How to Afford Travel After College

It’s no secret that getting a college education is an incredibly expensive endeavour. Unfortunately the majority of people who undertake college studies find themselves with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt upon completion. With that said, even going on to live a regular life post college can seem like an unattainable luxury, nevermind traveling the world! That said, there are plenty of ways that you can venture around the globe like Phileas Fogg without breaking the bank, and in some cases, even get paid to do so.

Consider Teaching English Overseas

There is a huge demand across the globe for English Teachers. People are realizing more and more the importance of being multilingual in order to succeed in their careers and they are willing to invest a lot of money in order to beat their competition. This demand is particularly large in wealthy East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea. English Teachers receive respectable salaries and often have their accommodation and expenses paid for separately by their employers. In this way, you can earn plenty of money to pay off your student debts, live in another culture, and even save some money for travel once your work contract expires.

Consider Budget Travel

The largest misconception about travel is that it expensive or that it is restricted to the wealthy. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive at all, and actually in many countries (ie in South East Asia and South America), it’s possible to live off less than $300 per month while enjoying paradise if you opt for budget accommodation (hostels instead of hotels) and make wise travel spending decisions (i.e eating food from street markets, walking instead of taking cabs, etc).

… Or Extreme Budget Travel

There’s budget travel and then there’s extreme budget travel – the difference being that extreme budget travel happens when you are traveling with the view to spending next to no money. You would be surprised by how little you are able to live off! Extreme budget travel depends a lot on the kindness of strangers. For accommodation, you can stay with friendly locals for free through platforms like couchsurfing, and hitch rides with people through apps like bla bla car.

Become a Digital Nomad

In previous years, the options for traveling were always either:

  1. Save money for a number of months/years and head overseas.


  1. Take low paid seasonal work so that you can travel or teach English overseas.  

Nowadays however, that doesn’t have to be the case since many jobs allow you to work from anywhere remotely as a Digital Nomad. You can use freelance platforms like Upwork and People Per Hour to find jobs or even reach out to companies you know and ask to work remotely. This works perfectly for those working in creative fields like writing or graphic design. This way you get paid to see the world and you can make as much or as little as you want!

Take Out a Personal Loan

Some people get iffy about taking in credit or potentially opening themselves up to debt but hear us out. What if you have only a few weeks to travel, no savings, and you’re starting your dream job soon. Should you wait until later to take that trip, when you may not have the same time and flexibility of schedule again? Provided that you research the interest rates and are sure you can keep up repayments, if you apply for a personal loan, it can give you the quick cash injection you need.

Shop Around For Accommodation Deals

Did you know that if you leave booking your hotel to the very last minute, you can actually save up to around 50% of the room rate since hotels slash prices to fill rooms? Equally, you can see similar large discounts via sites like Airbnb if you stay in one place for a certain amount of days. If you are smart with your trip planning, you can make significant savings this way.

Start Planning Early

If you know that you want to take a trip after college then you shouldn’t wait around until 6 months before graduation to start saving or planning for your trip. As mentioned above, travel doesn’t have to break the bank. Even a few hundred dollars can cover you for an exciting overseas adventure. Set aside a jar to throw your spare change in – you’d be surprised by how much that stuff mounts up! Try and make mindful decisions when it comes to your expenses and contribute what you can towards your travel budget (ie. “I won’t buy a caramel macchiato on my way to class today, I’ll save $4 towards travel instead” – afterall, that’s enough to pay for a hostel in Asia!


Many volunteer programs around the world enable you to contribute to helping out with a cause that you are passionate about and give you the opportunity to travel and have new experiences at zero to minimal expense. For example, Woofing entails helping out on organic farms in exchange for room and board and this is a great way to meet new friends. Similarly you could assist at an animal sanctuary, or in orphanages and community care programs. (Just be sure to conduct your research on the charity you will assist beforehand to ensure its all above board!)


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