Millennials – How to Travel Using Your Loan SavingsJuly 10, 2018
Our customers have reported that they are saving an average of $309 every month and should see an average of $20,936 in total savings after refinancing their student loans with Education Loan Finance*! What could you spend your loan savings on? Millennials are traveling more than any other generation right now, so it’s likely that a good trip is at the top of your list. If you are using possible loan savings to travel, here are some ideas of where to go to put those savings to good use with an affordable vacation this year:
Ready for a new passport stamp?
According to a study done by Hitlist, Phuket, Thailand is one of the most-desired travel destinations for millennials. You can actually book 3-star hotels there for as low as $20 per night. Head there to see some of the most beautiful islands and bluest oceans in the world.
Lisbon, Portugal is rich in history and is one of the least expensive cities in Europe. Eating at local restaurants and using public transportation are good ways to keep the budget low. To discover the best local restaurants, ask someone local, whether that is a guide or someone that has lived or traveled there before. You can search online for restaurants and reviews as well, but it is often more authentic to explore the city and observe where locals are stopping in for a bite. Be prepared for the staff at these restaurants to not speak English.
If you are looking to stay in a budget hotel, check out websites like Trip Advisor or Budget Places to find and compare options and read reviews. As for flights, try to be open to flying on different days of the week. A flight on one day versus another can make a big difference in price.
When searching for a place to go or a place to stay once you’ve decided on your destination, think about communication. Most cell phone providers have international service that you can purchase at an extra cost, but if you’re looking to save money, try to find a city or country that has a lot of available Wi-Fi for free, especially in the hotel/hostel/Airbnb you book. You can use apps like WhatsApp or Skype to make calls and text once connected to Wi-Fi.
Remember that traveling in foreign areas can be dangerous and you always want to be aware of what’s around you and how to stay safe. Here is a list of safety tips to consult when traveling both abroad and within the U.S.
Looking to relax on a beach?
Inexpensive beach vacations are available in countries all around the world. If you are able to buy a ticket for an international flight, try some inexpensive beach towns like Corfu, Greece or Valle Gran Rey, Spain. In the Caribbean, go for Curacao or Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico was devastated by hurricanes in 2017, but most hotels have reopened their doors. Since tourism is a huge industry there, taking a vacation and spending money at restaurants and shops can help the island continue to bounce back. If you are trying to stay within the U.S., places like Gulf Shores, Alabama or Galveston, Texas are good options. Be sure to check weather patterns and on/off seasons. If you are comfortable with slightly cooler weather, most beach towns will be less expensive during those parts of the year.
Want to stay within the U.S.?
If you don’t have a passport, don’t want to spend long hours flying, or just want to save on airfare, you can find many exciting destinations right here in the United States. Three of the most-desired vacation spots for millennials were in the U.S.: Cambridge, Massachusetts; Portland, Oregon; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Cambridge is just outside of Boston and is the home to Harvard University. Portland is famous for its parks and gardens. You can take in a college football game in Ann Arbor or visit one of its many breweries. To keep costs low, since it’s possible you’ll be using your loan savings to travel, look for an Airbnb. These are often priced lower than traditional hotels.
Open to spontaneity?
Try out this website called Pack Up & Go. This travel service plans your entire 3-day trip in the U.S. for you – and you don’t know where you’re going until you leave! You start by selecting your price limit, then fill out a survey that asks you questions like what your hobbies are, where you’ve been in the last few years, and what you prefer to do when you travel. A trip is booked for you, all the documents you need are sent in a sealed envelope, and then you open it on the day you are to depart. You can travel solo by plane or train starting at $1,000 or take a road trip with friends starting at $400. Pack Up & Go gives you the option to start cheap and spend money while you’re there or even take more than one trip.
Love a cruise?
Cruises are often thought of as a budget-buster, but that is not always the case. There are plenty of cruises for those looking to spend less. Cruises allow for the opportunity to visit several countries, islands, or cities all in one trip. Have kids? There are Disney cruises available for a family of four for less than $3,000 total. Traveling solo? There are plenty of cruise options from Norwegian’s Sail Away program that are on the cheaper side. A tip for money-saving: book excursions outside of the cruise line’s options; they’re often much less expensive.
Searching for adventure?
Millennials often look for an adventurous experience when deciding on a vacation. Affordable adventures are all over the world. If you like snowy mountains where you can ski or snowboard, check out the budget page on Ski.com.
Cairo, Egypt is another top destination for millennials, where you can take a safari, ride a camel, cruise on a quad bike, visit the Giza Pyramids, each for less than $100. Hostels there can be as cheap as $10 per night, so you can focus on spending your money on your experiences. You can head to Peru to hike and explore Machu Picchu for affordable prices. If you love surfing, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia may be the choice for you. Affordable hotels and hostels are common, and all you need is your surfboard.
Creating Additional Savings
Traveling can be a great experience, but with no additional funds you can feel rather grounded. Keep the adventures to your travel and don’t include them in your financial decisions. The more financially responsible you are, the more likely your 10 year later self will thank you. In order to gain savings be sure to consider refinancing any student loan debt you may have for a possible lower interest rate. Remember you could save $309 a month*!
* Average savings calculations are based on information provided by SouthEast Bank/ Education Loan Finance customers who refinanced their student loans between 8/16/2016 and 10/25/2018. While these amounts represent reported average amounts saved, actual amounts saved will vary depending upon a number of factors..