Many of you are perhaps contemplating making a trip abroad in the near future but are stumped on where to find the money and how to manage summer work and travel. It is quite the conundrum, my friends.
Here’s the dilemma: Option A) Work all summer and make money to last you through the school year. Most jobs are easier to find and hold on to if you are able to work from May through August. However, if you choose this route, you have no time left for travel!
Option B) Plan a big trip abroad during the summer. You’re not working or making money, and likely spending almost all your savings, so how can you make it through the busy school year running on empty?
Option C) Plan to split your summer working and travelling. Good luck finding a decent (well-paying) job that will hire you for only 2 months.
So what’s the deal? How can you beat the student blues?
It depends on how bad you want to travel and for how long. These days, travel is pretty expensive due to pricey flights. You wouldn’t want to spend $1500 on a flight to Europe and stay there for only 2 weeks. You’ve got to try to stretch your dollar as far is it can go when you are a student on a budget.
Two tips for making a more flexible budget is either Spend Less or Make More.
Spend Less: Plan a cross-country road trip. Our country is far and wide and there are plenty of amazing places to see, even just between Vancouver and Toronto. You would be surprised how different many parts of Canada are. Though gas and transportation will be the most expensive part of this trip, you will save money by camping in parks along the way or staying with relatives across the country. Better yet, you can stick with one currency. And you wont get stuck in tourist traps because one can only have so many Canada themed shot glasses. Depending on your transportation you can probably budget a 14 day cross country road trip at about $1000 per person.
Make More: If you currently have a job and want to start saving for a trip in the next coming months or next year, you should contemplate opening a separate bank account for savings. Many banks offer high interest or tax free accounts that will build up your dollars for you. Try deducting a percentage of every paycheck and putting it in this account. It will add up very fast, and the more money you put in, the more interest you make. Birthday and Christmas gifts will always find a safe home in this account, and maybe you parents will be so impressed with your business sense that they will want to chip in a bit too! Try working over the Christmas break or just log a few hours a week in a flexible job, like being a tutor, to make some extra cash to help you along the way. Hopefully by the time your trip rolls around, you will have enough money to see all the sights you want to see and maybe even treat yourself to a luxurious souvenir.
Tell your friends how they can save up money for a trip too, because what’s worse than having no money to travel is having the money but no one to go with!
As for the work or travel dilemma, it is all about priorities. You can’t expect to take a trip every summer and you shouldn’t plan on working full time every summer either.