As you slowly begin to figure out your schedule for the upcoming college fall semester and as you start to plan your work schedule around your school schedule, there’s a different kind of planning that’s likely on your mind. This planning involves getting ready for your next chance to travel.

Traveling– a chance to leave your home and see a different part of this world. A chance to meet amazing new people. A chance for once in a lifetime experience. A chance to step outside of your comfort zone. The only problem with traveling is trying to figure out how you’ll pay for it for a student’s budget. Don’t worry guys because below are a few tips to help you travel more, while trying to survive on a college student’s budget:

Try CouchSurfing.

What’s CouchSurfing all about? It’s pretty much a social network for travel hosting. You can interact with each other online and then figure out some sort of a travel arrangement. You can be a host, a surfer, or both. The cost is free either way. You shouldn’t expect to be charged anything for staying at someone’s place. However, you should be more than willing to offer to help out in some fashion (cleaning up the home, language lessons, etc.) with the person that you’re staying with.

It’s also important to understand that CouchSurfing isn’t just a chance to stay with someone for free so that you can bring your travel costs down. It’s an excellent networking opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture/lifestyle than you would normally be apart of. This isn’t just a “free hotel.” From my friends that have tried this, I gather that it’s one of the most memorable trips that anyone can take. There’s also no guarantee that you’ll stay on a couch for sure. I believe that you can likely figure out all of the living conditions before you take off for your trip.

Consider the all-inclusive option.

Flights, meals, and entertainment can get really expensive. This is why sometimes my personal favorite option for a vacation is to pay a one time fee and travel to an all-inclusive resort somewhere down south. This is pretty much more of a chance to relax all day and party it up all night. All-inclusive trips vary in price depending on where you want to go. I’ve found some of the best prices with last minute bookings. The only risk is not getting the resort that you may have initially wanted.

Take advantage of family.

Don’t worry I won’t suggest you backpack and stay in hostels, simply because I’ve never tried it before. However, traveling is an excellent opportunity to get in touch with relatives (aka stay at their place for free). We all have close relatives and long lost third cousins around this world that we likely haven’t seen in years. When we traveled to Europe last year we stayed with family for free during the entire stay and we didn’t even cash in on all of the offers for stay that we had. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with family to plan a trip to visit them and their town.

Plan & save well ahead.

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s often the most challenging aspect of planning a trip. After planning trips for my group of friends for the past 5 years, I’ve found that the two biggest barriers to travel are time off and money for trip. There’s no quick fix for the time off aspect because everyone needs to agree on a specific time frame ahead of time. The money part is relatively easy to figure out. I try to put aside $20 a week into my vacation sub-account with ING Direct. I urge all of my friends to try this. The few of us that actually do this, usually have enough money to go on an annual trip together.

Let’s have some fun now and here about any travel plans that you guys may have coming up!

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