Backpacking Tips for Students on a Budget (Guest Post)

Today's post will feature a guest post from KC over at  Being a current grad student myself and an expat in Germany, I know what it's like to need to travel on a budget and still be able to see all the places you want to see while you are in school.  

KC, who is a full-time grad student contacted me with some great tips on how he manages to juggle school and still be able to afford travel, which he is very passionate about.  Here are his budget friendly travel tips that he would like to share with readers:

Follow These Budget Travel Tips for Students for Backpacking Success

College is difficult, no one can argue against that. There are stressful tests, expectations from parents and professors, and the tuition bill that arrives every semester. Sometimes you need to get away and traveling the world is a great way to do this. The reality is that not everyone can do it, but with hard work, motivation and by following this series of student travel tips, you can save enough money to get you to your travel destination. Apply your professionalism and responsibility as a student to your trip planning, and you will be on a flight to Europe or Asia before you know it!

Tip #1: Planning for the Cost of Global Travel

Traveling abroad is going to cost a pretty penny, so you have to be as prepared as possible. Begin planning now for the costs of your adventure by researching the prices of hostels, meals and other expenses. Then, try to pick up a part-time job during your semesters at school- this is easier than you think. The flight is the most expensive part of the trip so I always put that on my student debit card. This might seem like a crazy thing to do but it ends up making my life much easier and more cost efficient. By traveling with a debit, I’m able to go to more places without having a large sum of money up front. Also, it allows me to move from country to country without spending a fortune on currency exchanges because my card already does that automatically.

If I need more money, I can always take money from an ATM using my card. I know it seems like I cruise through a country by borrowing cash but it saves me time and money (in the long run). The best part about using a card to help pay for my trips is the safety it provides; pickpockets don’t like to steal debit cards because they can be cancelled immediately so by carrying them (instead of a wad of cash) your money is much safer while abroad. My travel buddy was once mugged in Spain and the gentleman who stole his wallet pulled out his credit and debit cards and dropped them on the ground before running off with his cash. For this reason, I can say that traveling with student cards will be beneficial in the long run if you’re responsible with your payments.

Tip #2: Pack for the Unexpected

It is really important to have the right clothes with you when you travel or else you’ll end up buying things while you’re traveling. So pack at least one pair of comfortable shoes, such as tennis shoes. Also consider packing a few sets of quick-dry clothes that you can wash in a sink and hang up to dry; washing clothes in a sink is much cheaper than using a Laundromat. If you’re gone for a few weeks, this can save you a lot of money! It’s always good to have a rain jacket with you because weather can turn quickly; there’s nothing worse than touring a new and exciting city while soaking wet.

Tip #3: Stay Financially Safe

Make sure to lock your bags with airport-safe locks. Be sure to place valuables in safes at hotels or lockers at hostels. Never leave your bags unattended so that you have less of a risk of losing your items or having them stolen. I always bring a bicycle lock for hostels. Most people think I’m crazy when I tell them that but it’s very helpful to keep in your pack. Sometimes the lockers at hostels are not very strong so I bring my own lock to ensure my bags safety.

The best item I bring with me on any trip is my money belt. This might seem like something that won’t save you money but they are very cheap and they can keep your money hidden very well. I always keep mine zipped into a pants pocket. Inside, I keep my passport, phone cash and debit card. If someone is going to steal from me, it won’t be easy to do so without me noticing!

Some places KC has visited:

Lake Como, Italy (Photo by KC Owens)

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (Photo by KC Owens)

KC Owens
has written and submitted this article. KC is a college student who loves traveling, college life, fitness and a good survival kit. He enjoys studying different cultures, meeting new people and leaving his footprint somewhere most people only read about.

Linking up at:

Found Love Now What
The Thrifty Groove
The Tablescaper 
A Dose of Paige


  1. Wonderful tips! I am going to Paris in Sept, but not as a student and backpacking, lol, but still the tips are great! Thanks for linking to TTF this week.


  2. Great tips, its always great to plan ahead especially when you are on a tight budget.

    I'm inviting you to join us on a regular photo tour link up on Mondays called Travel Photo Mondays, take a look

  3. Great Tips, I'll have to forward this to my nephew who is planning doing a backpacking trip across Europe :).


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