode of transportation for the way back, which may even lead to all kinds of new adventures on the road.

4. Walk or bike

If you’ve got the extra time on your hands, why not get a little exercise by walking or biking around your current or destination city? This is a great way to explore while saving cash and getting a little workout.

5. Location, Location, Location!

When you’re away, it may seem like staying far from the center of a place is somehow cheaper than staying centrally…but the best experiences often happen right downtown. You’ll be able to see and do more on foot and get so much more out of your trip while saving money on taxis and public transportation.

6. Discount flights

Flights can be expensive, but websites like Skyscanner now allow travelers to find the cheapest deals. You can enter your preferred dates and have the destination be “flexible,” so could essentially plan your trip around the cheapest flight you find. It’s kind of like closing your eyes and spinning an old-fashioned globe, then just going wherever your finger lands. How cool is that?

7. Consider a working vacation

Websites like WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) and Workaway are great opportunities to learn new skills that will help you through life and may even be very useful in counting towards your studies. Depending on your program, you may even ask about whether opportunities like this could count towards Co-op or internship programs/ Learn a new language, get your hands dirty on a farm, or apprentice in a trade, and you’ll likely find that it’s the most rewarding thing you ever do.

8. Night flights or long-haul train or bus trips.

You’re young, you can afford to scrimp on a little sleep, so if you’re on the road, consider buying overnight trips to save money accommodations. Just be sure to first pack the essentials: a travel pillow, sleep mask, and earplugs.

No matter which way you spin it, traveling is one of the best types of education that you will get in your college years, so don’t let a lack of cash flow stop you!

Traveling during your college years may not seem to translate to traditional “book” learning, but it will actually make you a more well-rounded and knowledgeable person in so many ways. Get on the road and keep your eyes open and head held high, and your life will change in the most amazing ways.

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