There’s little doubt that traveling after college broadens the mind and spirit. Getting out and seeing the world is particularly important for Americans as many decide to start their career immediately after university.
Also, because the United States is so massive, many students don’t feel the need to explore internationally when they can easily travel throughout the states. Furthermore, because of the various ethnic backgrounds around the country, it’s easy to experience multiculturalism by simply traveling from city to city.
Realistically, travel is subjective. Therefore, it’s important for travelers to do what suits them best, not necessarily what they think they should do.
Regardless of whether you decide to travel domestically or internationally, traveling and exploring new places is never a bad idea. Nevertheless, one thing that prevents many people from globetrotting after college is money—traveling on a budget is important. Especially, when flights, accommodations, and excursions are totaled up.
Tips for Traveling Cheaply After College
The sad reality is that many students graduating from college must also face the burden of paying off student loans. Fortunately, it’s possible to travel on a budget and still have a life-changing experience.
Here are six tips for traveling cheaply after college.
1. Check Out the Currency Exchange Rate
The strength of the dollar against the currency of the destination can make a huge difference. A favorable exchange rate can make you feel like a king while an unfavorable one may leave feeling struggling to get by, so choose your destination wisely.
2. Cash or Card?
Will you get a better rate if you pay with your student credit card or withdraw money from an ATM? Of course, this will depend on your specific situation so be sure to do the research in advance.
3. Figure Out Where to Eat
Eating street food is one of the best ways to eat internationally. While many of us find comfort in American food like sandwiches and pizza, it’s important to eat locally when traveling.
Sampling the local cuisine doesn’t have to mean eating in expensive restaurants and racking up large bills. In fact, many times, visitors receive a more authentic experience through street food at a fraction of the cost. From noodles and spicy sauces in Bangkok to fish and chips in Liverpool, the taste of the country can be affordable.
4. Paying For It: Review Your Loan
Having the weight of a large student loan bearing down on you might be limiting, but once you’re employed and earning, maybe you can renegotiate it. Research student loan refinance options to see how this can be done.
Many times, renegotiating a student loan is a good idea. You’ll get to enjoy more favorable repayments and the terms of the loan change. As a result, you can pay your loan back over a longer term and save money each month.
This extra money can be used to fund your living expenses. Also, it’s amazing what a saving of $50 can do when it comes to buying street food and paying for local transport.
5. Give Air Travel a Rest
Many countries have good rail networks. Therefore, rather than trying to get the best price on flights and hopping from city to city, see if there are special tickets that can provide unlimited rail travel for a given period, like in Japan.
Not only will you save money but you will also see more of the country through alternative methods. For instance, nothing is more relaxing than watching the world go by from the comfort of a hooting, gently rattling train.
6. Focus On Traveling Domestically, in the USA
Many American cities have ethnic communities with various restaurants and gathering places. As a result, visitors can taste countless dishes quickly and efficiently. For example, several cities have Chinatowns or Italian and Russian neighborhoods. Other examples include:
- Go on a wine tour in San Diego and find out how merlot and cabernet sauvignon can produce spectacular results 5,000 miles from Bordeaux and Burgundy
- Visit the heartland of America and vast areas of farming and living off the land.
The best way to enjoy the USA is simply to go out and see it. Finally, it’s important to remember that life after college shouldn’t be all about purchasing expensive possessions and racking up debt. Do yourself a favor and plan a trip after college.