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Every college student aspires to travel the world while he or she is still young. Studying abroad and abroad internship opportunities are increasing, but students’ bank accounts are not. This begs the question of how millennials are able to travel across the world on a tight budget. There are plenty of ways to travel the world without overspending; they just require a little thinking outside of the box and some research.
There are ways to obtain hospitality without spending money, but exchanging work instead. An example of this is staying at a hostel; hostels are not always free but they bring down the cost of finding a place to stay quite a bit, especially when you are helping out around the hostel. There is an organization called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), which connects volunteers to host farmers to exchange work for food and accommodation. Volunteers may be asked to help with various tasks on the farm, and are provided with an alternative way of living in the United States as well as a variety of countries such as Bolivia, Finland, and Jamaica.
Staying at a hotel can often be pricey – but there are cheaper alternatives. Airbnb allows people to stay in the home of a host for a much cheaper cost than staying at a hotel. You can have an entire apartment to yourself, which is ideal for a larger group of people. Another alternative hotel option is VRBO, which is part of the HomeAway family, a vacation rental marketplace. It offers rental cabins, condominiums, farmhouses, and other types of accommodations to travelers. VRBO allows users to type in a destination, arrival and departure dates, and the number of guests to filter a search of the featured rental homes, which are also typically cheaper than hotels.
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If you are diligent, there are ways to earn a bargain or even free tickets for a flight. There are websites such as Airfarewatchdog.com, and airlines that have their own alert system that will send you an email when fares go down. Another way to be alerted of low airfares is through twitter. Airfarewatchdog’s twitter account tweets low airfare details frequently and gives followers promo codes. There is also an application called Skyscanner, which allows users to search and compare flight prices, and it alerts users when prices for a saved route drop, along with a number of other uses. Another way to save on tickets is to be on the lookout for throwaway tickets, which are tickets for an unpopular destination. A throwaway ticket is a ticket that you’d buy to go somewhere that is typically unpopular but has a layover in the city you actually want to go to. Since the ticket to go straight to your desired city is most likely more expensive, you’d just throwaway the ticket to your next destination and leave the airport during your layover.
Before leaving to travel, it is necessary to plan out in detail how much you’re going to be spending, what you’re going to spend it on, and allot a certain amount of money per day. There are many apps that are designed to help track spending; some popular ones are called Trail Wallet and Pennies. This makes it very convenient since your spending information is on your phone at all times. It is also important to set a limit on how much to spend for a given weekend. If you’re traveling for an extended period of time, you have the opportunity to spend the weekend in different cities or countries. Planning ahead allows for you to make better decisions and optimizes the results of your spending.
If you are open to alternatives to hotels and different styles of living, seeing the world does not have to come at such a huge cost.
I am a Junior at Indiana University studying Journalism and Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. I love my family, friends, dogs, and traveling. In the future, I hope to live and work in Chicago.