Even College Students on a Budget Can See the World

World travelers—or those aspiring to be—gathered at The New York Times’ 15 annual Travel Show at the Javits Center, where experts dished out their best globe-trotting tips.

The event, held last month over three days, featured over 500 exhibitors from some 170 destinations – but it was a seminar held by the Frugal Traveler columnist Lucas Peterson, who gave advice to college students looking to travel on a budget this year.

“College is a bubble. It is really isolating,” said the Times writer. “You will be at an immense advantage if you travel early and travel a lot.”

"I say do it. You’re not going to regret it. Do whatever it is you’re afraid to do!"

Peterson said flights are currently cheaper than they have ever been. For just $400, a student can experience a change of pace on the streets of Paris.

The time is now, Peterson said, to research where a student may want to go for spring break or this summer.

“It really depends on what your interest is,” he said. “The classic thing is to go to Europe, and that can be extremely rewarding. I also think if you like to go a little off course, that might be even more rewarding.”

Peterson also suggested that if a student is going on an exchange program later this year, then choose a city or country “a little outside the conventional” that’s not Rome or London.  

“You should consider going to, let’s say, Eureka [in California], which is a gorgeous city and in which not everyone would be interested in going to,” he said.

Traveling, according to Peterson, involves lots of risk and reward. To get the full cultural experience, Peterson said “keep it balanced, but do not neglect the personal interaction.” In other words, don’t skimp put on small talk with the locals.

“If there is someone you want to talk to, ask what they are doing, ask what they are cooking. I say do it. You’re not going to regret it,” he said. “Do whatever it is you’re afraid to do!”

To get more travel tips, visit the Frugal Traveler here: https://www.nytimes.com/column/frugal-traveler.