How would it be to travel whenever you think of? The first thing to keep in mind is to save money that would help to travel easily, right?
After years of slogging, first at the school, and then at preparatory centres, students finally arrive at college with dreams of having fun, finding love, having raging parties, spectacular social events and fun little weekend getaways with friends, only to find tedious classes, overburdened courses, a vastly skewed sex ratio and a lackluster social life.
Among all this pressure, the one thing that can help a student mitigate some of the stress and dreariness of college life is that fun little weekend getaway. But going on such trips is easier said than done, what with the lack of proper funds as a result of all those shopping sprees, ill-managed finances, and eating out.
However, with a little planning and a somewhat proficient way of handling finances, the expenditure for that weekend getaway won’t be so daunting anymore.
Tips To Save Money To Fun-Filled Travel :
Here are some small tips that can be used to save up enough to go on all those weekend getaways and friends trips that you had planned on going but never had enough funds to actually go on one:
Save Pocket Money:
If you are anything like me and are from an average family in India, chances are college is the first time you are given a substantial amount of pocket money.
Although the idea of having money to spend as you see fit is tempting. Yet, it is best to start good financial habits from the get-go and start saving money for a rainy day.
These savings can then come to your rescue in a pinch. Also, double up as capital required to fuel that one-weekend destination.
And not to forget the mid-semester break that you wanted but were never able to because you lacked the money.
Try to plan to save your pocket money in order to fulfill your travel needs for sure.
Start A Savings Account:
Saving money in a piggy bank is all well and good, right? But to get more benefits and to track your economic activities better, start a savings bank account and funnel some of the pocket money to it.
This has an added benefit of generating interest which can help slowly grow your savings overtime in preparation for the big trip everyone is planning for at the end of the year.
Eat At Hostels:
If you have ever stayed in a hostel, then we can both agree on how bad the taste of the food served in the hostel mess is.
Although it is tempting to order in a spicy hot pizza or a juicy burger every once in a while, withholding yourself is important.
Eating at the hostel itself can save you quite a good sum of money over the month, while also helping you to be more healthy and fit to boot.
Fast food is both bad for your health and heavy on your wallet, thus by reducing it, you do a favor to yourself in more than one way.
If you do wish to eat out, then find cheaper alternatives like local restaurants or eating joints where the prices are more budget-friendly and the food, at least partially more healthy.
Don’t Spend Heavily On Books:
Taking up six courses in a semester and then having 3 reference books per course, can become formidably expensive in short order.
Instead, try to obtain books from seniors, buy them secondhand or lease them out from the library.
Also, instead of using one notebook per course, mixing up multiple courses in a single notebook can help both save you some bucks and also reduce the weight in your backpack thus saving your back in the long run for those quick expeditions up the hills nearby.
Buy Stuff Cheap:
Whether you are looking for a dress for your birthday or for the social event around the corner, make sure you look up offers on various brands and then decide where to buy your clothes.
Year-end sales and e-commerce websites are a good go. You can always give them back other coupons later on.
If brands do not entice you, you can sometimes find the same quality clothes but with a cheaper price in a local store instead of a branded one.
These alternatives can help you be more frugal and also have a better wardrobe than you can keep switching out as soon as you start growing out of them.
Use E-payment Apps To Earn Back Some Cash:
Nowadays, a lot of electronic payment apps like Paytm, Phonepe, Google Pay, are offering lucrative discounts and cashback to entice people to pay for their purchases via their applications.
Use these applications to score deals and offers which can be later translated into coupons for buying fast food or other items that you may need.
Using a combination of multiple such applications helps you gain the most out of them as each application offers different offers for different services, and you can choose your pick out of all the offers they present.
Use A Credit Card:
Maintaining a credit card is a double-edged sword. Utilized correctly it can serve as a great tool to both step up your swag and to develop a healthy relationship with money.
It can increase your Credit Score, set you up for future loans and increase your credibility.
But if misused, it can become a dangerous financial quagmire that can leave you debt-ridden and your credibility in ruins for years.
So, use it only if you are sure of being able to rein in your desires and not succumbing to the appeal of easy money.
Earn Some Income On The Side:
The advent of the internet has brought new and exciting changes to earn money and make a profit, all from the comfort of one’s own bedroom.
Look up part-time jobs that suit your taste and apply to a bunch of them.
For example, if you are interested in writing, you can write blogs for websites to earn money.
If you are into more technical aspects, you can design and develop websites for small startups for a fee, or if you border on the more creative side, you can create arts or crafts and market them on the web.
Use Public Transport:
Even if your college allows the use of personal automobiles, using public transport like buses or green vehicles like cycles or skateboards, can both be useful in keeping you in shape and preserving nature by preventing pollution.
Or if a group of your friends starts from areas neighboring each other, you can carpool and everyone can chip in money to fund the pool.
This will be a lighter option on all of your wallets which in turn will help you save money and travel.
You can also meet more people while moving via public transport and if your interests match you could hit it off and go on to become great friends.
Get Rid Of All The Vices:
Smoking, drinking and partying too often can be brutally expensive both on your wallet and your well-being.
Do not succumb to peer pressure and think of these habits as cool or outgoing.
Remove unnecessary vices from your life, or rather do not even allow them to show up in your line of sight, and both your wallet and your health will thank you for it.
A healthy wallet will surely urge you to travel and you have the savings done for it though.
Next After Savings:
Once you have set up the proper channels to start saving money and earning money on the side, it’s time to take it to the next level and plan for the trip:
Preplan Your Trip:
Always plan your trip in advance. Once you have decided on the place you are planning to visit, look for the major tourist attractions nearby to that area and mark them on your google maps.
If you are visiting a city, then you can use the maps, or another app by Google called My Maps, to plot your points of interest on it and download it for further reference on your trip.
If you are visiting a trekking trail or a remote area, you can plot your path till the beginning of the trail and once there you can use the local guiding posts.
Also, plan to go to a place that can be reached overnight from your college as that will cut your time of traveling thereby allowing you to spare more time for sightseeing at the place.
With specific money you have saved, you can travel to all required destinations.
Plan Shorter Trips:
Plan trips that can be completed in one or two days and covering fewer places. Use the maps app or the internet to find out about interesting places located nearby to your college and divide them into one or two-day trips.
This will help you create a plan that is not too crammed with moving hither and thither, and also allow to spend a decent amount of time at each point of interest.
Book Travel Options When Cheap:
You can get tickets at a cheaper price if you book them well in advance.
Also conversely, you can avail last-minute discounts if you book just before a trip, but this is risky as there might be a chance of all the seats being filled up.
If you use a credit card, you can use the points accrued on the card to buy travel vouchers and thud get the tickets at a lower price.
Prepare A Budget:
When planning a trip, it is always a good idea to prepare a budget for all the requisite costs of the trip like food, stay, travel, etc.
Having a budget prepared will let you know how much a trip will cost approximately so that you can start saving for it accordingly.
It is also useful to prepare a timeline for the trip so that you have a concrete time period to work for your goal.
Use Public Transport
Once you are at your destination, always use public transport instead of booking a private vehicle for yourself.
Using public transport will allow you to experience the culture of the place from a much closer point of view than using vehicles such as a taxi.
Also, if the situation allows, rent a bicycle and explore the place at your own pace.
Once you reach the local area, instead of using taxis or other private vehicles to move from one place on your itinerary to another, it would be more economical to hitchhike.
Get introduced with the locals going in that direction or by using public transport or walking if the distance is not far.
This will also help you explore the place from the perspective of the locals and thus create a new experience.
But when hitchhiking it is better to be precautionary. If you are a single girl traveling alone, it would be better to take a public transport option rather than hitchhiking.
Look For Offbeat Paths:
When going to explore a place, instead of only moving between the major tourist attractions, talk to the locals and take a more offbeat path to discover pristine locations, sometimes even unblemished by the march of civilization.
Offbeat paths can offer a new and adventurous option to explore the place and its locality. But always take adequate care and prepare well beforehand when planning for such trips.
If visiting a major tourist attraction, visit it in the offseason.
This will help you get cheaper offers and better discounts, and also allow you to enjoy the beauty of the place in relatively more serenity.
And sometimes, you may discover what most of the tourists miss by just being in the right place at the right time.
Prefer Hostels Over Hotels:
Many major cities have youth hostels which are cheaper and more organic compared to regular hotels.
You can prepare your own meals sometimes in the hostel’s kitchens which is an added benefit because you can then save on the costs of eating out.
Also, you are more likely to meet interesting people in hostels than hotels.
Talk To The Locals:
Whenever you visit a place, it is always best to talk to the locals about which places are worth visiting and also to find out the local customs and traditions of that place.
Talking with locals can also help you find obscure stuff like cheap restaurants and food joints, cheaper places of stay, and modes of transport, and also the average local costs.
This information can help you against being ripped off by hotels and other enterprises which can cash in on the lack of your knowledge about the locality and thus charge you way above the norm.
Travel In Group:
Although going on a solo trip can be rewarding in its own way, traveling as a group is generally safer. Also, it is more economical because the bill can be shared among all the members of the group.
Getting a mode of transport will be cheaper and economical, but some options may not be viable like hitchhiking.
Also traveling in a group will not leave you bored or with a lack of company.
Carry Own Snacks:
When traveling people often tend to get hungry faster and more often, and carrying your own snacks can be really useful at times where food might not be readily available and also costly if available.
Carrying your own snacks is definitely cheaper than buying them locally at a tourist place.
Always carry low weight and high nutrition snacks like dry fruits, protein bars, and bread.
They can also act as an emergency food supply when no other alternative is available. Also always carry a water bottle instead of buying bottled water.
No Dining Near Tourist Attractions:
Whenever you have to eat out on a trip, make sure you are not eating at places close to tourist attractions.
These places usually charge higher rates as they are geared towards catering to the tourism industry.
Find local restaurants somewhat away from the bustling parts of the place and you could save a lot on your bill.
Also eating at such restaurants can help you to actually taste the local cuisine better than you would at a fancy restaurant. If you are a foodie who loves to taste new and exciting cuisines, this is the right way to go about doing it.
Always carry only the essentials whenever you travel. It is easy to fall into the trap of “what if”, and carry a lot more than what is actually necessary.
An ideal way to circumvent this is to write down a list of all the things you intend to carry with you.
Think, “What would be the worst-case scenario I might possibly face if I do not take this on the trip with me?”
Also, check the local weather and pack according to the climate you will be facing.
Buying Souvenirs And Other Stuff:
Although it might be tempting to buy some shiny souvenirs to take back home from the trip, do not.
But if you do want to buy something, hit up local stores instead of the more gaudy tourist shops. You will make better deals there.
Again, talk to the locals to find the best places to buy such stuff.
Travelling can be a really rewarding experience when done in the right way.
It can help you live new experiences and also help you unwind from all the stress of your daily college life.
I hope these tips can help you work towards the next trip that you have planned and ameliorate your college life. Cheers!
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