So you’ve decided you want to go away… Whether it’s a week away with the girls or a round the world trip the one thing any trip needs is money. I managed to save up almost £4000 for my trip this year whilst at university. Hopefully a couple of things I did can help you save up for that trip of a lifetime.
1. Get a job- it might sound sarcastically obvious but there are plenty of jobs out there that students can do whilst still studying and partying. You really can get the best of both worlds it’s just managing to keep a happy medium. I had 2 jobs throughout my last 2 years at uni and put all that I could away for 7 months, looking back I could have been even stricter with my outgoings but still managed to fund my travels. Not all students work at McDonalds, casual jobs are a god send to students as most of them let you pick and choose your hours. Do you live near a local stadium or football ground? Drop your CV before the season starts and keep an eye out on there sites.
2. Think of creative ways to stay in! Yes going to a club is great, and yes eating at that swanky new restaurant in town is fab but it’s also expensive. You add the taxi there and back, the cost to get in and that desert you just couldn’t say no to that’s a third of the bungee jump in Thailand you could have saved. Do a housemate Come Dine with Me and google some different drinking games (there’s only so many times you can play Ring of Fire.) See if your friends are happy to have a house party instead of going out on the town, put your fluffy slippers on and embrace the £2.99 bottle of wine from Home Bargains!
3. Think about what you could be spending the money on- Every time you get tempted to treat yourself think about what that could be spent on during your travels. My trick was my helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, that was going to be a ‘if I have spare money’ activity so when I would go shopping with friends I would pick up a t-shirt and then say no if I don’t buy this I can do that… it really helped me when saving for specific things.
4. Look out for student discounts- it might be different in other countries but in the UK we get pretty good offers just for being a student. I recommend the NUS card that gives you loads of discounts from restaurants to insurance. It’s £12 for the year and is great if (like me) your student card doesn’t have an expiry date. I also used it to get discount off of my recent Trek America trip so it can be helpful when booking your travels! Read there site to see a list of all the offers you can get.
5. Offer out your skills- Your studying chemistry? Tutor a first year. Your studying Photography? Take pictures for local businesses. Or, like me, your studying a TV degree. You can offer out your editing skills to people that need a showreel cutting together. If you know where to look you can soon find people that are willing to use (and pay) for your services. If you offer them a good rate and are good at what you do you can get an extra few quid to put away for when you need to book that flight. A couple of sites that are good for freelance work are E-lance and oDesk they are definitely worth having a look at even if it does take an hour or so to make a profile. The other key is word of mouth, once you’ve worked for a couple of people and have shown your reliable people will come to you, it’s hard work but can be very successful.
Have you got any ways of saving whilst studying or working? I’d love to hear any other sneaky ways of saving a few pennies!