If you’re a student, finding a few extra dollars to take that summer vacation can seem like an impossible undertaking. There are, however, a few different ways that you can still afford to take that vacation without plunging further into debt.
Get rid of your unwanted goods
Accumulating unnecessary dross is an inevitable part of student life. If you were to diligently sift through the items in your room, you would unquestionably find an array of clothes, CDs, DVDs, books and games that you no longer have use for. Instead of allowing these items to gather dust, consider using a site like Music Magpie to sell these items and put a few extra dollars in your vacation fund – it’s a far more intelligent use of your resources.
Get a part-time job
Your course load, sporting commitments and social engagements may preclude you from pursuing gainful employment during term time (although many students do manage to strike the right balance). Holidays, however, are the perfect time to take steps towards funding your vacation.
A part-time job could mean all manner of things, but, increasingly, there is money to be made online, without needing to leave the house. If you’re a humanities or social sciences major and a dab hand at writing, consider using a website such as Elance to find freelance writing work, while the more visually artistic among you may consider selling your photographs to a website like iStockPhoto, who reward you with commissions when any items are purchased by the site’s users.
Rent out your room
If you’re living off campus, the chances are that your room is unoccupied for over one third of the year. Herein lies an opportunity to add several hundred dollars to your vacation fund.
During holidays, consider renting your room out on a website like AirBnB. The site offers comprehensive insurance, in the region of $1,000,000, so you can rest assured it’s perfectly safe, and earn a great nightly rate for doing very little. The site is growing in popularity and vast swathes of people are increasingly seeing renting a room through the site as a savvy alternative to expensive hotels.
Take out an interest-free credit card
Credit scores are a fickle beast, but if you’re desperate to get away, and you’ve explored all other possible options, it could be worth applying for an interest-free credit card, to help pay for those little last-minute vacation essentials.
Putting yourself into deeper debt simply to go on vacation may not seem wholly wise, but, with some credit cards offering interest-free periods in excess of 12 months, it could be a financially savvy move, assuming that you create a realistic repayment plan.
When taking out a credit card, however, one must proceed with caution: under no circumstances should you take one out without the planned means to pay the amount loaned back. Set up an automated payment for the minimum required each month. Failure to repay the monthly minimum could result in the interest-free perk being reneged upon or extensive charges being applied to your account.
The dream is closer than you might think
Sun, sea and sangria may seem like distant dreams, but the implementation of some, or all, of the techniques outlined above could help you get a little closer to that vacation you’ve been day dreaming about over the last few months.