I remember when I was in college, I was always trying to find more ways to travel more in college. It’s no secret that choosing to go get a higher education can put quite a damper on your ability to get up and go whenever you please.
You’ve got professors with awful attendance policies stating that if you miss more than 3 classes you get dropped a letter grade. Like wtf??
Not to mention, you’re most likely broke and can’t afford to travel because of all the money you spend to fund your social life.
A lot of my friends hit me up and ask how I’m traveling so much, so now I’m sharing my tips to guide any college student who wants to travel more frequently.
1. Set up your schedule so you don’t have class Monday or Friday.
First and most importantly, you have to free up your schedule so you are flexible with flight dates and times. Having this flexibility will allow you to find cheaper airline tickets.
Plus, what’s better than a 4 day weekend? Not only do you get to enjoy your trip longer, but you don’t have to worry about getting an absence note as if we are still in high school.
It’ll be a lot easier to pack your classes on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s the more credits you have because you’ll get first pick for class registration.
If there’s no way around getting a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday class, then find out what your professors’ attendance policies are and cross your fingers that they don’t keep track.
2. Reduce your fixed costs
This one may be obvious, but unless you’re tracking where your money is going then you’re probably spending more money that you should be.
When searching for housing, look at renting a house versus an expensive apartment. Apartments on a college campus average about $600 a month and that’s the low end.
I found that living in a house is so much cheaper! I paid $250 a month my senior year, which left me with extra money to spend on flights.
Granted I did go to school in a small town, but if you’re really down for the cause then check out other options such as a Co-Op.
3. Sign up for trips through your university.
Thanks to study tour programs offered through the College of Business at Iowa State, I was able to visit Italy twice, as well as Greece. The first time I was in Florence for a week and the second time was a 10 day trip adventuring to Athens, Padua, Venice, Milan and Bologna.
Study tours are great because they allow you to see the world and get credit without the commitment or expense of a semester long study abroad trip. Check with your university’s study abroad office to see if they offer study tours.
In addition, you can sign up for volunteer/service trips which offer various trips throughout the semester and typically have no religious affiliation.
I spent my final spring break on a Student Today Leaders Forever Pay It Forward Tour where we visited Champaign, Illinois, Frankfurt, Kentucky, Charleston, West Virginia, Charlotte, North Carolina, Athens, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee and St. Louis, Missouri.
And if you’re more of an adventurous person then you could sign up for hiking, camping, snowboarding, and other various outdoor activities through recreational services.
4. Pick your favorite airline and sign up for their rewards program
I looove flying Southwest because they’ve got great service and amazing deals frequently where you can get a one way for less than $59 to major cities in the U.S. Plus, you get 2 free checked bags which helps cut down cost.
The best part about being a part of a rewards programs is cashing in those points. I make it a priority to always try to book with Southwest so I can gather points and then use them towards flights in the future.
Most recently, I used my points to purchase my flight to Las Vegas, so that was pretty sweet.
5. Visit your friends
Paying for accommodation can really add to your total trip cost, so it helps a lot to visit any friends you have that live in different states. Not only do you get to catch up with an old friend and see how they live, but you get the see the parts of town that only the locals know about.
Once you’ve saved up enough money then you can start to cross off destinations that are on your bucket list.
What states do you want to visit? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create and grow!