D’Youville’s motto ‘Educating for Life’ subtly echoes the inquisitive and ambitious nature of their students & alumni. Surely, it doesn’t end at our intellectual education alone. Being a Canadian student living in America, I continue to be excited by the slight differences between the two countries. One thing that particularly disappoints me is that, as a student, I have few resources and time to travel and do the things that I enjoy. Over the past year, however, I’ve learned to make lemon juice out of my lemons; let me share with you what I mean.
1. Be resourceful: D’Youville is a commuter school which means that it attracts students from across the North American continent. During my studies, I’ve had the privilege of meeting people from Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Bulova, Sicily, Hungary, the list is endless…
a) Pick at their brain. These students probably have insight into particular travel destinations that aren’t as ‘touristy’ as Paris or Barcelona. Chances are they aren’t as costly for hotel stays or admittance tickets. Don’t overlook the small cities. Every little city/country has their own quirks.
b) Don’t be afraid to couch surf. If you open up your heart to each other (and genuinely make a close friend), why not offer up each other’s houses to one another too? Me and my friends take turns traveling to each other’s home town. It’s fun, you have a tour guide and save hotel costs at the end of the day.
2. Shop smart. When in ‘vacation mode’, it becomes really hard to not buy every little souvenir that intrigues/excites/humors you. Trust me, I struggled with this too. However, you have to remember that you are a student and you should shop like one too. There are some things you can buy anywhere; why are you buying this item here? Do you need it? Reason with yourself as to why you are purchasing it. If you really need to, take a picture of it. Better a picture in your phone than another book on the shelf that you won’t touch.
3. To eat or not to eat? Aside from boarding costs, food tends to be a huge portion of your vacation expenses. If you’re trying cuisine that is local to the area, try to limit your amount of restaurant dining. Food courts are student-friendly and it doesn’t hurt to have a few snacks throughout the day. Making your tummy satisfied doesn’t have to hurt your wallet.
Being open-minded is crucial when you are working with a student budget; but this doesn’t take away from the nature of learning about new cultures and experiencing new places. At the end of the day, keep this in mind: travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer.
Do you have any recommendations on how to travel smart on a student budget? Let us know in the comments section below!