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5 Cheap Travel Destinations for a College Budget

written by OLIVIA WETTENGEL

May 28, 2024
Forget Senioritis; let’s talk about Travelitis. All that hard work acing finals got you itching to leave your college town? We’ve rounded up five cheap travel destinations for us college-goers on a tight budget. To provide a variety of experiences, we have divided each destination into categories–nearby and inexpensive, as well as farther away, yet still affordable. Of course, if you want to go to Southeast Asia, for example, flights aren’t gonna be dirt cheap. We’ve included destinations such as these, but have also taken into account the cost of living there. We think the inexpensive food, hotels, excursions, and such make up for the pricey plane ride. And don’t worry, there are plenty of closer destinations on our list as well, with plane tickets that barely even make a dent in your piggy bank. Read on for Insta-worthy, memory-making vacation ideas to cherish for a lifetime!
1. Cancún, Mexico
Our first destination is sure to knock your flip-flops off with how much luxury just a few hundred dollars can get you. Cancún, Mexico is beachy, bright, and beautiful. Its cuisine’s authentic Mexican flavor immerses you in its country’s culture, and one US dollar goes a looong way here! It’s all affordable–even for college students.

Pricing

~$240 roundtrip
from $120/night

~$10/meal

$1 US = 16.98 Mexican Pesos

2. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is another inexpensive yet adventurous travel destination. Known for its top-notch surf spots and jungle excursions, it offers top-tier adventures for a bottom-tier price. Ziplining through tree canopies and climbing volcanoes are a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can get here as you adventure between semesters. In Costa Rica, a gratuity of just 10% is included in your restaurant bill, saving you big bucks compared to the pricey American tipping standard.

Pricing

~$250 roundtrip

~$115/night

from $8/meal

$1 US = 510.10 Costa Rican Colones



3. London, United Kingdom
Making our way to the eastern hemisphere, London, United Kingdom is a surprisingly budget-friendly place to travel. While its flights win the prize for cheapest in Europe, its iconic London Eye, fish n’ chips, and Big Ben will check multiple boxes on your bucket list. Maybe you’ll even meet your own London boy while you’re there 😉

Pricing

~$599 roundtrip

from $180/night for 5-star hotel



~$15/meal

$1 US = 0.80 Pound Sterlings
4. Croatia
On the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia offers the most bang for your buck with its charming sights and unique activities. Tour Diocletian’s Palace, awe at the waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes, or take a sailboat across the Adriatic in this treasure of a coastal city. Fly to Zagreb for the cheapest airfare.

Pricing

~$890 roundtrip

from $100/night for 4-star hotel

~$15/meal

$1 US = 0.93 Euros
5. Philippines
If you’re really craving an adventure, head halfway around the world to the Philippines! Its foreign atmosphere and vibrant culture will cure your Travelitis in an instant. Bright green and blue coasts paired with friendly folk will make your stay pleasant and memorable. With the least expensive flights in Southeast Asia (when flying to Angeles), the experiences you have here will yield an amazing return on investment.

Pricing

from $1,250 roundtrip
~$40/night
~$7/meal
$1 US = 57.17 Philippine Pesos
From inexpensive and nearby getaways to other-worldly yet budget-friendly experiences, you’ve got a wide array of options to cure your Travelitis this summer. Check out our Pinterest board for vacation ideas for each of these five destinations, as well as photo inspo and travel hacks. Spend your summer across the globe and get great deals while doing it!