As a student, I am always looking for new and exciting trips to take. Likewise, I am constantly on a budget. Despite my shallow wallet, I have been able to explore Europe, the California coast, Seattle, Mexico, and ski resorts. So how do I do it? Well, today is your lucky day, because I am exposing my most valuable travel-tips!

After studying in London this past spring, I know that cheap air-travel in Europe is seemingly at your fingertips through airlines such as EasyJet and RyanAir. However, these budget airlines can stick you with expensive fees when you least expect it. To avoid these, make sure you print your boarding pass before arriving at the airport. RyanAir can charge you up to £40, about $65, if you ask them to print your boarding pass for you! Likewise, make sure your bag fits the carry-on requirements. Checking a bag can cost you £20, about $32. Also, if your bag is over 15-20 kilos, about 40 lbs, they can charge you additionally. One time the airline tried to charge me £60, nearly $95, for an over-weight bag! Lastly, pack snacks for the flight. Even in the US, ‘short’ flights rarely offer you complimentary meals and if hunger strikes, you may find yourself spending up to $15 on a lukewarm Italian dinner or
packaged junk food.

If you are ‘stuck’ in the States, no need to fret! There still are many opportunities to inexpensively get out of dodge. Gas prices are high, but why travel alone? Bring a buddy, or better yet, four buddies to take a road-trip. The trip will be that much more exhilarating and your travel expenses will be minute. Likewise, you can all share a room, or even two rooms in a hotel or motel and pay just a fraction of what you would travelling alone.

Lastly, whether you are in the States or a foreign country, watch your food budget! Trying new cuisine is an awesome aspect of traveling, but don’t think expensive means tasty. Instead, mix-up your restaurant dining experiences with lunch at a farmer’s market or ask a friendly native for a local favorite hideout. Many times, the best food in the area is hidden on quiet side streets, looks a bit grungy, and is ultimately way affordable!

What are you waiting for? Go start packing!

-Emily Freeman

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