Savannah Williams is a Margaritaville college ambassador at the University of Georgia. Learn more about Margaritaville University here.
Maybe “He Went to Paris” strikes up a daydreaming tangent of actually going to Paris. Or maybe when you hear Mr. Buffett say “Let’s take it down boys…down south,” you are overwhelmingly compelled to get on a plane and truly take yourself to those little attitudes. Or, perhaps, you’re swept off your feet with the relevance of the line,
“Mother, mother ocean, I have heard your call;
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall.”
If you can relate, you probably know deep within your heart that you were born to be a traveler and you dream about seeing the world. Or, maybe you can’t relate, but hey, everyone could use a nice escape every now and then!
So, why don’t we all just hop on a boat and sail away to St. Somewhere? Well, let’s be real, traveling can be hard, especially when you’re a young student like me, busy with work, or there’s just not enough room in the budget to make it happen. Fortunately, there are some sneaky ways to slip in traveling and turn your dreams into a reality!
While this strictly applies to students, it’s an awesome opportunity that every student should take advantage of. Studying abroad allows you to embrace an entirely new culture while still receiving your education and being under the guidance of your school. Financial aid usually still covers your tuition costs, so it can be a relatively cheap option. In fact, at my university, it’s actually cheaper for out-of-state students to study abroad than it is to go to the regular campus.
Although my university, The University of Georgia, doesn’t really offer classes abroad for my major, I’ve heard nothing but great reports from my peers about how incredibly life-changing this experience is. And if you’re not ready to jump overseas for an entire semester, a lot of schools offer these programs during spring break, winter break, and summer break!
So, if you’re a student who wants to travel but feel like you can’t between your classes, look into studying abroad!
For anyone who’s finances are a little too tight to travel freely, volunteering is always a cheap option. There are hundreds of reputable foundations that take groups of volunteers overseas to do community service activities such as animal care, education, and construction work. So, if you don’t mind a little elbow grease, this may be the perfect opportunity to get some traveling in for little to nothing.
TAKE A DAY TRIP
Traveling doesn’t always mean a long trip to an exotic location. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, taking a day trip is a simple and cheap option that almost anyone can work into his or her schedule. My university only gives us one day off for fall break, but that doesn’t stop me from taking advantage of the free day! In Athens, just north of Atlanta, I live about three hours from both the beach and the mountains, so my boyfriend and I always make the drive to one of these destinations and go discover a new place.
And as college students, our bank accounts definitely agree with this option, too. Without hotel costs and airfare, these trips cost us very little, but we always have an incredible time. You could do the same! Every state has its own tourist attractions and secret gems worth discovering; do some research and make an adventure a little closer to home!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT CREDIT CARD
I’m taking a personal finance class this semester, and one of our assignments was to select a credit card that was right for us. One of my criteria in selecting a card was reward points, and I realized how beneficial credit cards can be for traveling! There are a lot of credit cards out there that allow reward points to be traded in for flights and hotel stays – do your research and take advantage of them. These are trips basically being handed to you by credit card companies, turning your everyday spending into a gateway to travel.
MAKE TRAVELING YOUR JOB
We’re in the age of entrepreneurship here, and one thing that is popping up everywhere is mobile businesses. While it may take a lot of hard work to achieve, you could start your own business-on-wheels!
I recently took a trip to Nashville, and one of the highlights of the trip was a cool little flower truck — a repurposed Volkswagen Microbus where you could literally shop for flowers. The owner ventures from city to city selling her flowers, combining her two passions: gardening and travel.
In addition, the food truck craze is quickly sweeping the nation, along with the concept of travel writing. These are all wildly successful businesses that normal people have started, allowing them to travel and spend their time as they choose. If it sounds interesting, look into it! All you need is a little ambition and a passion for traveling.
There you have it folks, five ways to sprinkle a little more traveling into your life. What are you still waiting for? This world is too beautiful not to explore it! Get out there and see what adventure awaits!