It is entirely possible to travel as a student. I did it and so you can you! And since I’ve travelled the world in various budgets, here are my tips on how to easily and successfully travel while studying. Because sometimes you just need a change of scenery to be more productive and relaxed. We don’t subscribe to hustle culture around here!
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Perhaps you, like me, have dreamed of travelling since childhood. Maybe you are attracted
by the misty mountains of Scotland, mysterious Asian temples, or pedestrian neighbourhoods
of European capitals.
But you probably also understand the importance of maintaining good academic performance in college because it is a matter of gaining invaluable knowledge and your future career success. But is it possible to combine study and travel effectively, and how can you do it?
There are several ways to continue studying while travelling without compromising academic
performance or completely draining your wallet. It won’t be easy and will require some effort in planning, but everything is possible when you are trying to reach your dream (and protect your mental health, too).
Today, I’ll talk about the most practical ways to combine two different activities, from study abroad and exchange programs to optimizing your homework routine with the help of EssayShark essay writers.
It’s great to regularly put money aside to add to your travel fund, which you will not touch.
(And always calculate an emergency part into your travel expenses. You never know if something might go wrong or you fall sick. Definitely take out a travel insurance that covers both your health and belongings, like this one* I personally use.)
You can, for instance, open a special savings account that locks in your money for a few months at a better investment rate than a regular account.
Alternatively, you could have a certain amount (even if it’s 15 USD) transferred monthly to a subaccount, so you are not tempted to spend it.
Or you could put aside any loose change you get when you spend cash.
Part Time Job
A better option of just saving what you have and hoarding (see the money archetype of The Banker/Accumulator), you could also earn it especially with the purpose of investing in your trip. That’s a really good incentive that will keep you motivated.
Many shops and companies in the area need part-time workers. Find a position that suits your
skills and interests and schedule. If you work on weekends, holidays and evening shifts, you make more money.
You could distribute flyers, deliver food, help out in shops, work in storage, etc. Especially if you live in a university town, local places are used to people coming and going and working around their timetable.
Freelancing might be a great option if you have a highly marketable ability. Work-from-home sites like Upwork make it possible to supplement your income with skills like social media marketing, editing, copywriting, voice acting, etc.
And the best thing is that you can do this even if you are studying abroad or are otherwise away from home. It’s remote. Just be aware of time zone differences with your client and during your travels. (Checking internet connectivity strength in your accommodation before your trip is also a good idea.)
Although working while studying might be challenging, it’s possible to balance college and your
job. Getting part-time work is the method to accomplish this goal. You can better afford to go
to school, take care of yourself, and go on trips when you have a supplementary income
Plus, having extra money can also help you delegate at least part of the homework to experts in case you are pressed for time or need a serious break. Many apps and websites allow you to complete your homework much faster, freeing up more time for quality travel.
The finest and most straightforward way to see the globe and further your education simultaneously is to study abroad. It’s up to you which nation you study in to complete your education.
Check your university’s International Office to see which partner universities around the world and stipends are available. There are a lot of different funds to help students and the thing is: most students don’t even take advantage of them, don’t even try. So you DO have chances. Definitely get advice and just go for it! A really passionate (video) essay can work wonders!
There is also the option of participating in a student exchange program or something similar. With this setup, you can study abroad for at least one semester at a school in another nation. Enrolling in one of these courses allows you to go abroad without feeling too homesick.
Also, you can pursue an education overseas entirely. Instead of an exchange student, you are an interational student. Here too, there are stipends and funds available to help you transfer. And many universities have programs to help foreign students settle in.
Some people go for a foregin language course or program and then enroll and get support when they’re on the ground. Check possible visa complications, but typically it’s possible to change your visa while in the country and switching to studying.
Potential benefits of a study stay abroad include:
- Expanding linguistic and cultural horizons
- Meeting interesting people
- Creating memories that will last a lifetime
- Travelling locally (with student discounts) but in a foreign country
Another thing to note is that there special tour companies catering to young people and students. And sometimes they offer special, timed deals. This way, I got to visit Lapland in Northern Europe at a price that I couldn’t have put together by myself (plus it’s hard to navigate by yourself anyway).
Limit Your Night-Outs
Besides earning extra money, cutting expenses is a great way to increase your travel
budget. Many people misunderstand the meaning of the term “economy” and think it means
saving every cent.
That can honestly be super stressful and just living off ramen noodles is also bad for you health and not worth it! Just because you are young and your body can endure more shouldn’t mean you deprive yourself of good things in the moment. Don’t be a martyr for travel!
Typically, the most effective savings are to cut the expenses that hurt your savings the most. For most students, this is entertainment.
You likely leave the most money in nightclubs and pubs, getting takeouts and streaming subscriptions. Those can add up really quickly!
I’m not suggesting that you ultimately give up entertainment and get-togethers with friends; I’m just suggesting you consider it and pay attention to your expenses. And look for free or cheaper alternatives to socialise and be entertained.
Also, tracking your expenses is not only good money mindset, but it can help you eliminate unneccesary costs. Or track discounts, places where your regular items are cheaper. And it helps you also be better at planning and spending for your travels. Money easily “disappears” if you don’t consciously pay attention and then you end up dreading checking your account. We don’t want that for you.
Oh, and a classic tip is also: cook for yourself. And plan your meals so you don’t prep and cook individually but prepare larger portions, if possible, and freeze them. Buying seasonal products, scouting products in different markets and looking for coupons is also helpful. Sign up for loyalty points programs.
Plan Your Trips in Advance
The first rule of travelling when studying abroad – as with any trip – is to start making plans as soon as possible.
Especially, if you are tied to your timetable and typical holiday times (which are also high season), you need to make your bookings as soon as possible. In many cases, you might be able to adjust your specific travel times with your accommodation. But it’s a good idea to reserve your bed and flight at the very least.
Local transportation and tours tend to be more flexible with bookings closer to the date, unless you are eyeing the most coveted things, like cherry blossom season in Japan.
Weekend getaways are a great way to make the most of your time abroad while studying. Even so,
planning early might be essential and can save unneccessary costs. A good idea is to go on group outings as there might be discounts.
You may save money on your study abroad vacation by planning and making reservations in advance rather than waiting until the last minute. This can directly affect prices as discounts can be available in advance only (e.g. train trips) or there are price fluctuations (e.g. flights).
I wrote a guide on how to reduce flight costs.
Though it might not seem so initially, planning can be rather enjoyable. Gather information from other
students or connect with foreign exchange students from your travel destination to get hyped for your trip and have fun trip planning kinda done for you.
Also, there are tons of free blogs out there you can use instead of buying travel guides. And many pages also teach how to get travel points with credit card spendings (especially if you are from the USA).
Also, sign up for newsletters and travel alerts as soon as possible to receive information on potential discounts or price changes.
One way to make local friends, get free guides and have epic memories is to do couchsurfing. It’s also free! In places that don’t have a prominent hostel culture, like the US, it’s often the budget-friendly option.
But please vet your prospective host carefully! There are many people out there who take advantage of naive travellers, especially female solo travellers.
In Europe or Southeast Asia, you can find plenty of low budget hostels with stays between 6-35 USD per night.
Just make sure to always read the reviews and check location before booking. Sometimes you need to bring your own towels or book bedding extra (no, sleeping bags are not allowed). So check for those hidden fees.
Some hostels offer shuttle services for the airport as well. And do read up or ask about local taxis. There are plenty of scammers around. (Tip: Never take any ride from drivers at the Arrival gate! And always ask for price upfront.)
Also, you can always ask other hostel goers if they want to go on a day trip and share the expenses for a tour, car rental, etc. Hostels often also have free guided city tours.
Housesitting & WWOOFing
You can also register at house sitting websites and get the chance to housesit for people who are on holiday themselves. Read up on the chores, many involve plant watering and looking after pets. If you are young and a solo traveller, your chances are not as great as if you’re a couple. But it’s worth a try!
And it can give you lots of space and your own kitchen to save even more money on the ground.
WWOOFing on the other hand is where you work for your accommodation. You can also directly inquire for these options with hostels (especially in working for holiday visa countries like Australia, New Zealand and South Korea).
This could mean that you do housekeeping, reception and kitchen aid work for half the day and then get boarding and one meal per day. The rest of the day is free.
In many cities around the world, there are free city tours, which work on a donation basis.
And then there are designated days for free open days at museums and attractions, such as NYC, Berlin and Paris. Check for each location. But the research pays off!
Everything is possible if you have the desire. Combining study and travel can be much
easier than you think at first glance.
Use modern technology to streamline your homework, participate in student exchange programs, and plan all your trips in advance while keeping your academic program in mind. Learn how to travel smartly and cost-efficiently.
I hope these simple tips will help you discover your new college life and start travelling soon! To choose
a gorgeous location for your next trip, keep browsing through the blog.