Traveling on a Budget


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The walls of Austin, Texas, are barely left blank; a piece of art is at every turn. Photo by John Peralta.  

Traveling the world is something that many people want to do in their lifetimes. Unfortunately, the money aspect keeps many of us from traveling or going on vacation with some friends. College students, especially, miss out on seeing and understanding the world before entering adulthood (full-time jobs, apartment payments, etc.). Once you get there, free time’s rare.  


Imagine this: What if I told you that with a few tips and stories from actual college students, you could get your chance to see the world. I know what youre thinking: “This isn’t possible. Im a broke college student who naps when Im hungry.From one broke college student to another, trust me, its possible.


Before thinking of how much fun youre going to have, think about how far you want to travel from your home state. Christian Russell, a self-proclaimed broke student, has shed the misconception that he needs an abundance of money to enjoy himself.


Since the Patriots won the Superbowl in February, Ive been to Boston for the championship parade, New Orleans for Mardi Gras, Austin for SXSW, and Ill be going to Seattle for Columbus break,he said. Guess what? I did it all for under $500.




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Photo by John Peralta.
Jake Lidelman capturing the sights and sounds Austin has to offer.



New Orleans, Texas, Seattle and even Boston are all possible locations you can travel to at a very low cost. Russell emphasized the importance of budgeting and organization, however, because without one or the other, it will be difficult to get anything done.


We started doing our research after we figured out the most we wanted spend on a flight,he said. Once my friends and I figured out a number, we went to an American, low-cost carrier website,, and began eliminating the most expensive flights.


Once the list was down to five destinations, the group began deciding where it’d travel. After that, the crew commenced the search for cheap motels.



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Photo by John Peralta.
Stores are always filled when big events are in town.


People make the terrible mistake of paying for expensive rooms, while most of their time is being spent adventuring in the city,Jake Lindelman, a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh said. Try to get as much friends to tag along and just have fun. When you plan these things ahead of time, youll find inexpensive options that wont be there upon arriving.


Lindelman has accompanied Russell on his recent trips and also emphasized the importance of budgeting and organization. He also talked about planning ahead of time and making sure you travel with people who will not bail on your idea. The more people who go, the less your trip will end up costing you.


Through personal experience, I can tell you that your whole trip predicates off of how much money you want to spend a day, which goes back to budgeting. Keep yourself on a strict budget, monitor your spending, and if youre going to the bars, bring only what you need. Not everything.


Find free events that are being held in the city you are staying in. Youll be surprised by the people that dwell in these places.


Its insane the amount of celebrities and athletes that you see, especially in Texas,Russell said. I got to meet Lip from Shameless, Desiigner, Dez Bryant, Lil Yatchy, Rick Ross, A.S.A.P. Ferg. Each and every time were the best times of my life.


Quick tips on how to plan an inexpensive trip:


  1. Plan ahead: Where do you want to go?
  2. Get as many friends as possible to accompany you. The more friends, the cheaper the trip.
  3. Your sleeping situation should not kill your pockets. Remember: Your time is being spent outside, not inside.
  4. Budget your daily spending (it will take you a long way).
  5. Find free events near you.
  6. Most importantly, have a positive mindset during the deciding process.
  8. Goal: Plan for a cheap trip, so you have money left over.
  9. Have fun and take pictures.

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