For students with the travel bug, it can be hard to balance your budget while paying for your last hefty vacation and setting money aside for a budget vacation. Luckily, there are various ways to travel without having to cash in your savings. Some forms of travelling are exclusive to students and can make the experience more meaningful through networking. While vacations typically last between days to weeks, these extended “stay-cations” can be an immersive way of travelling, learning and having fun all all-in-one. Does this sound too good to be true? There are five ways this can be done.
1. Paid internships
Paid internships are a great way to potentially work in a different city or even country without having to pay out of pocket. Many companies provide sponsorships for students through paid accommodations or subsidized living expenses. While exploring a new region in your spare time, you’re also gaining valuable life and career experience.
In one paid internship, I had the opportunity to work in Toronto in collaboration with a lab that studied chicken embryos and their use in studying bladder cancer.
2. Attend volunteering trips
Volunteer trips are another excellent way of curing your wanderlust. For many of my peers, this meant going on trips to non-traditional destinations such as Costa Rica, Tanzania, and Peru. Most volunteer experiences allow you to interact with locals, and help make an impact on their community. In the evenings, the local communities may show students around in addition to pointing out where the delicious local cuisines can be found.
3. Take road trips instead of full vacations
For students who are looking for more freedom with their travel itinerary, going on road trips are a budget-friendly choice. Specifically, for me, living approximately four hours away from Banff National Park has given me plenty of opportunities to hike adventurously on the long weekends. For others, it might mean visiting a National park or lake outside of city boundaries. Road trips can be highly effective at helping students unwind in the midst of a stressful term.
4. Travel with a group to reduce individual cost
While travelling alone can certainly increase your budget, having a buddy or several close friends share the cost of accommodations will help slow the rate of your wallet emptying but also create memorable experiences for everyone. For myself, visiting Northern Europe was a costly trip, but bringing several close friends with me helped reduce our individual share of costs when it came to accommodations and food.
5. Sponsored conferences through scholarships
Certain conferences available to students provide subsidies so long as the conference is relevant to the pursued degree. For myself, attending these conferences has been a way of exploring areas from Toronto to New York. Staying behind an extra day or two also gives you the freedom to explore the area, sample local cuisine and network with peers from the conference. Some of my most memorable travel experiences has been from attending conferences from around the world.