Thought Catalog

6 Ways To Travel Despite Your Student Loans

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1. Teach Overseas

How it works: If you get on board with the right organization they pay for your airfare, visa expenses, living costs and then give you a salary to boot! This means that the majority of your salary can go toward student loans. These comprehensive employment packages are usually offered in Asian countries where EFL teachers are in high demand right now.

What you need: A TEFL certificate, strong interpersonal skills, extreme flexibility and a very strong work ethic.

2. Couchsurf

How it works: If we’re talking short-term travel, couchsurfing can take you across a whole continent without ever paying for a hotel. Sign up here and connect with locals who want to meet up with other travelers – by hosting them for free while they’re passing through.

What you need: An online account, an open mind, and the willingness to return the favor for fellow travelers once you’re back home.

3. Work on a Cruise Ship

How it works: Fun fact: cruise ships are monstrous. This means that the average ship docking out of Miami is carrying over 1,000 staff members each time it heads out to sea. Jobs range from cirque-du-soleil performer to gift shop attendant. Check out vacancies posted by major companies online, or connect with others in the industry to get the inside scoop on how they made it in. Chances are, you’re qualified to do something on a ship!
What you need: Strong customer service skills and a relative immunity to sea-sickness.

4. Apply for scholarships

How it works: If you’re continuing/beginning your education, there are plenty of scholarships available for international study. The idea is to scour OBSESSIVELY for them. Go through every link on every webpage that might remotely allow you some cash and apply to it. Do this 14+ hours a week to achieve the best success. Some grants get handed out to people who are not even entirely qualified, simply because others fail to apply. Never assume that you’re not a good fit.

What you need: Patience, resilience, and someone with very strong writing skills to edit/review your applications.

5. Work for a Travel Company

How it works: Getting hired as a tour guide/tour bus driver/travel agent actually isn’t as difficult as it seems. Many companies require as little as high school education and a brief background in customer service. Start by checking out tour/travel agency web pages and clicking on the “Employment” link that is usually hidden at the bottom of the home page in teensy, tiny font. Then learn the joys and pitfalls of working and traveling at once!

What you need: A basic knowledge of history/geography surrounding the region you’re applying for, a willingness to work long hours on little sleep and a knack for solving problems on your feet.

6. Literally just move somewhere else.

How it works: Have you ever considered that thousands of cities worldwide probably have a lower cost of living than your city? If you don’t believe me, check out this webpage. Consider making just one move to the place of your dreams and then furiously working to secure employment and build a life there. It’s scary and it’s bold but guess what – it is entirely possible!

What you need: Guts, a bit of money saved up and a like any of the above – a sense of adventure! TC Mark

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