Backpacking on a budget: Travel for the broke college student.

Backpacking on a budget: Travel for the broke college student.
December 1, 2017 Katie Stark

Introducing: Backpacking on a budget: Travel for the broke college student.

As someone who wants to go anywhere and everywhere, the list of “places I want to go next” is long. I learned some ways to travel on a pretty tight budget while in England, jumping between cheap airlines, hostels, and peanut butter sandwiches. I am not the only one. Many people my age yearn for the Instagram worthy pictures in front of famous landmarks and historic architecture, but have none of the funds to do it.

I would want to start a site that that all young travelers could become members of contribute too. It would be geared towards college age people who have almost no money, but want to share their successes and failures with from their travels. There would be a small team of regular writers covering various topics, but it would take the form of a blog that people could add to as they learned. The publication would cover points like transportation (tickets and prices for airlines, train, boat, vehicle), accommodations (hostels, hotels, Airbnb, camping sites), gear (backpacks, shipping gear), packing, locations, and other tips on how to do things as affordably as possible.

Content would be updated continuously by the team of writers, but users would be encouraged to contribute their own content. This would allow all people going to the site to be involved in its evolution, which could help them to return to get ideas from others as well as see how their pieces are doing. Possibly bloggers that begin a history of creating regular content that is successful, could start receiving a stipend based on their traffic.

More specific topics of coverage would be updates on airlines policies, a tracker of ticket deals and gear sales from companies like REI.

Funding is always the problem, but ads are usually the way to go. In this case, ads from companies selling anything marketed to the traveler. This kind of defeats the point of budget traveling though so this would have to be done with some restriction. Maybe I could model De Correspondent, and charge people to join and view content.

There would also be sections covering topics about exchange for the student whose school gives them that opportunity to travel. An online poll allowing exchange students could rate their host school on based on certain qualities would be useful. This section of the website would try to explain the confusing parts of the process such as Visas and what information to get from both their home and host school.

 

 

Katie Stark
Katie Stark from Palmer, Alaska, is a junior studying journalism at University of Alaska Fairbanks. She's published photos and news stories in the The Sun Star, the university student-run newspaper. She is also part of the Nanook Women’s Swim Team. In her free time, Katie likes to be outside, read dystopian, utopian, and adventure novels, spend time with friends and family, and travel to anywhere as long as it is somewhere she hasn't been before.

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