If there are two words that really don’t seem like they should go together, they are “student” and “luxury.” This is supposed to be and usually is a time of living on a tight budget, with the anticipation that the degree you get at the end of it all will help you command a higher salary that makes it all worthwhile. In the meantime, if you get any kind of vacation at all, you’re supposed to spend it backpacking through Europe or cramming into a hotel room at the beach with half a dozen other students. But what if you really want and deserve a little luxury? It’s possible to give yourself a luxurious vacation even on a student’s budget.
Choose One Element
One way to splash out on vacation is to choose a single luxurious aspect that’s meaningful to you and put most of your budget toward that while still living cheap in every other way. That one element might be dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant, a night or two in an expensive hotel, or a pricey spa day. Whatever is most important to you, make that your luxury for this trip.
Get a Credit Card
Credit cards can be a great way to boost your travel budget because they can offer points and other perks that allow you to fly or stay in hotels for free. You might not be eligible for these types of cards right away as a student, but the first step is to get a card and start building your credit. Learning how to use credit cards responsibly is also an important lesson. When you’re ready to manage your own budget, making the right choice with your first card is important.
Think All-Inclusive Resorts and Cruises
If the words “resort” and “cruise” sound like the exact opposite of an affordable luxury vacation, think again. You do not have to be a celebrity or on the lists of the richest in the world to visit a resort or take a cruise. Both often specialize in affordable luxuries for singles, families, and others who would not be able to enjoy the same amenities if priced per item. There are ways to get additional savings as well.
Booking very early or at the last minute can get you the best prices. You may also be able to find better prices on comparison sites. With those prices in mind, you could even contact travel agents and see if they can get you an even better deal. If you do choose an all-inclusive cruise or resort, be sure that you fully understand what is and isn’t included in the price. You don’t want to get a nasty sticker shock at the end of your relaxing vacation. Account for tips as well since those usually aren’t included.
Get Help Online
Travel forums, social media travel groups, and travel influencers can all offer the inside line on some great deals that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Some will offer specific codes you can use to get big discounts. Others will be able to offer tricks and tips for general travel or for specific destination. In addition, these can be great places to ask questions of your own about how to get the best prices. Be as specific as possible about what you’re looking for to get the most useful answers. Instead of saying “I need ideas for a beach vacation,” try something more along the lines of “I’m a college student looking for luxury deals in Mexico in March.”
Time and Location
There are two other ways you can often get a luxury vacation at rock-bottom prices in that you can go out of season, or you can go to a part of the world that’s very inexpensive. Combine the two and you’re saving even more. Consider heading to the beaches of Central America or Southeast Asia. Do it in the off-season and even your plane ticket could be even cheaper than what it would be during peak. Be sure to scope out student discount prices for flights as well. Add in the all-inclusive resort, as discussed above, and spend even less.