Is traveling after you graduate from college on your to-do list? Many recent graduates choose to do so for a wide variety of reasons. Many are in desperate need of a break after completing several years of schooling. They know that vacation time will be limited when they are getting started in their careers and choose to travel immediately after college before entering the workforce. Others travel because they aren’t entirely sure what they want to do after graduation.
Traveling the world is a great way to experience other cultures, and you will likely learn a lot about yourself along the way. Taking some time to figure out the next step once you’ve completed your schooling allows you to better plan your future. For many soon-to-be grads, however, the idea of traveling the world seems out of reach. After racking up thousands of dollars in student loans, the thought of having the money to travel may seem downright absurd.
The truth, though, is that there are plenty of ways to travel without breaking the bank. Here’s how to travel after college the right way!
Travel at the Right Time
When it comes to saving money on any adventure, timing is everything. If you visit a popular destination during peak season, you are going to spend significantly more on flights, hotel accommodations, tourist attractions, etc. Simply choosing to travel during the off-season could save you a bundle while allowing you to see places you may not have been able to afford to visit during peak season. Plus, you’ll likely be dealing with fewer tourists.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to board a plane immediately after graduation. If you aren’t quite ready to embark on your career, consider taking a different job temporarily. This will allow you to pay your bills and save up a bit of money before traveling the world.
Look for Opportunities to Work or Volunteer Abroad
Even if you aren’t quite ready to start your career, finding an opportunity to work or volunteer in another country is a good way to see the world without spending a fortune. There are plenty of companies that hire seasonal and temporary employees, and many are flexible when it comes to hiring people from other countries. Taking a seasonal or temp job allows you to experience another country while earning money, so it is a great option when funds are tight.
One way that many people get to travel the world on a budget is teaching English in foreign countries. In Italy, for example, you can live with a host family and teach English at a local school for a cost of roughly $300 per month. There are also opportunities to teach English in Spain, Russia, China, Brazil, Thailand and many other countries. In most cases, no teaching experience is necessary and you will get to stay with a host family at no cost to you. These immersive opportunities are ideal for anyone who wants to visit other countries but doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on hotel accommodations.
Volunteering abroad is an amazing experience, too. Thanks to organizations like Omprakash, it is possible to find all sorts of volunteer opportunities in nations spanning the world. As a volunteer, you could provide aid in impoverished nations, tend to exotic animals that are only seen in zoos in the U.S. or help in countless other ways. No matter what you do, volunteering in another country provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience another culture and add something pretty impressive to your resume.
Plan Ahead to Save Money
Traveling is often expensive but planning ahead can help you save money. Choose your destination as far in advance as possible and start shopping around for the best deals on airfare and hotel accommodations. If you plan on buying new clothes for your trip, consider buying in bulk. Things like wholesale t-shirts are extremely affordable. They are also lightweight and take up little space, making them ideal for helping you avoid overweight baggage fees at the airport. T-shirts are versatile enough to wear for just about any occasion and can be worn in layers if you are traveling during cold weather. Plain shirts look great with many styles and are a classic go-to when you have limited room in a suitcase.
Another way to save money and make traveling easier is by using a luggage shipping service to send your bags ahead of time. This way, you can travel with less baggage and avoid having to pay extra baggage fees at the airport.
Avoid purchasing trendy single-use items. If you absolutely need to purchase apparel or gear that will likely only be worn or used during your trip, try finding it at your local thrift store or buying it used online. There is no reason to spend a small fortune on something that will likely end up buried in the back of your closet after you return home.
Travel Smart and Stay Safe
When traveling, always remember to stay safe. Take the time to research your destination and find out about any potential safety concerns before you travel. Use common sense and do not carry large quantities of cash. It is also a good idea to avoid traveling with expensive jewelry and designer clothing–especially when visiting large cities. It is inexpensive and you won’t be too terribly upset if it gets lost.
Always be aware of your surroundings and travel with a friend or loved one when possible. Exercising caution helps you avoid losing money and potentially ending up in a bad situation when you are thousands of miles from home.
Traveling after college is a great way to experience different cultures and see new places before embarking on your “grown-up” career. While doing so can be quite expensive, there are plenty of ways to save money and see the world without breaking the bank. Follow the advice listed above and you will be well on your way to traveling after college the right way!