Every student wants to travel, but every student has to travel on a budget. Cheap airfares and inexpensive vacations, therefore, are the backbone of student travel fare. The problem is that all too often, cutting corners on cost results in a lousy, miserable vacation. So how can one get the most out of their time off without spending a fortune?
Use Travel Agencies
The first and most common way is to rely on a student travel agency. By purchasing tickets and hotel rooms in bulk, such travel agencies can ensure low prices in comparison to other agencies. In general, one will have to be willing to accept less than the finest restaurants and sleep in hostels or other low-cost arrangements, but many students see this as adding to the fun and adventure of a vacation, as well as giving one an opportunity to really get to know the local communities. Additionally, student travel agencies can arrange for group discounts and for long-term trips, allowing one to spend an entire summer in Europe or spend several weeks traveling through adjoining nations.
Many travel agencies also include food, drinks, and accommodations in their travel packages, allowing students to rack up additional savings. This can be a substantial saving when one intends to move around a lot during a trip since a car rental or Eurorail pass can be prohibitively expensive.
Save Money By Traveling Off Season
Another good way to have an exciting vacation on a budget is to go during the offseason. Many students presume that this is impossible, since everyone gets their break at about the same time, meaning that they can never travel during the offseason. But most tourist areas have differing offseasons, allowing a clever and budget-minded student to avoid having to pay normal rates. The Alps are known for skiing, meaning that in the summer when there is no snow they are empty and great for hiking. Australia has a winter snow season in the middle of July, making it a great place for skiers to visit. The beaches of Argentina are warmest in January.
By planning ahead, a student can get the sort of vacation they want, at a time when local hotels and restaurants are happy to get any customers at all, as opposed to when they are crowded and free to raise prices.
Visit Unconventional Places
The last way to have an exciting vacation is to go someplace unconventional. Many third world countries are eager to take on foreign students as tourists, and such tourists can get great exchange rates and low prices. Vietnam, believe it or not, has a vibrant tourist industry, and its location on the seaward side of the South Pacific makes it an excellent destination for surfing. The Philippines likewise cater to surfers and beach-goers. Chile is known for its excellent wines and cheeses, while Quebec offers a cheap alternative to France when it comes to French cuisine and culture.
Eastern Europe is also an excellent vacation destination for those on a budget, especially in areas which are now part of the European economic zone and thus use the Euro as currency. Other more far-flung nations like Georgia and Estonia are also excellent vacation destinations, and nations such as Finland or Iceland offer excitement such as motorsports or late-night film festivals that take advantage of the un-setting sun in July and August.
As you can see, the opportunities for a great vacation are countless. No matter which place you choose, it is guaranteed that your batteries will be recharged, and who knows, maybe this vacation will be a great inspiration for a school essay or a blog post.