Written by Amy-Anne Williams – Student Writer
I am about to blow your mind. Steady yourself, because you’re about to have your life changed forever. I’m a strong believer in the idea that travelling is one of the best things you could possibly do, what with going on adventures, meeting new people, and experiencing strange local food (for better or for worse), and to do all that on a very low budget. Having embarked on a fair few of these myself, here are 9 great ways for students to travel on a budget!
If working outside is something you love, then World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms could be perfect for you. In exchange for lending labour on farms and land, you will receive free accommodation and food, and gain a more personal understanding of the culture of the country you would be visiting. I can also vouch for the fact that if you choose the country correctly, you can work on rocking up a pretty epic tan at the same time.
Work at a ski resort
The best part about this one is that you don’t even need to know how to ski! So long as you can offer work, there are plenty of jobs in Switzerland or the French Alps on resorts, working in chalets or the like. As a head’s up: working in a chalet is nothing like the movie Chalet Girl.
Work at a summer camp
One of the many ways to travel and actually make money, working at a summer camp in Australia or the US can be a great way to explore a whole new culture and get paid for it. Often, you would help with the running of activities for high-schoolers, taking care of the camp and bringing in enthusiasm and passion. However, if you’re not a big fan of dealing with children, I can’t say this one is for you.
Work at a hostel in exchange for board
I absolutely adore hostels, having recently stayed in one in Amsterdam that quickly became a second home. They offered comfy beds, an endless supply of green tea, and the constant surprise of not knowing what sort of thick accent would greet me upon re-entering the dorm. I was told that, like almost all European hostels, bartering free accommodation in exchange for volunteer work for a few hours a day would score you free room and board. My favourite bit is how they told me about this after I’d put down a payment.
Teach English for free
Another option if you are a fluent English speaker is to sign up to a work exchange programme which will give you free room and board in exchange for your fluency, to company employees or more dedicated students. Side note: on this one you probably can’t assume some weird position of authority.
Drive someone else’s car
Businesses such as Auto Driveaway offer the chance to go on the road trip of your dreams by driving someone else’s car – and getting paid for it. This perk includes free petrol and the chance to spend days on end traipsing cross-country just to take someone’s car to another location. You do have to return the car at the end, however.
Become an instructor
Happen to be relatively good at trapeze, mountain biking, or anything similar? You name it, there’s always companies offering short-term and long-term positions that give you the opportunity to flaunt your knowledge and teach others the skills you’ve spent years perfecting. Strangely, yoga also comes under the term “skill”.
There’s always work available abroad, especially when you visit more tourist-ridden destinations. In places such as Magaluf and Tenerife bar work is often available for short-term young students, but you could also consider working on yachts, in hotels, and shopping malls. Do your research prior however – I recently applied to work in a coffee shop in Holland to find out they serve nothing but pure, unadulterated drugs. That’d be a hard one to explain on the CV.
Reconnect with your roots
Companies such as Birthright offer free trips to Israel, Greece, Hungary, and Cuba, along with a wide selection of others if you happen to have some distant heritage relating to the country. This one takes more research than the others, but if you’re eligible to apply, the free trip would be more than worth it. However, for my thoroughbred Brits out there, no free trip for us.