How to Afford Travel While in College

As a university or college student, it may seem really hard to afford travel right now. However, there are a ton of ways that you can travel cheaply, or even for free, that you should take advantage of while you still can! Here are my top tips on how to afford travel in college or university.

Every Girl, Everywhere

1.     Use your summers wisely!

Depending on what your career is, there may never be a time in your life when you get extended breaks again. It’s so important to take advantage of your summers to travel.  I work full time every summer to afford university, and if you do as well, you can still do this and travel! If I’m not in classes I’d like to work as an au pair in Europe next summer – a friend from school worked in Italy for 3 months this summer and had an amazing time. Depending on the family you work for, a ton of your expenses could be paid for, even your flights! There are so many other ways to work abroad for a summer, such as taking a job somewhere else in your country. It may take a lot of work to find something, but I’m sure you’ll be glad you did when you’re working somewhere amazing for the summer!



2.     Take advantage of free travel.

This is one of my biggest tips!! I will be heading to Croatia in a few weeks and China next month, and both of these trips are being paid for almost fully by someone else. Basically, I keep my eye out for ANY conference or competition opportunities that I may be eligible for as a business student. I found the conference in Croatia on Twitter, and the conference in China is a competition for Enactus, which I’m involved with. All attendees of the conference in Croatia get their travel and accommodation paid for! The application took a while, but was clearly worth it – I get to attend an awesome conference and see Croatia at the same time. As for China, I was actually able to get my employer to sponsor my attendance since it is a community organization. They’re contributing to my travel costs so that I can represent my team in Beijing! I also added 4 days in Hong Kong to my trip, since it made no difference in flights. I had no expectations that they would approve my application but figured it couldn’t hurt to ask – clearly I was right!


3.     Map out breaks a year in advance.

It can be easy to let an entire school year slip by without taking a trip, simply because you didn’t plan ahead. I like to look through my school’s dates to see when our reading weeks, long weekends and Christmas breaks are, so I can see when I might have an opportunity to travel. For example, I was able to add Hong Kong onto my Beijing trip because I have fall break that week – so I’ll be missing class for the event but nothing for the extra portion. It’s super important to look far in advance so you can book early!



4.     See the area around your school.

If you’ve taken the opportunity to attend university away from your hometown, then the area you’re now living in may present some pretty awesome activities and attractions! I only moved about an hour from home, but if I had moved to British Columbia (on the other side of the country), there would have been dozens of places for me to see out there. I bet there’s an amazing place you haven’t discovered within an hour of your university town or city! I know local travel isn’t quite as exciting as going internationally, but it’s a way to temporarily cure your wanderlust on the cheap.


I hope these tips helped you see that you can travel as a university student! I’m fulfilling my travel dreams and you can too. I’d love to hear any of your tips in the comments!


Bethany is an 18 year old university student in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada who loves shopping, traveling, planning imaginary trips, learning languages, and challenging herself every day. You can follow her social media accounts below: 

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Kollin Lephart
Kollin is an avid traveler and entrepreneur. When she's not working as a Marketing Consultant, she's strategizing ways to make Every Girl, Everywhere even better. She's passionate about helping people, traveling and living the best life possible.

2 thoughts on “How to Afford Travel While in College

  1. Great site and tips Kollin! It’s always great to hear about travel opportunities around the world and I’m glad you were able to take advantage of some time off in college. I see you live in Taiwan now. My husband and I had the chance to visit a couple years back from Japan and we absolutely loved both Taipei as well as Taroko National Park! If you ever make it towards Japan I’ll be happy to tell you some of my favorite places!

    1. Stephanie – you are so sweet! Thanks but I actually didn’t write this blog post. Bethany with Progression of Happiness wrote this and has been traveling while in school! I graduated in 2013 😉 Taiwan is FANTASTIC and Taroko Gorge was my all time favorite! I couldn’t believe how big those mountains were. I do want to go to Japan so bad, but I don’t know if it’ll be in my budget for 2015. However, if I do make it to Japan I will definitely reach out to you! Thanks again, Stephanie.

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