How Can University Students Afford to Travel?

I’ve always been so enthralled with travel. When I was thinking about starting University I was worried about how can university students afford to travel? I knew I had to pay my way through school so I figured I would have to compromise on traveling. Maybe just take a road trip during spring break once a year or something.

As someone whose paid for 5 and a half years of school, a trip to Hawaii, Australia, Mexico, Italy, New York, Cuba, and all over Canada, I feel quite confident I can help you do the same.

If you missed my other post about how students can travel for free, check it out here!
Hawaii, how can university students afford to travel
Hawaii – December 2012

Having expected to make this compromise on traveling, I was ready to start school in September. However, a month before school started, I was presented with the opportunity to travel to Australia with two of my best friends! They were already going with her parents for a 3 month around the world tour and asked me to join.

I knew I couldn’t afford the whole 3 months at the time, but I always wanted to go to Australia so I decided to join them there for 5 weeks starting in December. So, I took the first semester of school off, just worked full time as a server and saved up enough money in that time for it. I actually decided to spend a week in Hawaii first and then meet them in Australia after. Best decision I ever made! For more ways to save money without working, get amazing discounts with sites like below!

Ever since then I’ve caught the travel bug more and more, and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. So by now you’re probably wondering, okay Kira stop blabbing on about your younger days and get to the point. Seriously, how can University students afford to travel?

The answer is simple: Get a Job. Save Your Money. Get Involved!
Number One: Get a Job

I was lucky enough to get a job in grade 11 as a hostess at a restaurant closeby my house. From there I worked my way up to being server and I would recommend ANY student to do this! It is the best money you can make for the littlest amount of hours you can work. There were some nights when I would be making $30-$40 an hour, because you walk away with $100 in tips, plus minimum wage and you only work for 3 or 4 hours. Two-three shifts a week and you are all set.

Number Two: Save Your Money

Since I lived at home I was able to put a good chunk of this money I earned away. As a rule of thumb I would usually put half of my tips each night away as ‘untouchable’ – used only for trips I wanted to go on, and the other half along with my paycheque, I would use for things like my car payments, phone bill, and going out with friends.

New York, How can university students afford to travel
New York – January 2017
Number Three: Get Involved

I cannot stress this one enough. As a student there are so many things you can get involved in. I wouldn’t recommend to only get involved in things that will let you travel, you should get involved in things you are interested in and if they happen to travel then that is a bonus.

In my University career I was lucky enough to go to New York with a student group that I was on the council for one year. More recently, this past year I was able to compete in an entrepreneurship competition where myself and two teammates created a business plan and presented the idea for a chance to win $10,000. We actually ended up winning it which was amazing, and guess what? That $3000+ dollars went straight into my bank account to go towards to my world travel trip coming up in May.

So if you are still unconvinced about how can university students afford to travel, especially while paying their own tuition I hope you understand that I respectfully disagree.


I would love to hear if you’ve ever had the chance to travel during your University career, comment below!

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