Satisfy your wanderlust

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Illustration by Shannon Kidd

It’s the beginning of the year and chances are you’re already itching for new adventures and a change of scenery. But then again, you’re a broke college student.

Many of your peers and classmates are already making plans for spring break or a summer vacation abroad. Then there’s you, sitting silently on the side, thinking about all the money you wish you had to satisfy your wanderlust.

Why not make this the year that you actually do something about your dreams and goals? Here are some options college kids can utilize to travel, even though we may not be financially stable:

Study abroad

Take advantage of the many options available to study abroad. There are tons of scholarships to which you can apply that can help fund your trip. Check out Portland State’s Education Abroad Office to find the program that fits best with your interests and degree. The good news is that you will most likely earn credits for the studying that you do while abroad. That means you won’t have to worry about paying for something that doesn’t add to your degree requirements. This is also a good reason to create a GoFundMe campaign so your peers, relatives and community members can contribute to your success!

Group travel

Plan to travel somewhere with a group of friends or family members. This will help eliminate travel expenses such as lodging and transportation. Come up with a travel plan, then budget and break down everything equally among each member of the group. This not only saves you a ton of money, but it also makes your trip ten times better since you get to make and share new memories with the many people you love! It is also much safer to travel with a group, especially if you’re going out of the country or to a place you aren’t familiar with.

Cut down on expenses

A trip to Europe or Australia is worth giving up that daily Starbucks coffee. You could save so much by brewing your own coffee at home, packing your lunch instead of eating out, and even riding the MAX instead of taking an Uber. Remember, sacrifice is key here. If you could sacrifice spoiling yourself for a year, you’d be sipping margaritas on a beach in Cancun in no time!

Save up

If you don’t have a job, start applying! Part of being an adult means taking action to solve your own problems instead of just complaining about them. You’re not just going to wake up to a free ticket to your dream destination. If you already have a job, challenge yourself to put aside 50 to 100 dollars every payday to save up for your travel expenses. If this is just not going to cut it, you might want to look into other safe and legal ways to make side money. For example, if you like children, consider babysitting. It’s a plus for college students since you get to squeeze in some time to do homework or study while earning that mullah.

If traveling is something that you really crave, these options won’t hurt! At the end of the year, you could be on your way to that one place you’ve been dying to explore.

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