4 Genius Travel Hacks for When You’re Broke and Have Student Loans

Want to Score Cash For Free?

  1. Mistplay: Earn up $50 per month playing games with one of the highest-paying gaming apps on the web. Download Mistplay (android only)
  2. Robinhood: This investing app lets you trade stocks and do everything for free and takes no fees — ever. Better yet, if you join through this link you can get a free stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint when you join (must complete signup).
  3. Survey Junkie: Want to get paid instantly via PayPal? Simply sign up for Survey Junkie, and the free survey site will pay you to fill out surveys and surf the web. There’s no catch. They have an A+ rating with the BBB and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

To make sure student debt doesn’t prevent you a vacation, check out this expert advice for four steps you should take to travel on a budget.

With summer well underway, you’re probably dreaming of a trip to the beach, the mountains, or some other awesome destination.

The only problem?

If you’re repaying student loans, fitting a summer vacation into your budget may be a challenge.

Want free money?

  • Aspiration: Want to get spotted a $150 for free? Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $150 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

Pro tip: Surveys are quick, easy, and can pay you cash from the comfort of your home. No wonder they are so popular. Survey Junkie, Branded Surveys, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars are just a few of the best survey sites to make money.

To make sure student loan debt doesn’t prevent you from taking flight, check out this expert advice for four steps you should take to afford an amazing trip this summer.

1. Figure out how much your vacation will cost

how to improve your credit score

Coming up with the money to pay for a vacation quickly might be impossible when you have student loan bills and other large monthly expenditures. But with a little foresight, you can do things right.

“Instead of going on vacation on a whim, plan ahead,” advised Leslie Tayne, a debt attorney, student loan expert, and founder of Tayne Law Group. “You’ll be able to find better deals on flights, hotels, and other vacation expenses. Plus, you’ll have more time to save up for your trip.”

Planning ahead allows you to put aside money over time so you can afford both your student debt and your trip. “Rather than putting the entire trip on a credit card and acquiring interest and added debt, set a savings goal each month to cover your trip and any related travel expenses,” suggested Jill Caponera, a consumer savings expert.

Atiya Brown, an accountant with The Savvy Accountant and a certified financial education instructor, recommends starting the planning process by pricing out your vacation and determining the amount of money you need. Next, calculate the time until your vacation and use that number to set a weekly or biweekly savings goal. “I started planning in December and determined $1,000 was good, so that was 21 weeks of [saving] $47.62 weekly,” Brown said.

2. Budget to afford student loans and summer vacation

how to start a blog on bluehost

Knowing how much to save for vacation is just the start. To afford your trip, you must follow through and save the funds.

To do that, consider starting a vacation account and making automatic contributions from each paycheck. “Transfer your money automatically from your payroll so you don’t see the money in your take-home [pay],” Brown said. If your contributions to your vacation savings fund are automatic, you’ll be sure to have the money you need.

While it can be hard to come up with the extra cash to save, look at your spending to find areas where you’re wasting cash. “If there are things that you can do without, cut them from your budget,” Tayne said. For example, you could drop cable TV or cut down on eating out. That could help you afford to both pay your student loans and afford a trip.

If your debt is stopping you from saving for a vacation or other goals, you also could consider refinancing your student loans to secure a lower interest rate or lower your monthly payments. With that savings, you’ll have extra wiggle room in your budget.

Caponera also suggested giving up spending entirely for periods of time. “Try a no-spend week each month,” she said. “Other than gas in your car and groceries in your fridge, try at least one no-spend week for the rest of the summer where you don’t spend money on any extras. You’d be surprised how much extra money you’ll have when you’re not on a constant spending spree.”

3. Take advantage of deals and discounts

How to Check Your Credit Score for Free

The cheaper your trip, the less you have to save. To cut vacation costs without compromising quality, shop carefully for bargains.

“Aug. 23 has been dubbed National Cheap Flight Day, with flight prices dropping significantly during the last week of August,” Caponera said. “It’s also a great idea to use flight tracking apps such as Airfarewatchdog to monitor price changes on your desired flights and set up alerts for price drops. Be ready to book immediately if you see a great deal — oftentimes, they’ll spike back up in the same day.”

You also can find discounts using mobile devices. “These days, there’s an app for everything, including hotels and airfare,” Tayne said. “Apps such as Hopper and Groupon often offer great deals on accommodations. You may even find a package deal that includes [a] hotel and dining or a rental car and airfare.”

4. Consider a staycation

Broke College Student

If it’s too late for you to save up for a lavish trip, you can enjoy new experiences by taking a staycation close to home.

“You could take advantage of the sights and attractions near you and end up having a wonderful vacation — and save money too,” Tayne said. “Do some research to find out what your area has to offer: a hike in the mountains, landmarks, beaches, or national parks. A staycation could be just what the doctor ordered.”

Pay Less on Student Loans by Refinancing

splashfinancial logo
1.89% - 5.99%

Check Now

  • Variable APR: 1.89%- 5.99%
  • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
  • Terms: 5 to 25
  • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
  • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal
    1.99% - 5.64%

    Check Now

    • Variable APR: 1.99% - 5.64%
    • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
    • Terms: 5 – 10
    • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
    • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal
    • Learn more: Earnest Review
      sofi logo
      2.25% - 6.88%

      Check Now

      • Variable APR: 2.25%- 6.88%
      • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
      • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20
      • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
      • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal
      • Learn more: SoFi Review
        lendkey1.92% - 5.25%

        Check Now

        • Variable APR: 1.92% - 5.25%
        • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
        • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20
        • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
        • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal
        • Learn more: LendKey Review
          Christy Rakoczy
          Christy Rakoczy Bieber is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and the University of Rochester. She is currently a full-time personal finance and legal writer and is a former college teacher with experience writing textbooks and serving as a subject matter expert.

          Recent posts