The best time to travel and see the world is when you are young. If you are a high school or college student who is looking to broaden his or her horizons and learn about other places and cultures firsthand, this message is for you.
Travel is never cheap, but there are ways you can plan your trip that will tell you how much money you will need given your destination, itinerary and personal preferences. Let’s take an in-depth look at how to save for your trip and have enough to do everything you want to do when you arrive.
There are a number of things to consider before you even start planning out your trip, especially if you are still a full-time student. That means your studies and how you will meet your academic responsibilities is probably your biggest consideration.
You need to decide whether or not you will take your trip while still in school, or wait until you either graduate or take a semester (or longer) off to travel. If you aren’t in a hurry to graduate, you might consider doing this between semesters or taking an entire semester off instead.
If you decide to wait until after graduation, you might find yourself too mired in real-world responsibilities like finding a job and paying a pile of bills each month to even consider your dream trip. Plan your trip and take it before the weight of adult obligations and responsibilities kill your dream of traveling the world.
If your trip will be short enough to complete during a school vacation week or other sizable break in the middle of the semester, you must have a pan in place for completing and submitting the work outlined in your syllabi. Understand the objectives of your assignments. Protect your good marks by seeking out term paper or professional essay help online if you need it (either from trusted peers or professional academic writers).
Also be sure that everyone who needs to know about your trip is aware of your plans. That mostly includes your family, professors, and close friends. Designate a few people you can contact should any emergencies arise surrounding your classes or other aspects of campus life.
Lastly, you need to know that your plans are workable and feasible. In other words, can you really afford this? Have you considered all possible scenarios including lodging and meals?
The last thing you want is to run short of funds and find yourself hungry or without adequate lodging far from home. Determine how much money you will need for food and be generous in your estimate. Will you be preparing your own meals or eating at restaurants the entire time? Will you utilize hotels, hostels, or other forms of accommodations like an AirBNB? All of these things and their costs need to be determined and considered ahead of time.
Create a Savings Plan
Once you have a clear idea of all the costs involved in the trip, it is time to devise a plan to save for it. Good travel savings plans are made up of several key steps, including:
Assessing Your Travel Plans – Compare your plans with the reality of your overall financial situation. This will require you to make a few difficult decisions. You will never get to do everything you want during a single trip unless you are traveling long-term. Be honest with yourself about what you can manage.
Once you have a reliable idea of all the costs involved in your trip, look at your income in comparison to the expenses you will need to meet to make the trip and decide if it’s even a possibility.
Setting Reachable Goals – Decide how much you want to save each week or month for your trip. Don’t determine to put away more many than you believe to be realistic. Don’t set the bar so high that you wind up tapping your savings to pay bills.
Monitoring and Re-Assessment – If you find it difficult or impossible to save at the levels you want, it’s time to re-assess your plan. You might even need to reset the timeline for your trip and take it later.
You might not get to go this year, but that is all right. With a slightly more conservative savings plan, you could get there next semester or next year instead. There is much to be said for delayed gratification and you will enjoy the trip more if you don’t stress yourself out over getting there on a rigid or unworkable timeframe.
Cut Back On Non-Essentials
There will be a degree of sacrifice on your part to make your dream trip a reality, but that doesn’t have to be a negative thing. This is a great opportunity for you to start taking notice of how you spend money and develop a little discipline. We all spend money we don’t have to but some of us get into more trouble that way than others.
With that in mind, don’t buy meals out. Stick with your campus meal plan or prepare your own meals. Don’t buy prepared foods either if you can avoid it. Not only are they expensive, they are also loaded with chemicals and other unhealthy ingredients. You want to be in optimal health when you start your trip.
Try to spend as little as possible when you are out with friends. It may seem tempting to try and keep up when everyone goes out to eat or out for drinks, but keep your eyes on the prize. Opportunities to travel will become far fewer once you have a full time job and family.
If you go out with friends twice a week, drop it to once. Drop it to twice a month if you have to. Do what it takes to make this happen. You won’t regret it. Oh, and your grades will probably thank you too, given all the extra time you’ll have to study!
There are other ways you can put a few more dollars back in your pocket and save for your trip. If you smoke, try to cut back. Quitting would be even better (and you’d save a small mint in a short expanse of time).
If you have any online subscriptions that you don’t use much like Netflix or Hulu, cancel them. Stop making in-app purchases on your phone. Cancel your gym membership if you rarely go. Those few examples should be enough to jog your memory about places you spend needlessly Once you identify them, eliminate them.
Don’t Give Up
World travel is something most folks will only ever dream of doing. While you are young, you should take full advantage of the opportunity to not only travel but learn how to budget and manage money responsibly.
Remember, the ideas presented here won’t just help you have a great trip, they will also prepare you for being financially responsible as an independent adult. Re-read each section and set a good plan in motion. What you learn from the experience – both taking the trip and getting your finances in order for it – will follow you for years to come.