Traveling the World on a Shoestring: Tips for College Students

30 May 2013

Today's post is written by KC Owens of Blogging Across the Pond. If you would like to write a guest post and be featured on Driftwood and Daydreams, email me, Aryn, at

The college days are often the best times to explore the world. You are young and aside from school and work, you have few pressing responsibilities. It’s time to travel! Of course, college students are notorious for having little money to spend, so how can you afford world travels? I’ve found that there are some savvy travel tips will make any journey possible.

Financing the Trip

Although I work a regular job during the school months, it does not give me the proper funding to finance a vacation around the world. In order to do this, I’ve had to resort to other means of finding money. After some research on the Internet, I found that a student credit card helps other students afford traveling by offering them rewards for airline miles and other international expenses. Rewards such as these helped to balance the costs of several expenses and allowed me to afford my backpacking vacations. Be sure to educate yourself on how best to use a credit card. Don’t use it to splurge, or you’ll be paying on that debt for years to come but instead, use it as a tool to help automate currency exchanges and keep your money safe from pickpockets looking for cash.

Work Your Way Around the World

You probably won’t have the time or money to get a work visa before your trip, but you can find work opportunities to earn a little extra cash to fund your trip. Working for small businesses for cash along the way will provide the opportunity for new experiences as well as help to fund your adventure. Working on small farms, bartending and doing other odd jobs will enrich your cultural experience as well as padding your pockets.

Working as an English teacher in China

Pack Light, Pack Right

Taking the right things with you when traveling internationally will also help you save money. You don’t want to pack too heavily and wind up paying luggage fees on airplanes; however, you don’t want to leave home without a few necessary items only to have to buy them overseas.

A lightweight backpack will come in extra handy. I picked up mine for a reasonable amount of money and it has served me well. Do not try to carry multiple suitcases or a heavy roller bag along with a weekender. If you must bring an umbrella, make sure it collapses neatly into a side pocket on your backpack. Traveling with just a backpack also helps you keep track of your belongings, especially when staying at a crowded hostel. Your pack will become your life so keep it small and keep it safe.

Pack as little as possible; your clothing should all be moisture-wicking travel clothing. Both men and women can find lightweight, fashionable apparel that will dry quickly when rinsed out or caught in the rain. In addition to backpacking clothes, bring along a nice golf shirt or travel-friendly shift dress and shoes so you can get into clubs that have a dress code. You absolutely must have a raincoat. Look for a super lightweight version that packs down tight. I generally pack only about ten pounds worth of clothing and gear total. No need to wear yourself down by carrying all that extra stuff.

KC Owens has written and submitted this article. KC is a college student who loves traveling, college life, fitness and a good survival kit. He enjoys studying different cultures, meeting new people and leaving his footprint somewhere most people only read about.

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