Are you the adventurous type? Do you wish to travel and explore during your PhD? Are finance worries holding you back from booking a trip? If so, this blog could be just for you! Sophie offers some tips on how to travel on a budget.
I recently wrote a blog on why you should take breaks and explore new places during your PhD. Here I shared a number of benefits of travelling, however, a downside can be the cost. Therefore as a PhD student who likes to travel, I have shared my top tips for travelling at a low cost.
1. Stick to a budget
Travelling is something I prefer to spend money on over material possessions. Research even supports that spending money on experiences increases our happiness over things! However, that being said travelling can still be costly. Sometimes when we are abroad it is easy to forget how much things actually cost and a new currency can make calculations confusing! Sticking to a budget beforehand will help to prevent overspending.
2. Plan in advance
Planning your holiday well in advance can reduce costs. It is advisable to travel off-peak season and out of school holidays as often flights and accommodation are cheaper. If you are lucky enough to attend a conference during your PhD, you could plan a holiday around the conference destination.
It is also really useful to buy a travel guide before your trip. This way you can make the most of the time you have away, allowing you to decide in advance the activities you wish to do and factor them into your budget.
3. Free activities
Sometimes the simple things are the most enjoyable abroad, for example, exploring somewhere on foot or sitting on a bench and watching the world go by.
4. Cheap eats
One of my favourite past times to do whilst on holiday is to eat and try new dishes! However this doesn’t have to be expensive, some of the best meals I have found while abroad have been found using TripAdvisor. Usually, if a café/restaurant has been highly rated I have been rarely disappointed. You can use the ‘cheap eats’ category on trip advisor to discover delicious yet reasonably priced meals.
5. Help from friends
I was lucky to visit Copenhagen earlier this year. It is an amazing city to visit, however, it is definitely on the more expensive side that I have experienced. Fortunately, a generous friend allowed us to stay in their apartment. I know this situation perhaps won’t apply to everyone. However, it can save a lot of money on accommodation. The same principle can be applied to other items such as backpacks and travel guide books.
So you see it is still possible to explore the world while doing a PhD and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to put holiday plans on hold until you complete your thesis. I believe that the skills acquired for travelling and carrying out a PhD are very similar. A lower budget may simply require a bit more planning and flexibility, both skills are required for a successful PhD! I will end with one of my favourite quotes and one I feel captures the essence of my message in this blog “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. Hopefully, you will find my tips useful!
Have you been travelling during your PhD? Do you have any tips you wish to share for exploring new places on a budget? Tweet us at @ResearchEx, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
Sophie Clohessy is a third-year PhD student in the Applied Psychology team, WMG. Her research is investigating eating behaviours in the workplace. She has a background in Health Psychology and is passionate about healthy eating and exercise for wellbeing. You can follow her on Twitter here: @ClohessyS