Ways To Travel While Paying Off Your Student Loan
Once you’re finished with school and out in the real world, you may feel like your vast student loan debt is holding you back instead of opening up opportunities. Now, you must work to steadily pay the debt down to avoid creating even more debt in excess interest and fees. You may think you don’t have the time or finances to travel and enjoy life, but there are ways to pay off your debt while you travel the world.
Consider the Amount of Your Debt
First, put things into perspective by looking at the amount of your debt. If you want to have pleasant travels, you’ll have to be confident with the state of your finances so that you aren’t worrying about money the entire time. Check into refinancing your student loans to see if you can get a better interest rate and a better payment plan that will take some of the strain off. Refinancing can make it easier to pay off your debt as you travel.
Consolidate Your Loans
Many people have more debt than just their student loans; it can get overwhelming when you think about it. One option you may have is consolidating all your loans into one. Consolidating debt enables you to keep track of your bills easier, pay once a month and possibly get a much better interest rate and payment plan. Also, you’ll be sure not to accidentally miss a payment on one of your loans because they will all be combined.
Open a Savings Account
Begin saving for the trip as soon as possible. It can help to open a savings account specifically for your travels. This way, you can know immediately how much you have saved up and determine a better time frame of when you can head out. In the meantime, seeing the money add up in your savings will be exciting, and it’ll be fun researching everything you’ll need to know about traveling to that part of the world. Try to find a savings account that pays a high interest for even better progress and peace of mind.
Get a Working Holiday Visa
If you don’t mind working a job during your trip, you can get a working holiday visa in some countries. This visa can enable you to stay in a location for a while and get paid. These jobs are typically waiting tables at restaurants or working at stores.
Before you leave for your travels, look for opportunities to volunteer for organizations that may eventually pay you to work with them while you travel. Americorps and the Peace Corps are two good options for this.
Whether traveling or not, cutting expenses is almost always a good decision. Most people have some costs they can cut; even tiny expenses can make a big difference in your finances. Cutting costs is relatively easy wherever you are, at home or abroad. Begin by choosing cheaper transportation, lodging and food. Always consider saving money as long as you aren’t risking your safety or health.
Working as a freelancer is a great option for making money while you travel. You can work remotely part-time or full-time. There’s a wide range of freelance jobs available, from administrative to academics to art, and everything in between. Most likely, you have a skill that you could work into a freelance position. Check out a website that focuses on freelance jobs such as Upwork. You can create a profile as a freelancer so different employers can find you, or you can simply search for the type of job that interests you. Who knows, you may even find your permanent profession!
Traveling abroad can be very exciting, but knowing you are in debt can make for some difficult times. You may feel as if you shouldn’t do any traveling until your loans are paid off or at least significantly paid down. There are ways to do both, though. Begin considering these tips today.