How to make traveling a possibility (and a priority) as a poor college student

Contrary to popular belief, not all Chapman students are trust fund babies. Really, who knew?

  Between classes and Greek life events, some Chapman students actually have to work their asses off to pay for tuition, rent and groceries.

  Yet miraculously, some Chapman students actually save money to travel the world, too.

  How in the world is that possible?

  There are so many different money-saving tactics to make traveling throughout college a possibility, and these Chapman students are spilling all their secrets to success.

  Madi Dewey, a sophomore public relations and advertising student, works as a Chapman tour guide, an SGA sophomore class senator, and she works in the Chapman Law Library.

Photo by: Madison Cornelius. Maddy Cornelius, junior strategic and corporate communication major, in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

  “I try and save half of every paycheck I earn, and then from there, I have a monthly budget. I break down everything, from rent to groceries to sorority dues and eating out,” stated Dewey.

  It also helps that Dewey recently won $1,600 on “Let’s Make a Deal,” which she is putting toward her summer trip to Florence, London and Paris.

  Dewey has some other special tactics that allow her to save money to travel. “A huge thing that keeps me conscious of how much I’m spending is keeping all my receipts in my wallet each week,” explained Dewey. “I hate when I have 30,000 receipts jammed into my wallet, and so I am less likely to spend as much.”

  Dewey also uses a credit card that earns points, which she exchanges for cash back. Dewey said that she never spends more money than she has on her credit card, but she makes all of her purchases with it, and puts her cash back into savings.

  Another favorite practice of Dewey’s is going through her closet before she buys anything new. “For me, knowing that I can’t buy that skirt until I go through my existing skirts usually stops me from buying it.”

  Matt Molnar, a senior business and finance major has work-study, but also works small jobs here and there, to save up money to travel. This summer, Molnar plans to visit Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin and Prague.

  Molnar’s best tactics for saving while abroad are staying in hostels and scouring the Internet for the cheapest possible transportation. Molnar explained that since you only sleep in your hostel, it does not matter how nice it is. And in addition, hostels are a great place to meet other like-minded travelers.

  Nora Flickinger, a junior strategic and corporate communication major, has responsibilities and obstacles that hinder her from traveling, but she still manages to go on one trip per year.

  With a full-time job, 15 units at Chapman, a new puppy to care for, and expenses such as student loans, car payments, car insurance, and much more, Flickinger still tries to travel occasionally.

  “To save for travel, I put all my tips in a jar and I don’t open it until I have found a destination I want to travel. Then I plan and budget accordingly until my departure date,” said Flickinger.

  Paige Duddy, also a junior strategic and corporate communication major, works as a nanny while going to school.

  Duddy travels during all of her school breaks, usually to destinations within the country, such as New York City, San Francisco, and Miami. But this summer, Duddy plans to travel through France for three weeks, which she is funding all by herself.

Paige Duddy, a junior strategic and corporate communication student, on a weekend trip to San Francisco.
Photo by: Madison Cornelius. Paige Duddy, a junior strategic and corporate communication student, on a weekend trip to San Francisco.

  “Buying clothes is definitely my weakness,” said Duddy. “But I try to put away at least 10% of each paycheck I get.”

  Duddy also added that, lately, she has been putting away at least half of each paycheck, since she has immediate plans to travel, and she can’t afford to waste her money on things like new clothes and eating out.

  Not all Chapman students are able to prioritize traveling right now, and that’s okay, too.

  Julie Nguyen, a junior biochemistry major, wants to become a doctor and currently cannot fit traveling into her schedule or budget.

  Aside from classes at Chapman, Nguyen also does at least ten hours of research at Chapman each week, and she also volunteers at a hospital at least four hours per week. Since neither job is paid, Nguyen cannot save up to travel right now, as her priority is her future career.

  Later in life when Nguyen is able to travel, her dream destinations are England, France, Germany, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.     

  “Basically, I really want to travel around the world at some point in my life,” said Nguyen, but at this time, it’s just not within her realm of possibility.

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