10 Ways Students Can Afford a Summer Vacation Trip

Most students will have the opportunity to make a decision to travel for their summer break. Here are a few helpful ways that you can afford that summer vacation trip.

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Financial Planning for Summer Break

The school year is nearing its end, and college students around the country are now making plans for summer. Many are planning trips for their break, which can potentially be very costly. Learn ten ways cash-strapped students can fit summer travel into a tight budget.

1. Consider where to go.

Some vacation locales are definitely more expensive than others. When planning summer travel, you may want to limit your options to places you can to on the cheap. Consider costs associated with getting to a place, obtaining lodging, buying food and engaging in area activities.

2. Explore travel options.

Getting to some summer vacation destinations requires flying, but other locales are accessible via other means of travel. For example, driving to domestic locations could be cheaper than flight (just make sure to include high summer gas costs in your calculations). Train and bus travel can be less expensive options for getting to a place or traveling around once there.

3. Plan ahead.

Regardless of the form of travel you plan to utilize, it's a good idea to schedule a vacation well in advance. The cheapest air, rail and bus fares typically go to those who book early. Establishing travel dates also allows you to be cost-conscious in planning details of your travel agenda.

4. Stay with friends or family members.

One way to save a lot of money - regardless of where you choose to travel - is by staying with someone you know. Think about visiting family members and friends who live across the country or around the globe. You'll not only avoid lodging costs but also will have access to a local's perspective on the area.

5. Find low-cost accommodations.

If you don't know someone in a place you'd like to visit, you can still spend time there without breaking the bank. Discount hotels and hostels feature affordable accommodations. There are also online travel communities useful for identifying free accommodations. Travelers should exercise caution when staying in strangers' homes.

6. Utilize student discounts.

College students are eligible for a wide range of discounts for travel, lodging, dining and attractions. Always inquire about student discounts when purchasing tickets, securing accommodations and patronizing businesses. The International Student Identity Card can be used to access many discounts abroad, including food and public transportation.

7. Save up for vacations.

Many college students, already strapped for cash due to increasing school expenses, elect to fund summer vacations through the use of a credit card. The interest accrued on credit-financed travel can make a vacation much more expensive than planned. Try to save up money for summer travel to avoid credit card debt.

8. Work in another locale.

Unable to save enough money for your summer vacation? You might work and save money during your summer vacation. Work programs in distant locales can allow you to earn a paycheck while checking out a new place. Often positions cover room and board, eliminating what would otherwise be hefty travel expenses.

9. Volunteer to perform service.

While you won't make any money while volunteering during a summer vacation, engaging in a service trip can allow you to see a new place on the cheap while having a meaningful experience helping others. Volunteer programs with youth clubs and religious organizations often cover travel, lodging and food costs.

10. Travel with others.

Taking a summer vacation with friends or family members not only can be a lot of fun, it can also save you a lot of money. Splitting costs for car rental, gas, hotels, meals and other travel necessities can leave everyone with more money in their pockets upon returning home.

Interested in studying abroad but afraid of the costs? Learn how to study abroad without breaking the bank.

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