As college students, we want to get out and explore the world, see all of “the sites”, meet new people, and have fun – and we have grandiose plans to do so! And then we check our bank accounts, and then we realize the problem.
While traveling extensively on a student budget sounds more like an oxymoron than a reality, there are some really great ways to follow through with our world explorer plans for a reasonable price.
Student travel organizations are some of the best ways to go to great places all over the globe and make new college-aged friends from around the country while still staying on budget. Of course, you’re still going to have to save up for most of these trips, but they’re definitely the best deal out there. It’s almost like going on an all-inclusive vacation; most of the companies offer one price that includes all airfare, hotels, some meals, and admission to all of the great attractions that you’ll get to see on the trip. Can’t get much better than that!
Here are some well-known student travel companies:
EF College Break
Whether you want to go to Europe, Asia, down under to Australia, or even stay here in the U.S., EF College Break has awesome trips for college students aged 18-26, ranging anywhere from a week to 35 days. I can say from personal experience that this company is awesome and runs really amazing tours. Last summer, I went on their “Europe Up & Down” tour, and for 18 days I traveled through 5 different European countries (The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, and Greece) and had the time of my life! All of their trip itineraries and prices were listed online, so it was easy to browse through and pick the one that was best for me. Once I had booked it, I was able to make monthly payments ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to shell out a big chunk of money all at once. One of the best parts about it was that the price they advertised included all of my flights, hotels, transportation in and between countries, one meal a day, and tickets to really awesome attractions like The Louvre, the Vatican museums, and a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. There was a lot already planned for us, but we also had a lot of free time where we could go out and explore on our own. Right from the start, the company set everything up and kept me up to date with flight information, hotel locations, and helpful emails about what to bring and what to expect when on the tour. When I arrived, I was part of a group of about 40 other students from all over the U.S. and I made some really great friends that I still keep in touch with. I would highly recommend a trip with EF! *See that picture above? That’s me (in front) with my friends on the EF trip in Rome!
Contiki is another great travel service for young adults aged 18-35 with trips all around the world. It seems like they know they’re dealing with the budget conscious; they have domestic and international trips for under $1000 and they also offer discounts for repeat Contiki travelers, booking more than one trip at a time, members of our military, and making early payments. A little searching on their website reveals that some of the prices do not include airfare, so be sure to read all of the details before booking based solely on price.
Academic Travel Abroad (ATA)
ATA offers educational trips abroad for everyone, from children to adults, to many places around the world. From their website, it seems as if their travel experiences are loaded with fun things to do and are filled with education along the way. You can go “Digging with the Dinosaurs” or travel through national parks while learning all about the history and culture associated with each place.
This online travel company offers a lot of domestic adventures and international trips to Europe and Mexico. What’s cool about them is that if you’re traveling in a group, they will customize a trip for you based on your interests. They also have special trips for sports fans that takes you on a tour of many of the most well-known sports stadiums and towns, and for those who enjoy the performing arts, you can also go on their specialized tours that go to Broadway in New York or even on cruises.
Now go out and explore the world!