Travel is a wonderful thing. It opens you up to new experiences and cultures, tests you in ways you couldn’t imagine back home, and leaves you breathless and overall a more cultured person. Unfortunately, traveling is not free.
For some people, that is enough to deter them from travelling at all. Don’t be one of these people!! Yes plane tickets can be pricey, but if you consider what you’d be buying at home anyways (food, rent, gas) it may not be as expensive as you think. Besides, travel is always worth the price.
If you are willing to make some changes in your daily life and keep and open mind, you may find that saving a little cash for that plane ticket might not be as tricky as you’d expect! Here are some tips on how to save a little, for experiences that are worth a lot:
1. Say no to that $4 coffee
Most of the time. I know, I know, after four hours of lectures and note-taking, you feel like you practically can’t survive the day without that caramel macchiato. Trust me, I’m that person 80% of the time. But, chances are, I don’t need it. Instead, I bring my own coffee from home in the morning, and when that is all gone, I use the green tea bags I also brought from home, and ask the coffee shop for some hot water. That way, I get my much-needed caffeine throughout the day without spending a fortune. But go ahead and treat yourself every once in a while!
2. Switch up your makeup routine
I know what you’re thinking, but just hear me out. When I got into college, I started wearing less makeup. And not just because I was tired or didn’t have the time, it was because I realized that nobody cared. Most girls in my classes didn’t wear makeup anyways, and who was I trying to impress? I started wearing less makeup (which gets super expensive after a while) and started feeling more confident with myself. Now I almost never buy it, saving me lots of cash each month.
3. Shop at (gasp!) the dollar store
If you have never set foot inside a dollar store and you are a struggling college student, then I don’t know how you do it. I find some amazing things there, sometimes even from great brands! There’s no shame in going there, so leave your ego at home and go get some great things for just a buck!
4. Know where your money is going
Sometimes, we spend a lot of money over time without even realizing it. Case in point: I love Redbox, like, a lot. But you just can’t overdo it. One movie a night for a month is over $30, money you could save by waiting a week until that movie is at your local library. Which leads me to the next tip…
5. Go to the library
This really shouldn’t be on this list but I am always surprised to find out how many people don’t use the library system in all of it’s greatness. I mean, come on, free books and movies are just waiting for you! You could be renting some great travel books and studying up, for free!
6. Sacrifice some luxury
Whether it’s going out to dinner twice a week or to the movies, or buying those $200 shoes.. some things you can live without, and you know it. Do you really need that expensive shampoo? Your hair will probably be okay with something more generic. I still can’t imagine how some girls afford to get a manicure every week and still pay for school. It’s just about how much you’re willing to sacrifice, and you’d be surprised at how easy it is once you get used to it!
7. Work more
This is probably the most parental answer ever. But it’s true! I’ve worked three different jobs in the past year to be able to travel, and it was worth every hour. Just be sure to come home to a poster or guidebook of your future destination to keep you motivated or else you’re likely to burn out. You have to keep your eye on the prize, be reminded every day why you’re working so hard, and it makes it all a little easier to handle.
8. Reach out to People
I don’t mean ask for money. On the contrary, you should ask around for other things! Your neighbor might have an old moneybelt gathering dust. One of your Facebook friends could have a backpack you could use, or buy off of them for a great price. Most people are happy to help if you have the courage to ask for it. If not, you may end up buying something your good friend has lying around somewhere, that you could have borrowed.
9. Consider more affordable travel
Sometimes, saving money is impossible. Life is unpredictable, and at any moment your car could break down, costing hundreds of dollars. When this happens, don’t abandon all hopes of travel! Just reconsider your plans. If you wanted to stay in a nice hotel, reconsider a hostel bed. You will meet great people and it really isn’t that bad. If you looked at the costs of plane tickets to Europe and silently cried to yourself, don’t give up! Try exploring a less touristed country with way cheaper airfare. There is so much out there to explore, and once you arrive, you will realize that it doesn’t matter how fancy your hotel is or whether you’re prancing around Paris or hiking through the rainforest. Travel is travel, and the more you experience, the better.
10. Be creative!
There are so many ways to save money. The trick is to be open to change, and to be willing to give some things up or do things a little differently. Traveling is not a far-fetched dream. With a little effort and perseverance, you will be on that flight in no time.
Have any other great money-saving tips? I’d love to hear them! Just leave me a comment below!