How Can I Afford All This Traveling?

1. Make it a priority.

Like anything you really want, you need to decide that traveling during your study abroad experience is a top priority. Research costs of travel and make a savings goal before you leave. List ways you’ll cut back spending and make extra cash.

 

2. Save before you study abroad.

Know where you want to go—make a list, look up photos online, read wikitravel and Lonely Planet guides. Check out which trips you want to plan independently and which ones to bring in the experts for, like a Global Citizens Travel trip to anywhere from Spain to Slovakia. With daily visual reminders and lots of research, keep in mind how cool it will be to take advantage of your time abroad to travel the world.

With your goals in mind, it’ll be easier to cut extra spending before you go. Skip the daily Starbucks, new clothes, or even the booze-y, expensive spring break trip. It’s amazing how cheap off-peak international travel to places like Morocco and even China. can be compared to an overpriced, peak-week spring break trip to the Caribbean, Florida or Cancun.

Use every opportunity to put aside some savings. Got stuff you don’t need anymore? Old textbooks, clothes, an old iPod you never use? Sell it. Get a part-time job. Ask for cash for your birthday or during the holidays for your “travel fund.”

 

3. Save while you study abroad.

A lot of cash gets drained every time you eat out, shop for souvenirs, and party. Consider hitting up a grocery store or farmer’s market and packing a lunch every once in a while. Have cereal or fruit ready for breakfast. Pregame before you go out. Take public transportation or walk to and from class—you’ll get a better feel for your study abroad location on the ground than from the backseat of a taxi. And some exercise isn’t a bad idea if you’re regularly devouring French baguettes or tasty Italian pizzas!

You may also consider working while abroad. This can be before, during or after your semester. Maybe take an extra semester off school to au pair, WWOOF, or work at a hostel to save money and travel on weekends.

 

4. Save when making travel plans.

Making your way to the next country over doesn’t have to empty your bank account. Discount airlines, advanced planning (as well as last minute deals), long-distance buses, cheap trains, even, if you’re up for it and find something safe, catching city-to-city carpools, all help cut costs. Use public transport to get to the airport—discount airlines often fly out of a separate airport, so plan ahead of time.

 

5. Save while you travel.

Some countries may have cheap restaurant food (ask the locals for a good, cheap option), but you can also get a sense of the culture from the locals’ perspective by picking up groceries or farmer’s market treats and having a picnic. Take public transportation and skip the taxis. Stay in a hostel instead of a hotel and make friends with other travelers—having a group to travel with can cut costs on group tours and outings. Pregame in the hostel with a shared bottle of local liquor (like arak in Israel or ouzo in Greece) before you go out at night. Send postcards instead of buying souvenirs for all your friends back home.

At the same time, know that this might be your only chance to take advantage of the opportunities in front of you. After cutting costs in all the ways listed above, don’t be afraid to spend on those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Chill out on a glacier in Iceland, stay up all night partying in one of Ibiza’s famous clubs, and learn to kitesurf in Poland! Global Citizens Travel can help you organize these trips and more, for yourself or in a private group. Reward yourself for all your hard work saving up by choosing those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

 

Katie Simon is the director of community engagement for Global Citizens Travel. She’s been to 63 countries on 5 continents and looks forward to traveling to the 100+ more! If you have questions for Katie, you can reach her at katie@globalcitizenstravel.com

Spotlight Morocco: Global Citizen Andrew

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m from Carmel, Indiana, and headed over to Indiana University to study Finance and International Business. This trip to Morocco is my first with Global Citizens Travel, and it definitely won’t be my last.

How was your trip to Morocco?

Traveling to Morocco with Global Citizens Travel was one of the most unique experiences of my life. We had the opportunity to experience vibrant Marrakech, then travel around to lesser-known areas with local guides and truly get an authentic feel for the country. Sleeping under the stars in the Sahara was an unbelievably exciting and humbling experience–one I will not soon forget.

What did you come across that you did not expect?

One of the guides was not entirely proficient with English. We initially had some frustrating moments trying to communicate with him, but by the end of the first day we were best of buds, playing catch with rocks and trying to teach one another our native languages.

What was the coolest experience of the trip?

We got to sleep under a clear night sky with nothing but the vastness of the Sahara desert surrounding us. I’ve never done anything like that before.

What advice do you have for a student considering studying abroad?

There shouldn’t be any consideration involved. Do it. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to explore the world with nothing holding you back.

Do you think travel will help you get a job?

Absolutely… in the sense that it is something you can talk about very passionately when you return. Recruiters/employers admire travel and study abroad.

What travel experiences are you looking forward to after your trip to Morocco?

I’m going to Sardinia in a couple weeks with my brother, doing a Euro trip shortly after with the family, then running with the bulls with some buddies!