Staying focused on your coursework is essential to being successful in college, and there’s no arguing that. However, I think it’s important to change your scenery every now and then, because staying in one place for long periods of time can become tense. I’ve seen too many people get discouraged by college because they just want to hurry up and get their degrees. That might not be the case for you, but if it is I encourage you to pace yourself, take a deep breath and travel from time to time. As a senior, this method has always worked best for me.
Personally, I find nothing more motivating than going somewhere different and coming back to school with a fresh perspective. Studying journalism has sort of opened me up to this mindset, because it’s a subject that is constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone, but I think this is something that everyone can relate to because finding a job after college is going to force you to leave your comfort zone.
By now you’re probably asking yourself, “well okay, so how am I going to afford a vacation when I’m a broke college student who can barely afford rent?” You just need to budget accordingly and sacrifice the things that aren’t a necessity. It starts with making your own coffee, packing your lunch, shopping less, biking to your destinations and avoiding the movie theater every Friday. These are the small things that really add up over time, and to be honest I didn’t even realize that until I started collecting my receipts. This might seem like a painful trade-off, but there’s nothing more rewarding than going to Florida over winter break because you guarded your paychecks.
Spending money on travel, as opposed to having leisure money for a handful of semi-fun Fridays is more gratifying for me. If that’s not the case for you, that’s okay too. However, I encourage you to at least try it once, because the connections you make along the way are priceless. Having the newest clothing might make you happy in the moment, but nothing compares to the memories of traveling, especially when our phones have the ability to capture all of these moments.
I’m not saying you need to travel far to be happy, but if you’re looking for an affordable and stress relieving vacation Sarasota, Florida is a good option. I flew by myself to visit a friend on a $100 round-trip ticket from Cleveland to Tampa, so tickets are not terribly priced if you persistently search for a good deal. I would recommend looking into Frontier Air and Allegiant Air. I would also recommend paying a friend to drive you to and from the airport so you don’t have to pay for parking, because that’s just one more thing to weigh on your wallet. Knowing people in the destinations you’re traveling to is obviously important too because having a place to stay can make or break a trip, which brings me back to my point of networking. If you’re kind to others, they just might be kind to you too.
When going on vacation you still need be budget friendly. You probably won’t be able check out Disney World if you’re a college kid on a budget, so keep the cheap things in mind. Go visit the local goat farm or something. When I was in Sarasota I stopped by Fruitville Grove, a farmer’s market, and it was definitely a nice way to end budget friendly day. I bought some boiled peanuts, and in return the farmers let me hold their goats.
You’re a college kid, that’s an advantage. When I was in Sarasota I checked out The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which was discounted for students of any university as long as you showed I.D. The museum is also free on Mondays. The pictures barely do any justice to the size of the museum because there are multiple museums within the institution, so you could potentially stay an entire day and still miss a few things.
Overall, I was satisfied with my four day vacation in Sarasota during winter break. The sunshine was good for the soul and it still continues to motivate me through my final semester of college. Therefore, if I can do something like this I promise you can too, because I am by no means made of money. But just keep in mind that traveling on a budget is all about being resourceful. I hope you found this helpful. Travel safe.