Cheap Vacations For College Students


There’s nothing like the feeling of walking out of your last college exam for the semester and into the glorious sunshine and freedom that awaits you. After months of windowless, crowded rooms full of informative lectures, illegible notes, and the overuse of the word “dichotomy,” you want nothing more than to get as far away from all things collegiate. You’ve been bitten by the travel bug and nothing is going to stop you from relaxing and having fun!

Well, except maybe your finances.

Don’t let a shortage of sawbucks deter you from letting your hair down (or up, as the case may be). Follow this handy guide that outlines cheap vacations for college students—and the best part is you don’t even have to be a college student. You just have to be living like one. 

When Your Parents Go To Maui, Commandeer Their Home

Since your parental units didn’t even have the courtesy to invite you on their trip to Hawaii, it’s perfectly acceptable to volunteer to house-sit for them while they’re away. With a comfortable pad as your home-base, go out and see the sights, try new cuisine, and meet interesting folks. When you are greeted by people who call you by your name, insist that you don’t know them as this is your first time visiting this city. When someone tells you that “volunteering to house-sit” without the house owner’s permission or knowledge is called “breaking and entering,” hold up your foreign language phrase book and say “No hablo Anglais.”

Fly Standby Whenever Possible

Plane tickets can be exorbitant—unless you know what you’re doing. Opting for standby is a great way to fly at five in the morning, upgrade your seat from coach to economy, and travel to a destination not of your choosing. Sounds an awful lot like college, if you ask me. But apparently, if you are between the ages of 18 and 22 (chronologically, not emotionally), you can find cheap standby seats via a program called Air Tran U. And no, this doesn’t mean you have to be a person whose self-identity does not conform to conventional notions of male or female gender.

Travel To Unpopular Places

Why follow the trend and vacation in exotic Thailand, cosmopolitan New York, or on the white sands of the Caribbean? Those destinations are expensive, crowded, and touristy—not to mention SO pre-last recession. Try some of these off-the-beaten-track places. Not only do they make for cheap vacations, but we’re pretty sure you’ll be the only tourist there.

  • For a good laugh, go to Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Quebec.
  • For a good time, go to Dildo, Newfoundland, Intercourse, Pennsylvania, or (yes! yes! yes!) Climax, Saskatchewan.
  • If you’re not sure where to go, try Uncertain, Texas. You know, if you want.
  • To indulge in a particular hobby of yours, you won’t want to miss Weed, California, though for the good stuff you need to wander up to Stoner, B.C., and of course if you can’t seem to quit, stop by Sober Island, Nova Scotia on your way back.
  • If you’re extremely concerned about your finances, Tightwad, Missouri or Coupon, Pennsylvania are the places for you.
  • Be careful, though–if you act like too much of a Scrooge, you may find yourself in Imalone, Wisconsin.
  • Looking for a little excitement? Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is your vacay spot! Just make sure to get extra travel insurance.
  • And finally, if you’re at the end of your rope, go to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta.

You don’t need a lot of money to have the time of your life on vacation between semesters. You just need a little open-mindedness, imagination, and ability to think outside the box. Which, of course, you’ve been learning in college, right? (*crickets*)

Selena Templeton

Selena Templeton is a writer and editor who sees the world through Giggle Glass, a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display plus false nose and mustache. It reveals the absurd, amusing, and inappropriate goings on of daily life and displays it in a lap top-like hands-on format, from which she posts to various blogs such as Self Storage Finders, Romantically Challenged, and As a former professional organizer and a current Virgo, she is a self-diagnosed authority on storage, packing, organizing, and general neat freakishness.

Latest posts by Selena Templeton (see all)