A Guide to Graduate Travel on a Budget

Post-graduation blues…we’ve all been there. Or maybe you haven’t! Not all of us were lucky enough to land a dream job after college. In fact, half of UK graduates don’t work in the field that they studied. We could trick ourselves into thinking, “University, what for?” Nip those feelings in the bud as quickly as you can, because as much as you might miss attending lectures (or not) and drinking the nights away, your adult life has only just begun. It took time to learn to walk at the start of our lives, and there’s no reason you can’t take time to find your feet at the start of your adult life as well. Don’t worry if you’re tight for cash, because this guide to graduate travel overseas has been designed for those of us on a budget.

Walk the Path Less Traveled

Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, and Barcelona are incredible cities renowned for their tourist attractions…but that’s half of the problem. Tourists are so keen to see the sights that companies can significantly hike the price of entry, particularly in the summer months when interest is high.

There are hundreds of countries that host stunning natural wonders, golden beaches, and exotic cultural experiences at a remarkably cheaper price. Nicaragua, Laos, Indonesia, and much of Eastern Europe are frequent favorites for Western travelers on a budget. As a matter of fact, popular travel locations in Western Europe are so jam-packed full of tourists that you’ll undoubtedly find a sparse tourist location off the beaten track a breath of fresh air in comparison.

Skiing or lounging on a beach often spring to mind as far as holidays are concerned…but don’t confine yourself to a beach or mountain just because everyone else is doing it. Rethink the whole experience. A boating holiday is just one example of a relaxing and enriching experience that, when planned properly, can come in at a portion of the cost of a package holiday. The benefits also extend to the number of locations you can visit for the money, as you are able to anchor offshore or in the harbor of a number of towns and cities every day, without having to pay for public transport or costly hotels!

Cutting Common Costs

If you can’t resist seeing the sights, then look for other ways to save on the cost of your travels abroad. AirBNB or half-board accommodation may help save on the cost of your stay, but don’t be tempted into buying luxurious meals at local restaurants or cafes to make up for it. Supermarkets or street food vendors are renowned for selling mouth-watering bites of the local cuisine for a fraction of the price.

Actually getting to your holiday destination can be a daunting prospect, particularly when traveling with cheaper airlines – but that’s not to say that proper planning and organization is without merit. It might not be the most comfortable flight in the world, or the most luxurious, but you’re sure to arrive safely for much, much cheaper. Some of you might be completely against a long-haul flight with a “budget” airline – if that’s the case, you’re going to have to make more of a conscious effort when you land to cut costs.

If you are traveling cheaply, then travel light and bring only essentials. Baggage handlers have been known to misplace luggage, so ensure that everything essential is well within reach and can be stashed as hand luggage. Depending on where you travel to, and the accommodation you stay in, you might be able to save on shampoos, toothpastes, and toiletries. If you’re unsure, then get in touch with the hotel or hostel to see what is offered during your stay. Alternatively, you might be able to get your toiletries at a bargain price in a local supermarket, due to a significantly lower cost of living.

If you plan ahead and do your research, you’re sure to come out on top.

Travel with Friends

This one might seem self-explanatory, but hear me out. Of course, traveling with family or friends is one of life’s greatest treasures. Some of us prefer traveling alone, and that’s OK too – but if you’re planning to travel lightly and cheaply, then you can make dramatic savings on the cost of luggage, accommodation, and food by traveling with a friend.

It’s rare to find a bargain deal on package holidays (which are significantly cheaper to begin with) that will suit a lone traveler, and that’s because most package holidays are aimed at a younger audience who are more likely to travel with their friends or family! It’s the best of both worlds, really.

How does reminiscing about your recent university successes on a gorgeous beach in Vietnam, with an ice-cold beer and a friend, sound? After all, the best experiences are ones shared.

Dress Light, Dress Smart

We’ve already talked in great detail about saving money on luggage, so let’s extend it to your outfit too. Depending on your holiday, this will change fairly radically. Flights are already quite the chore to begin with, so don’t overburden yourself…literally. You might need a coat at Heathrow, but you’re unlikely to need one in Mauritius. If you can put up with a bit of gloomy weather at home, then grin and bear it.

Tracksuit or jogger bottoms are comfortable and functional for traveling, as we all know how much of a nightmare jeans are when worn for too long – even worse when there’s rain! Personally, I couldn’t be without a sturdy pair of sailing shoes when I fly. They’re comfortable enough to stay on my feet all day, and breathable enough to not make the former an issue for the other passengers – not to mention that they’ll withstand all of the scrapes, knocks, and bumps that I’ll inevitably endure before I reach the hotel at the other end.

Travel in the Off-Season

No, you might not get to experience yearly temperature highs or the best of the snow, and I’m not advising you to travel to Spain in winter or Iceland in summer either. But traveling in the early spring or autumn will save you a fortune on the cost of your holiday.

Mediterranean, Asian, and South American countries can still offer toasty temperatures and the potential for a sun-kissed tan outside of the summer months.

Book Well in Advance

You might not even have graduated yet, in which case, it’s good we caught you at this time – because getting together with your friends and organizing your holiday now is going to dramatically reduce the price of flights and accommodations. Even at face value, booking a holiday is going to give you the motivation to knuckle down and finish your exams to the best of your ability.

If you have already graduated, then don’t waste another minute…get on top your overseas travels sooner rather than later, your wallet or purse will be grateful.

Safe travels!

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/beach-beverage-caribbean-cocktail-84533/