Why is it when people discover where/how much I have travelled in a singular year they gasp in shock? First of all, I don’t even travel that much, nor do I go to extremely ‘exotic’ destinations, maybe only a little bit more than the average person. Second of all, why is there this huge assumption that if you are a student travel is out of your reach?
I always have people approach me and say ‘well yes once I finish university I’m going to travel away!’ ‘once I get my foot in the door and get onto a good salary I’ll grab my boots and travel the world’. By this point I can already feel my heart breaking. This is because you’re essentially just putting it off as ‘something’ you will do ‘someday’. Also, 95% of time, it’s the cost that holds you back. Well just like my Japan post that I wrote about here, I’m going to inform and educate you lot – travelling can and is affordable. This is more of a quick and easy read – if you want to read all of this in more depth, read this post.
Getting that £
Work, work, work, work, work! – Yes it sucks, yes it’s boring, yes as a student you’re more than likely to be earning minimum wage. But guess what? You need cash to travel, and the easiest way to get some is by working. Trust me, when you’re off gallivanting you will give yourself a well-earned pat on the back.
Save on living costs – I’ve managed this through living at home for my university course as it saves £££ but I understand not everyone does and some do not wish to. But….for transport try and walk whenever you can, for food try not to eat out a lot and make your own food. Just little things like that add up. Also be sensible with your food shopping, swapping from Tesco to Aldi could be what makes a trip out of reach affordable.
Don’t spend money unnecessarily – Every time you’re thinking about splashing that cash on something, just be mindful. Relay the following question in your head: ‘Do I need it?’ Rebecca wrote up a great post on her blog ‘From Roses’ all about mindful spending here – not an ad, this woman just speaks so much sense (and writes beautifully).
For flights, use Skyscanner to find flights on the cheapest dates on the cheapest airlines.
For hotels, use booking.com for a rough guide on pricing, check the hotel of your choosing on TripAdvisor to see if it’s all that it’s cracked out to be, and then book directly to get the best deal. Make sure you’re signed up to the free loyalty scheme also for extra benefits!
Google tips on the destination of your choosing, certain parts of the year are cheaper depending on the seasons and local/national holidays.
Keeping the costs down whilst travelling
Go self-catering if possible. I have always found this the cheapest option if there are great local supermarkets nearby. In Tokyo whilst staying at an apartment my meals cost a maximum of £10 a day, this tripled when I moved to a 5* hotel when there were no local supermarkets or kitchen facilities.
Use public transport, yes it may be scary but it’s a great adventure and you’ll have more cash left in your wallet. Trains, buses and trams > taxis any day.
Don’t use tours unless you really want to or have to. 90% of the time you can go to all the places tours go to but at your own pace *winning*, plus you’ll be saving yourself dozens maybe hundreds of pounds.
And finally, be adventurous. Lesser known and lesser hyped destinations are usually a lot cheaper. Plus being adventurous is so much more satisfying!
So get yourself going now!
Those are my tips, but even after explaining how travelling can be affordable, people still cannot bring themselves to do it. I’ll probably write a detailed post on why I believe in travelling in the near future, but for now, let me persuade you further:
1. You have more time off now than you ever will have in your lifetime. When you’re working full time with 4 weeks holiday a year, you’ll be kicking yourself when you remember your student days of having months off.
2. You’re most likely the fittest and healthiest you’ll ever be. Travelling the world only gets physically harder as you age.
3. Your university might even offer study or work abroad – if it does, take it! My university is slightly limited in this area so I am very jealous of those who have great opportunities. Travelling couldn’t be any easier this way.
4. If all else fails, your age and occupation allows you to take a gap year. Make sure you give yourself a break and travel. A year out travelling could do you the world of good <3
In essence, I’m someone who doesn’t take any excuses. If you don’t wish to do it that is totally fine, but don’t go railing off excuse after excuse if only a few small things are holding you back <3 You are the only person who can enable yourself to do what you want in life.