Staying Safe Abroad: Saving Money & Packing Light


People often ask me how I manage to travel as often as I do while being a college student. With so much on my plate, it’s hard to find the time and money to see the world. But traveling is one of life’s great opportunities, and I’m only going to get one chance to be young and carefree. I say take life by the horns and go for it. Sure, college classes are difficult and breaks dictate my schedule, but I use every opportunity I can to see someplace new. While time might easily be arranged, sometimes finances aren’t so yielding. With bills, textbooks and other obligations cutting into my travel budget, I sometimes wonder how I’ll fit in a trip to this year. Still, investing in travel means saving up and heading out into the great unknown. Let me show you how I do it.

Your Finances

Do you love to travel but lack the funds to do it? You’re not alone. Many college kids spend most of their money on basic necessities and the weekend fun. I’ve found that getting a job helps me offset those costs so that I can travel around. You might wonder how I manage to balance work with school and other social obligations, but getting organized helps. I make time for everything by following a schedule I set for myself. Classes might be difficult, but they end on the weekend. I don’t love my part-time job, but it pays for me to have a great time during school breaks when I’m abroad. Getting a job or two while you’re in school is one solid way to earn money for traveling. Believe me, when I’m boarding a flight to see the Great Wall of China, none of those extra shifts I worked matter in that moment.

To supplement my work, I did some research to see what other options I had available to help pay for my trips. According to Credit Card Insider, I could get a travel credit card that was specific for students and it has been a lifesaver while on trips. It gives me great rewards and helps me pay for the big-ticket items like my plane tickets and bus passes without having massive amounts of cash up front. It’s also handy because it automatically converts currencies so I don’t have to exchange my money at every border- this can get pricey!

Luggage: Backpacks

One of the best ways to not only save money but travel in style is to pick up a lightweight, all-in-one bag. You wouldn’t believe how many people travel with too much luggage. After one trip abroad, I knew I had to rein in my luggage if I was going to be more successful and cost-efficient. For one thing, thieves look for any opportunity to snag your stuff. Why give them the opportunity by having several bags to keep track of? Instead, travel with a lightweight bag that will hold anything and everything you need while backpacking overseas. You can live without the extra pair of shoes and unnecessarily large cosmetic bag. Many airlines let you take a carry-on, and if you don’t need to check a bag, then avoid the extra cost. You’ll save money and a lot of headaches by only having to keep up with one piece of luggage. I got my bag on Amazon and it was well worth it.

The Most Important Item to Pack:

Now that you have a lightweight bag for all your traveling needs, how do you pack it with the essentials? The best thing you can do is to get a secure ID wallet and keep it on your person hidden so that thieves don’t have access. I always travel with my ID wallet zipped securely inside my clothing; this way, I know if someone’s trying to steal it. If you lose your ID in a foreign country, you’ll have to contact the local embassy and they’ll send you home immediately. There’s nothing worse than cutting a great vacation short for something as preventable as ID theft.

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