Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank

Posted on Mar 4 2014 - 7:32pm by Guest Writer

By Tahlia Terhune

If you have a passion to travel, a small budget should never hold you back.

Many people have perfected the art of inexpensive traveling. All it requires is a little more planning to save yourself thousands.

I have always had the desire to travel. Recently, I went to Argentina, Uruguay, the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands. This summer I will be traveling to Puerto Rico and have begun planning ways to save.

As a college student, I don’t have a bank account to accommodate a glamourous travel-the-world type of lifestyle, however, I do have plenty of other resources available to me.

The largest obstacle travelers often face is airfare. Costly airline prices can often be the majority of what you will spend on a trip. This is why if you plan to be a frequent traveler you should consider signing up for a mileage plan.

I recently got my first credit card. Since I plan on flying, I signed up for the Delta Sky Miles American Express card. For every dollar I spend, I earn a mile. This is one way you can earn miles to credit towards your next ticket.

Expert traveler Rick Steves posted an article, “Thrifty 50 Travel Tips,” to his website. An important tip he highlights is traveling during the off season. For example in Europe you would want to travel October through April. This would enable you to find lower rates on planes and hotels and experience smaller crowds.

Steves also advises sticking to local restaurants. Avoid those that hang signs reading “We Speak English” in the windows, because those will undoubtedly have increased prices targeting tourists.

You will find lower prices elsewhere, and when in doubt of what to order, just go with the daily special.

An alternative to hotels and house swaps could be hostels. Hostels provide travelers with lodging and inexpensive food with fellow travelers.

According to Hostelling International USA, large city hostels will run anywhere from $25-$40 per night while smaller cities can be as inexpensive as $15-$20 per night. While you may sacrifice your privacy, you save an abundant amount on travel expenses and have the opportunity to meet all kinds of travelers.

Pacific Lutheran University offers many opportunities for studying away through various locations across the globe. Even just for J-term, roughly 300 PLU students study across the world.

This is a great  opportunity, and you don’t have to worry about planning your trip around school breaks since you will be receiving class credits learning at your desired location.

“I think that my experience will be worth the knowledge that I can extract from the culture and professors of PLU,” sophomore William Lockert, who is debating studying abroad to Norway and Denmark or Australia, said. “Although, I wish PLU would provide an incentive [to study away].”

My trip to Argentina and Uruguay were mission trips that were organized through my high school. A mission trip is a mobilization of Christian ministry that can vary in time, anywhere from a week to a year.

For this particular trip, I wrote a letter that I sent to my family and close friends. I asked for them to keep me in their prayers for the duration of the trip and if they felt inclined to provide any form of donation for support of my trip.

I was astonished when they provided funds for more than 75 percent of my trip costs. Fundraising is always a viable option for traveling.

You can always find support for your passions if you look in the right places. Whether this is for funding a trip or using available resources such as hostels to save money where you can, you don’t have to drain your bank account to see new destinations.