How to travel cheap while being a student
This time, it’s no accident that we’ve decided to do a post on how to travel cheap.
We gave a lot of thought into how to explain how to travel cheap. So, finally, we decided, that I (P.) and my good friend Ignas, which shares some of his travels on Facebook page Over The Clouds, would simply tell both of our stories to give you some ideas on this topic.
EDIT: Turns out that our reader Kayla is an American and our post is more relevant to Europeans. Still, we believe, that our ideas could inspire some thoughts of your own.
Brief description about the travelersI’ve been actively seeing world for 5 years and my friend just came back from a spectacular trip from U.S. We both met last year 1 on, what should seem funny for those who know us, in a conference for entrepreneuric youth. Few days after we found out that not only we got in the same group in this conference, but me and him with his two friends are going together for Erasmus+ student exchange programme to Porto.
Long story short – we all bonded pretty good. The four of us had a few unforgettable journeys around Portugal. We’ve discovered that alongside many similar views towards different stuff, we also shared a lust to travel.
Personally, I consider Ignas a pro of how to take advantage of all possible opportunities to see the world. So, if you are interested in how to travel cheap – pay close attention.
University – best way to travel cheap
In my case, I found two main ways how to take the most of what university could offer you. The first one is..
Finding the right activities to participate inBelieve it or not, five years ago traveling didn’t seem that appealing to me at all. Still in university I was looking for some additional activities. Long story short, our university had one of the strongest student basketball teams in Europe, but there was no one who was responsible to help these stories reach the wider audience. As I was a public communication student I found a way to become a person who became responsible for all of this.
This was not only very useful for my knowledge of administrating social network and web pages; writing sports stories; taking pictures; interviews etc., but also lead to a point where I was being taken to almost every international competitions where I would cover the stories and distribute to our national basketball related websites.
And all of that was for free. In every trip we had our breakfast included and we had to spend no more than 10-20 Euros per day.
Eventually, in three years I got to 8 trips abroad in which I visited cities like Rome2, Paris3 and Eilat4. Not only I saw new countries, but I also had an amazing time not only working, but spending time with awesome people, celebrating our team wins and experiencing events that became one of the most impressive stories of my lifetime.
Few people that I met there were the ones who influenced me to travel and made me believe that the words travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer are absolutely true.
So, I believe that if you’re studying in a university there should be some activity that you could join and could eventually lead to having to travel together. Of course, you will have to work during these kinds of trips, but there is always time to go out if you manage your time right and don’t emphasize the importance of sleeping a lot.
Student exchange programmesIn Europe we have Erasmus+ and I’m pretty sure that other continents should also have this kind of exchange programs. As we were in Porto we had exchange students from Bolivia, Brazil, China and other countries. Now as I am living in Belgium we have a student from North Carolina university. So, it’s evident that these kind of programmes exist all over the world.
In Europe, when you get accepted for Erasmus+ exchange programme you get a scholarship between 300 and 500 Euros per month depending on the country. For example, in both Belgium and Portugal you get 400 Euros per month.
Of course, most of it goes for the rent, but if you’re good in handling your finances you will find your way around. My friends were living in Porto for full year. They got a shared flat, found a part-time job at a local club just across the street from where they were living and were able to live and travel the whole time.
Ignas and other two of his friends came to Porto with a car, because for three of them it was cheaper than to buy plane tickets. Also, you get a chance to see Europe along the way. Me and L. did the same, so we saw a lot of different places. And while we were all there, we traveled much more than the others because cars gave us a huge advantage.
Also, I know that in our country Erasmus+ students finds themselves where to buy cars and also travel cheap around. When the time to leave approaches they sell their cars to locals or to other arriving students. Some of them even get a profit from this.
Of course, hitchhiking is the cheapest way to do this, but it consumes a lot of time. Sometimes people don’t even get where they want.
Work and travel
Finally, this is where Ignas expertise comes more handy as I haven’t done this, though many friend of mine have. In our country the most popular destinations are Norway, because of the high pay and also it’s an INCREDIBLY beautiful country and the U.S. The most popular in our country is Work and Travel USA.
You get a chance to work 2-4 months in the U.S., as well as travel for one more. You earn a nice amount of money, which is very useful, for example, if you’re going to Erasmus.
So, here’s what Ignas has to say about his experience on how to travel cheap.
Ignas experienceTraveling in U.S. was simply awesome. It‘s a huge country and it‘s full of contrasts. I saw only some of the Western and Central parts of the country, but I can say that now I have a good impression about this country.
Everything started when I filled my documents in university and found a job in Denver. My journey started on July the 1st.
My job was one of the most popular between the students – moving. The main reason why everyone likes it is that you can earn a lot of money. If we‘re talking in plain numbers it‘s 12-15$ per hour. It depends from state, company and the contract. The best thing of all is the tips. If you’re lucky you can get up to 100$ per day, but, of course, on some days you get none.
I worked less than others – about 6-8 hours per day – so my earnings weren’t that impressive. Though, I was able to spend more time for traveling, entertainment and meeting local people.My biggest road trip occurred in the mid-August. We went from Denver to Arches, Bryces and Zion national parks. Later we visited Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Finally, we got to the city that never sleeps – Las Vegas. All I can say is that I had earned enough to spend a great time for two days. We didn’t get to the big hotels, we spent our nights at Super 8 motel, but it was good and it cost me 30$ per night.
After this we got to the Yosemite National Park, San Francisco and Sequoia Park. Finally, I spent four days in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, where there was sun, palms and the Pacific Ocean.
Everything that I saw and experienced was unforgettable and the hard job that I had to do was nothing compared to this awesome time and memories that I got.
Despite everything that I’ve spent during my trips and living in U.S. I brought home 2500$, which will contribute to my later trips and will have a positive boost for seeing more of the world. I believe, it’s not only a way to travel cheap, but also how to invest in to your future wanders.
We hope that this post had at least some value to you and gave you an idea on how to find ways to travel cheap.
If you have any further questions we’re always ready to help and answer all of your questions, find people who have experience and we will definitely share this with you!
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