How to Balance Travel and College Classes

It always seems that travel and education go hand in hand, and it is not that hard to figure out the reason why. After all, while traveling can be loads of fun, a trip to a new place also offers plenty of learning experiences as you absorb new cultures and see amazing sights. With that in mind, it is only natural that college students would want to drop their textbooks every once in a while to leave campus and see something new.

However, with tight schedules and full class loads, traveling while also trying to excel in college is often easier said than done, but it is possible. To help you out, we have some tips for how to implement smart scheduling, manage your priorities, and save a bit of cash so you can properly balance travel and higher learning.

Scheduling is Key

While you may have the desire to travel all of the time, if you are in college, then you need to make sure that you are not taking trips during important classes and exams. After all, not only are you working to secure a successful career after graduation, but you are also likely paying a bundle for tuition, so wasting time and money is not ideal. For these reasons, proper planning and scheduling need to become the priority. 

When you begin scheduling your big trip, you should take the time to review the syllabus provided by your professors to figure out the best time to leave town. This document will tell you the details of important assignment due dates and your testing schedule, so you know when you should and must be in the area. Keep in mind that being on campus on a test date is important, but you will also likely need to study for that test, so it’s a smart idea to block out the week prior and plan your travel itinerary to start after you have aced your exam.

If you plan to travel with fellow college students or siblings who are also in school, then you also need to coordinate with their schedules to ensure that you can all take the time off and enjoy the trip as a group. Those who often try to mix college with travel should have a personal planner. As a supplement to your syllabus, you can write down important dates for assignments and tests. If everyone in your group keeps a similar planner, then it will be easier to see a side-by-side comparison so you can choose the best travel dates.

Studying in a bar

Remember Your Priorities

While you are mixing travel and college, you will need to constantly ensure that you are keeping your priorities in order. If you have a test due and you need to be physically in the classroom to take it, then you shouldn’t go on a trip. On the other side of the coin, while college should be hard work, if you are putting too much pressure on yourself to succeed, then you could experience physical and mental health problems. While it might seem counterintuitive, socializing with friends and family can help college students with their mental health

For many, travel is the perfect way to socialize with friends or family and re-center one’s self and feel better in body and mind, so you can properly take on the challenges that lie ahead. So, if you have a break in your school schedule, then you should take the chance to enjoy a nice trip. Self-care also involves getting plenty of exercise, and you can get the fitness you need while walking around and seeing the sights during your travels. 

Remember that it is also possible to study for your classes while you are on vacation. The best way to fit in some study time during your trip is to pick an hour in the morning or at night that is dedicated exclusively to your schoolwork. If you are traveling to a place with plenty of nature to behold, you could take advantage by studying at a local park. The fresh air and plant life found outdoors can help you think more clearly and could also help you to be more productive.

student

Balance Your Wallet

Your time and your health are not the only things that you will need to balance with your love of travel. You’ll also want to be careful with your money. Tuition can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, and if you spend all your cash on trips then you may not have the funds you need to follow through with your education. To remedy this potential conundrum, you should try to save money however you can.

A good way to start is by being smart about how you purchase airline tickets, hotel stays, rental cars, and anything else you will need during your travels. When it comes to plane tickets, try to avoid buying them on weekends because everyone else is doing the same so the prices may be lower. Also, you can set flight alerts with your favorite airline so you know when a sale on a flight for a particular destination becomes available.

If you are really strapped for cash, then you may have to plan a shorter trip. In this case, a fun road trip may be just what the doctor ordered. For the weekend, you can drive across state lines and see new places or you can just take a short break at the home of a relative. If you are planning a road trip, take the time to bring your vehicle to a mechanic for a checkup. By ensuring that your car is well maintained, you can know that it is safe for travel and you will also improve your fuel efficiency, which is another great way to save money.

In the end, with a little work and smart scheduling, you can balance travel and college. Take this time to see the world and you will be wiser when you enter the job market in the years to come.

Lived in England since 1998 and travelled the world since 2005, visiting over 100 countries on 5 continents. Writer, blogger, photographer with a passion for adventure and travel, discovering those off beat places not yet on the tourist trail. Marco contributes the very best in independent travel tips and lifestyle articles.

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