Finally! Summer is here. Even though the heat has started to kick in and the sun is shinning brighter than ever, I can only see it from the window of my classroom. It is in moments like these where I wish I could get out and enjoy my vacation. Classes are never as tortuous as when you are the only one taking them, which make me want the weekend even that much more. The only positive thing about taking summer classes is the long weekend every weekend, so plans like travelling to other cities are ensued.
Even though Boston is lovely in the summer, students usually leave to go back home. This gives the perfect to excuse leaving on a weekend crusade. However, trips tend to be very expensive and not at all affordable. Even if we don’t have to suffer through winter anymore, we still have to count on the same amount of allowance. Not even as a finance student can I teach you how to magically double your allowance per month. However, if you stick with me a little bit more I can show you some amazing tips to make travelling more affordable. So yeah! No more awkward calls with your parents asking for extra money. Vacation here we come!
Travel with friends! This is the easiest tip to apply. Not only is it way more fun to pack up a weekend full of fun with your friends, it is way more affordable. Travelling with someone means splitting the cost of everything: from the hotel room to the late night uber from the club. Additionally, it makes the whole experience better. Plus, you need someone to take that picture you will be uploading on instagram later. Travelling with friends doesn’t necessarily mean you both have to live in the same city, just travelling to visit a friend can mean you can save a lot on that hotel fare (usually the most expensive part of the trip) or even on meals.
Eat Wisely! When we are in vacation we tend to be very reckless about our eating. We don’t usually think too much when and what we eat and many times we end up overspending. I would advise to eat breakfast at home (a.k.a your hotel room or your friends house). When you arrive at your destination go to the nearest supermarket and buy bread, cereal, milk, instant oatmeal or whatever you like to have for breakfast. This way you guarantee that you will only have to pay at least for one meal at a restaurant. My other suggestion is to eat a light snack during the day (a sandwich in a coffee shop, a hot dog on the street, a giant ice-cream) and have a nice lunch/dinner at a good restaurant. Use your money wisely: eating one big meal at a good restaurant may allow you to go to a pricier place or eat a fancier plate. You don’t have to have the extra cash; you just have to learn how to distribute it better. Also, ordering drinks really brings the bill up. Tap water and sharing plates can make the final price of the meal easier to look at.
Ask the locals! No one knows the city like the locals. They know the best ways to move through the city, the best restaurants, the tourist traps and the trendy spots, not to mention the little tricks to find the best deals. Prior to your arrival to your chosen destination ask a friend or a relative that lives in the area or frequents it a lot and ask them to give you a list of dos and don’ts. They are the ones to ask how for help regarding how much tip is given, is it worth taken a cab to the hotel and all those little details that might make you fall into a tourist trap. Plus, they might offer themselves to be your tour guide for the day (pro tip: you don’t have to tip your friends).
Use local transportation! Even with the addition of Uber and Lyft into our lives (how did we even survive before them?), fares can tend to get very high. Especially in big cities like New York, a one-minute uber ride can get really expensive and is not at all necessary. Local transportation such as subways and buses can be very effective when trying to navigate through a city. If you are nervous about getting lost in the transportation, apps like CityMapper can map out the exact stations and directions you need to go to (given you remembered to charge your phone or your battery didn’t run out because of all those snapchats). Also, your legs are really good source of transportation as well, and personally the best way for me to get to know a destination is walking through its streets.
Plan ahead! I know, I know… You probably knew that the closer to your date of travel everything starts to get pricier by the minute. So, why am I telling you this? I cannot stress the importance of planning ahead. It is so tempting to leave your planning to the last minute because we have this homework or this test, but in this case procrastination will only make your trip more expensive. So trust me on this one, hold Netflix for 15 minutes and buy the tickets for your travel. You’ll thank me later.
So there you have it! 5 tips to travel and not break the bank. I hope this really helps you save some money and if not, luckily mom has low a APR on her loans…No? Ok. Just remember: “don’t spend money on things… spend money on experiences. You’ll enjoy life a lot more!”… Maybe this thought will make it easier to pay up your new debt.