5 Ways to Save Money On Vacation While in College

We all need a getaway every now and then, especially us college kids. But: we don't need to spend a fortune, and we rarely want to. Each summer, I make it my mission to visit another city at least once. Usually Jared and I prefer to travel to Portland, Oregon--a big city with hipster flair and delicious, healthy food spots.

Because we all need an extra tip or two on saving money on vacations while in school, here are the foolproof tricks that work for me:

1. Groupon and Living Social deals. Searching on Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com (also apps you can find in your app store) will score you deals on hotel packages and restaurant visits, as well as activities, museums and art galleries--you name it!

2. Plan before you go. Making a list of all the activities you hope to accomplish while you are traveling can help you craft a budget that you can use to plan weeks (or months) before the trip, allowing you to save just enough.

3. Pick free activities. Sight-seeing, going for hikes and relaxing by the lake or in a park are free, fun activities to help you get the most out of your vacation. National parks and other monuments are typically fee-less (or available for a small parking fee) and can soak up an entire day.

4. Utilize public transportation. Transportation can be especially fun if you don't take your own car to get there, such as Amtrak trains with beautiful views and decent food. Plus: you save tons of money on downtown parking, as well as the time it takes circling the blocks to snatch a spot. Most larger cities have public busses or light rails for a small fee per day.

5. Milk your student (and/or military) discount. If you do plan on visiting a museum, check if their admission rate is decreased by using your student (and/or military) discount. This will add up if you intend on doing lots of sight-seeing.

Bonus Tip: If you know of friends or family where you are staying, stay with them to avoid any and all lodging costs! This might be the biggest $$ saver of all.

Before you know it, you'll be ready to enjoy your vacation, stress-free!

What are some of your best travel tips for saving money?

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