8 Ways to Travel as a College Student

An integral part of the quintessential college experience is traveling. Exploring new lands and cultures, interacting with other nationalities and discovering the similarities and differences between one’s cultures are an important part of the travel experience.

College students, however, often find the costs of traveling to be prohibitive when considering the rising costs of tuition and living expenses. The following are eight ways the typical college student on a budget can afford to travel.

Cheap Airfare

Investigate cheap airfare options. There are many “student” specials available, and all you usually need to do to secure a cheaper airfare is to display your student card. Book well in advance, as these specials typically aren’t available at the last minute.


Hostels offer students an economical and safe place to spend the night. These no-frills lodgings are inexpensive, and with a little research done ahead of time you can map out where to spend each night for very little cost, some as low as $15.00 per night.

Couch Surfing

Couch Surfing is a phenomenon that arose to link budget travelers with hosts willing to provide safe accommodation overnight. College students in particular take advantage of this program to travel without having to pay for accommodation.

Renting Vacation Homes

Companies like HomeAway provide the ability to review and book rental properties. Students who travel in a large group often find that the per person cost of sharing a rental home is very economical. Plus, with a kitchen at your disposal you can vastly reduce the amount you’d otherwise spend on meals- something that you’re definitely lacking at hotels. Plus, you won’t have to eat that gross hotel food.


Vacationing at an all-inclusive property eliminates the need to keep shelling out for meals, drinks and entertainment. Picking a destination like Mexico will ensure you a great vacation location at a reasonable price, and, if purchased on sale, these trips can be quite affordable.


Many college students have relatives in a different country that’d be happy to provide you with accommodation if you want to visit their country. In addition, many roommates’ families would be happy to provide low cost, if not free, accommodation.

Rail Pass

Many European countries offer low-cost rail passes for students who want to explore without having to shell out for expensive transportation costs. Imagine going from country to country by rail without having to break your budget.


Many charitable organizations around the world are looking for college students to volunteer their time and efforts for their cause. This can be a great opportunity as the organizations often provide accommodation or at least supply low-cost accommodations, and these programs allow for free time to explore the country.

Traveling while in college doesn’t have to remain a pipe dream. It may mean you have to reevaluate your idea of a vacation; sitting in luxury on a beach while sipping fruity drinks may not be practical whereas hiking through Germany from hostel to hostel is very attainable. Always plan ahead. Set aside a few dollars each week until you have a comfortable traveling budget so you have cash on hand to deal with your traveling needs.


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