How to Take a Cheap Vacation as a Broke College Student

College can certainly be a fun time. You finally have independence from your parents and can make your own choices every single day. However, being in college also means that you probably don’t have a lot of money. Every extra penny you can scrape up goes toward food, books, and of course, tuition.

cheap vacation

With so little money, what can you possibly do for a vacation? Well, even with just a few hundred bucks, you have quite a few options for going on a cheap vacation. My friend once traveled from the snow in Michigan to the beaches of Florida for an entire week and only spend $300 in total. Yes, it is possible, so let’s explore how you can take a cheap vacation too! After all, everyone needs a vacation once in a while.

1) Travel by Bus

Making your way across the country in a bus is certainly not the fastest way to travel, but it is pretty cost effective. A trip from Chicago, IL to Florida can cost as little as $85. So, if you aren’t necessarily concerned about speed, but would like a way to travel inexpensively without having to drive yourself, this is an awesome option.

2) Travel with Cheap Airfare

You might think of air travel as expensive, but there are many low-cost airlines these days. And, if you evaluate prices of air travel often you will start to notice when ticket prices tend to go on sale. Most of the time, the best time to buy a flight ticket is 2 or 3 weeks before your departure date. Couple this with a weekday departure and return and you could fly for less than a hundred dollars each way. My friend used to find great flight deals for $9 each way. Add taxes and fees and he was still only paying $70 round-trip. Start scoping out the prices and you could fly for cheap too!

3) Make Friends

As you make friends in college, you will meet people from all over the U.S., and perhaps all over the world. When it is time for a vacation, start to talk to one another about where you would like to visit and if any of you have friends or family in that location. Chances are, you could crash at someone’s home for free! Be sure to do the dishes and clean after yourself however.

4) Couch Surf

If you do not have any friends in the areas you would like to visit, then couch surfing is indeed an option. If you have not heard of couch surfing, this is where you line up a stay with another person that has willingly opened their house up to strangers. If you meet their criteria, you are welcome to sleep on their couch for a given period of time. You must be very careful if you choose to travel this way, but it is definitely an option that could be considered, especially since it’s basically free.

5) Don’t Eat Out, Buy Groceries

Even when you’re on vacation, groceries are the cheapest way to go. Many times, you can purchase entire meals for only $0.25, which starts to make fast food look expensive! Make a meal plan, and buy things like bread, peanut butter and jelly, granola bars, and cereal. These items can last you for quite a long time and they are fairly inexpensive as well!

Are you ready to take a cheap vacation? What is the cheapest vacation you have ever taken?


How to Take a Cheap Vacation as a Broke College Student — 2 Comments

  1. We’re not poor students, but last year we did get a cheap vacation (or at least we saved a lot). We started out with a 2000 Euro budget (the accommodation was 800) and, by not eating out too much, we were able to save 800. It was great, especially since I found out I was pregnant afterward, so most of the money was spent with healthcare.

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