College tuition poses a serious financial risk to countless young people. In the case of Harvard, for example, tuition will set you back $48,949. This figure is especially staggering when considering that this cost is 17 times what it would have been in the early 70’s. Astronomically high tuition rates is not a trend restricted to Ivy leagues, either. Due to a number of factors, costs of tuition across the nation has experienced unrelenting increases in the past few decades. Unfortunately, this enormous commitment is especially at odds with the desire for many young people to go out and explore the world through travel.

There are some big reasons to give in to your wanderlust: research suggests that travel confers comparable health benefits to those derived from crossword puzzles or museum visits. This makes sense, when you consider the amount of eye-opening and educational experiences that are intrinsic to travel.

In reality, travel remains little more than a fantasy to many. A great deal of Americans never leave the country; in fact, studies show only 30% of U.S. citizens have passports. Part of the reason for this aversion to travel is that people are misled into thinking travel requires a tremendous amount of disposable income. Thankfully, however, there are ways of pulling off travel that anyone can manage.

Budget Like A Boss

Even if you work 60+ hours a week, you aren’t getting anywhere if your spending habits negate everything you earn. Other people make the mistake of scarcely looking at their bank statements out of fear for what they may see. Of course this registers as irrational behavior, but procrastination and delusion are permanent fixtures in the human psyche.
[icon name=”fas fa-external-link-alt” class=”2x spin border”] Instead, go into every month with a budget planned. Give yourself a certain amount of money for groceries, rent, and other living expenses while avoiding frivolous purchases. One method people have success with is predetermining an amount to save every month and putting that money aside without tapping into it. If you are new to this practice, it might take some time to tailor it comfortably to your lifestyle, but a little persistence goes a long way. If all goes well, you’ll have a sizeable travel fund before you know it.

Optimize Your Student Loans

The money you borrow for school is an opportunity for trickery and sleight of hand on the part of the lender. Explore the details of the loan to see that it’s the right fit for you. Thankfully, there are services to help refinance student loans that don’t affect credit score for checking rates.

Work Hard

This is a simple tip but not one to be overlooked. There is no substitute for hard work, and getting in the habit of pushing your limits will only help you grow personally and professionally. This is a philosophy you can never adopt too soon. Even if you are still in college, consider taking up a job or two to help set your financial footing. Your post-college self will thank you.

While seeing someone in college who has all their basic living expenses covered by their parents seems enviable, make no mistake: learning to make ends meet on your own has extraordinary lifelong significance. In the moment it may seem like a pointless struggle to be juggling classes and jobs while your privileged roommate lounges on the couch, but there’s a good chance they’re in for a rude awakening should they ever need to sustain themselves unassisted.

Do Your Research

Flight tickets and hotel rates come in all different shapes and sizes. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the first price you see is the best you can get. Also, bear in mind that price is not a surefire indicator of the quality you get in return. Many high-quality options can be found at a reduced rate, while plane fares and hotel rates are subject to circumstantial inflation. Using sites like Kayak can help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

When searching for a flight, some people believe deleting your browser’s cookies and history works in your favor, as airlines jack up rates on repeat searches for tickets. It makes sense: if a company recognizes your demand for something, they will logically capitalize on it and get every dollar from you that they can manage. While this may or may not be true, it never hurts to play it safe.

In addition, beware that some airlines will hook you in with an attractive ticket price only to nickel-and-dime you on the cost of luggage. There are also potentially large fees if you need a refund of any kind, so make sure you have all your details sorted out before ordering tickets.