College is a great time to experiment—take a leap and try things out of your comfort zone. While living on a college budget can be restricting to travel, it is well worth saving up for, and you can use your spring break or summer vacation to travel, with friends or solo.
Here are 10 bucket list trips to take in college!
Volunteer over Spring Break
Instead of the traditional party vibe that accompanies most Spring Breaks, join a volunteer effort abroad. There are hundreds of ways for young people to volunteer, from building libraries to feeding the homeless.
In my junior year, I joined a student-led volunteer effort in Honduras, Global Water Brigades, which organizes students into clean water programs all over the world.
Studying abroad is one of the best ways to explore a country, by spending a semester or school year abroad, you are able to truly immerse yourself into a culture.
Studying in a country is entirely different than a visit for just a week or two, so take the opportunity to get intimate with your host country. You can take courses in the local history, improve your language skills, or get to know a neighborhood market.
If you’re university offers a homestay program, jump at the chance!
Explore Whistler on Winter Break
Canada is a magical place, and Whistler is by far one of the best winter getaways I’ve had. From snowmobiling, dogsledding, enjoying a Nordic-inspired spa, or skiing the slopes, Whistler is the best winter vacation destination!
California Coast Road Trip
Though not as exotic as a trip abroad, the Pacific Coast Highway is an exhilarating experience.
Start the road in Santa Cruz, travel through Monterey and past the striking coastal cliffs of Big Sur. The drive will take you south through vineyard-rich valleys of San Luis Obispo and Napa, and onto San Francisco. Farther along is Santa Barbara and onto the windswept coast of San Diego.
It’s all the more fun if you can get your friends to come along for the ride.
Ah, the Euro Trip, the epitome of youth travel. Though each Euro Trip is different, encompassing how many countries for however long, the dream of a budget, backpacking trip through Europe is a favorite for college-age youth.
It’s a rite of passage for those who have time and reserves, and a great time to test yourself and your friends’ resourcefulness.
6. Full Moon Party in Thailand
Okay, so you’re the beach party type but still want to go abroad. Head to Thailand!
The Full Moon Party is an all-night beach party on the island of Ko Pha Ngan. It’s mostly a tourist event that occurs around each month’s full moon, drawing up to 30,000 people. It’s a fun option if you’re in South Thailand already, as it’s just 30 minutes from Koh Samui by boat.
Have a South American Adventure
South America is a popular choice for the traveler in their 20’s—cheap accommodation, short flights from the USA, and a Spanish-speaking majority.
Hike the mountains to Machu Picchu. Go canoeing in the rainforest with a guide. Party in Buenos Aires. South America is the perfect continent for newbie backpackers.
Enjoy Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a great destination for college students interested in biology. There are a number of science centers in the cloud forests designed to study the local fauna and flora.
Learn about the rainforest in a hands-on environment. Follow in the footsteps of Von Humboldt and Darwin and study delicate ecosystems up-close!
If you book early enough, you can stay in Amsterdam on a tight budget, and student rates are often available for groups. Get your friends and hop on a flight to sightsee the canals and check out the local bars and clubs.
Amsterdam is very youth-friendly, with a plethora of free tours and concerts, especially in the summer.
Go on The Yacht Week
The Yacht Week is a fun sailing adventure where people can meet and party all week long. I’ve hopped on the yacht five times already, and always eager to go back to the gorgeous island destinations, amazing sea sunsets and fun parties.