On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Center for Student Engagement held “Adulting 101: Travel the World for Less,” an event educating students about travel tips on a budget.
The event was held both socially distanced in the Student Union and on Zoom, hosted by Toni Jackson and Kertesha Riley with a PowerPoint to track the conversation and tips.
The first step to planning a trip is setting expectations, and asking questions, such as: What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish while you’re there?
The time frame you have to travel can also impact your goals and what you wish to do there.
Toni Jackson is working on her PhD in higher education administration currently, and also works as a hall director at UT, and Kertesha Riley is a STEM career coach in the Center for Career Development.
Jackson spoke about the importance of setting an intention and expectations while traveling.
“It’s easy to say, ‘I’m going on vacation,’ but what do you really want to do on that vacation?” Jackson said.
Then, Jackson discussed the pros and cons of solo travel versus group travel, which is something important to think about when planning a trip.
Solo travel can allow for personal development and you can travel on your own time, however it can also be a bit lonely and possibly increase the price of your trip.
On the other hand, group travel can increase safety and decrease the price, but conflict can arise from different expectations in the group.
Some budget categories to think about include transportation (including plane), parking, hotel, meals, activities, maps or guides and souvenirs.
Connecting with career opportunities can also be a good way to save on travel costs. These can include conferences, internships or networking opportunities.
“A number of internships may be returning to in-person over the summer; you can usually find funding to support them,” Riley said.
Travel companies can also be an effective way to save money, especially when these are all inclusive. However, it is important to plan and budget before deciding whether to use a travel company or to plan the trip solo, because every location and trip is different.
Then, Jackson and Riley discussed safety while traveling, including managing pre-existing conditions, dealing with jet lag and creating a safety plan.
Another aspect to consider is travel insurance in case of any stolen items or unforeseen events while traveling.
Of course, during the pandemic, traveling during COVID-19 looks different. Traveling by plane versus by car and also looking into quarantining, testing or potentially even vaccinating are all things to consider when planning a trip.
The next event in the “Adulting 101” series is on March 11. Titled “Adulting 101: Finding Home Sweet Home,” this event focuses on off-campus housing, both in Knoxville and also after graduation.