I had never thought about going on an international trip when I was younger. I had done it before with my parents, but I hadn’t planned to do it on my own. Part of the reason was because it seemed expensive; the other reason is because I didn’t know how to plan for an international trip. What I learned is that getting money together as a college student for an international trip is definitely possible, if you know how. It takes a combination of knowing how to generate money and how to save money in a short period of time.
Here are six helpful things that I learned on how a college student or anyone else low on funds can save for an international trip.
Starting when I was in high school and all the way through college, I had a habit of buying things that kept me entertained. These were different books, DVDs and CDs. What I thought about it, these things were mainly collecting dust, but at the same time were a great potential source of income.
If you have left over textbooks from college and haven’t sold them, you should definitely sell them now. They’re potentially hundreds of dollars sitting around and not being put to use.
When I finished selling my textbooks, books and DVDs, I made over $400 in easy cash for an international trip.
The key to selling books, DVDs and CDs is to compare all the websites and see who is willing to offer you the most money for each book or DVD. Some places give better offers for personal finance books, while others give better offers on film and media books.
Find what the ISBN numbers are for your books, and check which websites pay the most for each book. Do the same for your DVDs and CDs. The places will pay for you to ship the items to them, so it’s just a matter of figuring out whom you want to sell them to.
It is possible to save money and eat well at the same time.
You don’t have to eat Top Ramen and canned beans for the next 6 month in order to save money for an international trip, even as a college student.
I found that the most expensive habit I had, was actually eating out and drinking alcohol. Cutting these things down made a big difference. Even if you still drink, you don’t necessarily have to always drink at a bar or drink a lot every weekend.
When I traveled to Thailand, I was eating and drinking at 5 star hotels and sitting on sandy beaches, instead of being at home and hanging out at smoky dive bars. Thinking like that is a great motivation for saving money for an international trip.
Find Another Source Of Income
I worked during my time as a college student, but I also did other things to save money. At this time, poker was a big deal and I saved about $1500 from playing.
Now, I’m not saying that you should go out and develop a poker habit in order to get money for an international trip, but you can still make money through other ways.
For example, you can start a free blog and generate money through Google Adsense, or publish articles on places like Yahoo Associated Content, and get paid upfront for articles and get performance bonuses.
Some people make hundreds and some thousands through writing articles, and this is reliable money for an international trip.
Be Smart On Booking Discount Flights
What I learned was that online sites, like Expedia, don’t always give you the lowest price right away.
Sometimes I had to do a price query for certain dates 6 – 7 times before it rotated to the lowest one. Don’t be so quick to buy the first offer they give you.
Also, when you leave and when you come back affects your ticket price. In general, leaving and coming back on the middle of the week saves more money. Make sure to also book early. There are many ways to save money on a discount international flight and you should learn the different tips and tricks.
I Traveled During the Offseason and for Longer Periods
I mentioned earlier that I was able to stay at 5 star hotels and places by the beach because I traveled during a non peak season for tourists.
If I traveled during high season, the costs would have been 3 – 4 times higher, so this makes a big difference. Also, when I was in Phuket, Thailand, I booked at the same 5 star vacation spot for 4 weeks. By doing this, I got a discounted rate. When booking a place for a long period of time, you should look into this because this might save you a lot of money on an international trip.
Traveling during offseason doesn’t necessarily mean it’s raining the whole time either. It actually was really sunny.
Rain season in Thailand is near September. It wasn’t much of a rain season. Out of 5 weeks there, it rained maybe 6 – 7 days. When it did rain, it was maybe in the middle of the day for 2 – 3 hours, and then the sun came back. There was also less tourists, so we had the beaches to ourselves and didn’t have to wait too long to get into restaurants.
Traveling With a Friend Saves Money
I traveled through Thailand with someone who would eventually be my wife. You don’t have to travel with your future significant other, but having a travel friend saves money.
You can split money on costs at hotels, transportation on things like taxis, and sometimes even meals. Sometimes I would order dinner, and a huge plate of fish or something else would come out that was really meant for two people. You can also share luggage and split costs between goods such as travel pillows.
Why not split the costs instead?