It’s no mystery that traveling abroad can become an expensive expedition, especially for anyone looking to indulge in all the amazing opportunities of their top destinations. If you’re one student who fears that studying abroad may be well above your pint-sized budget, fear no more, my friend, as it is much easier than one might suspect! Follow these five easy tips and you will be well on your way to experiencing the most while spending the least!
Before heading to your next location, whether it be your new residence abroad or a weekend vacation, make sure to research the city you plan to visit.Not only will you become more accustomed to the layout and culture of your new destination, but you will also discover great deals or packages that are sure to save you some of that hard-earned cash. Many of Abroad101’s reviews feature insider tips on ways to maintain a student budget abroad, and our rankings even let you search by cost of living. Additionally, popular travel websites, such as Lonely Planet, offer restaurant and hotel guides, filtered byprice range and location, to help you manage your budget. With these websites, you canfind inexpensive accommodations, restaurants, and attractions to experience the native culture and cuisine. Make a list of all the low-cost places you wish to visit, plot them on your handy map, and hit the town!
Tip #2: Use Your Resources
Asking locals in the city is a guaranteed way to find where you can get the best deals! Sure, travel guides will always help you find inexpensive places to eat, shop, and sleep but no one knows those hidden gems, with the biggest bang for your buck, quite like the locals do.Strike up a quick conversation with someone at your favorite café, or while you’re shopping at the market, and you will be sure to walk away knowing some of the best deals in town! Most often, locals can advise you on the local transportation systems, which can be a hefty cost if constantly buying individual tickets. One student in Paris mentioned, “a flat fare (just over a euro) gets you anywhere in the city, no matter how many transfers, and a student can get the Carte Imagine-R, which allows you unlimited transportation for a year and does away with paper tickets.”
Tip #4: Set Spending Goals or Limits
While it is easy to get carried away spending money when visiting a new and exciting location, setting a simple limit for yourself will certainly help you stay in charge of your wallet! The best part of establishing spending goals is that they can be customized any way that works best for you. Make daily spending goals, weekly spending goals, or even monthly ones. After all, YOU are the boss so feel free to set goals in a way that works for your own budget. Don’t forget that these goals aren’t set in stone either, so tweak and edit as necessary to make them realistic and attainable for you! A student who recently studied in London recommends, “Don’t be a complete stickler with your money, but don’t crazy overspend either.”
Tip #5: Create a Way to Manage Your Spending
It is easy to lose track of how much you’re spending when vacationing, especially if you’re constantly on the go, visiting different museums, enjoying the local fare at several restaurants, or shopping till countless bags weigh down your arms! An easy way to keep an idea of how much you are spending each trip is to check your bank balance before and after every trip. Banks make it very easy to go online via your mobile device or a computer and check the status of your accounts. This is especially useful when converting your money between different currencies, a transaction where it is easy to lose track of how much money you are really spending! You can also create a customized spreadsheet to enter your spending goals for each trip, how much you actually spent, and how much you want to return home with to keep an idea of your spending habits. A student who studied in Melbourne, Australia advised, “Make a budget. Stick to it. Alcohol and clothes and shoes are expensive. Keep money for traveling.”