Make the dream affordable: Travelling on a student budget

By in Culture

Students with wanderlust tend to hold themselves back from travelling due to financial situations, and while travel may be generally very expensive, it doesn’t have to be this way.

From the way you get to your destination to the services you use during your stay, there are always ways of increasing the affordability of a trip. While travelling will always be something that can only be done by those who have the funds, this monetary obstacle can be cut down in size by spending money in smart ways.

How much money you spend getting to your destination can often be the defining expense of the trip. For those truly worried about their financial security, domestic travel is a great option. FullSizeRenderCanada is a very diverse country with many sights to see, and travelling within one’s own country not only cuts out a lot of border hassles but can also save money in the process.

Whether you travel by your own personal vehicle, bussing or flying, travelling shorter distances tends to save money. Therefore, staying closer to home is a much more affordable idea than travelling overseas or any great distance. On the plus side, there is plenty to see and do in Canada, such as the Rocky Mountains, either of the coasts or experiencing the diverse cultures and landscapes found in mainland Canada.

For those dead-set on leaving the country, don’t worry — there are still ways to save money. Sales through airlines happen all the time, so checking flight prices for your dream destination often is always a good idea. Additionally, it is a common practice for airlines to up prices closer to departure dates, so booking flights well in advance is an excellent method for getting the most economic option.

While at your destination, one of the biggest expenses is most certainly going to be putting a roof over your head. Five-star hotels may be luxurious, but this luxury comes with a hefty price tag. Hostels are generally regarded as the cheapest option while staying abroad, and although staying in one may put you in a shared room with fellow travellers and a lack of privacy, it comes with a lighter bill at the end of your stay and new friends.

Not having a room to yourself may be daunting to some, but most of your stay will be spent out and about at your destination anyways, and having that extra bit of motivation to get out there may move you to seeing parts of the region you may not have gotten to otherwise. With this being said, the third expense to look out for is everything you spend money on while on escapades outside your room.

This can mean anything from the food you eat to the transportation you use while seeing the sights. Planning ahead is crucial, as is knowing what sort of services are provided in the area you are in. If the place you are staying at offers free breakfast, then that’s a fairly obvious way to cut down on the money you spend on meals.

If you have access to some sort of storage and or cookware of any sort, going out and buying groceries is an excellent idea. Although this may not be your idea of a fun vacation, it will save you money in the long run, as groceries are generally cheaper than always eating out.

In regards to transportation, look for what sort of options you have. Compare these options and see if taking public transit or renting a bike is available, as these tend to be fairly economically friendly. In the end however, nothing beats the free use of your own two feet.

In the end, travelling will cost you money — there’s no doubt about that — but through the use of extensive planning and research, you can most certainly make your trip affordable.

Jack Thompson / Staff Writer

Graphic: Laura Underwood / Layout Manager