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Final exams have wrapped up, you’ve moved out of the dorms and classes are OVER. It’s time to get your party on!

As soon as the weather gets warmer, most of us picture ourselves on a beach somewhere getting a tan. Unfortunately, that’s not something all college students can afford to do, especially if already you’re juggling a part-time job and/or an internship.

If you want to take a fun trip with friends but don’t want to spend a whole lot of moolah, it is still possible to have fun in the sun! Here are some tips on how to plan a trip that won’t slash your bank account in half.

Base your trip around an event

Whether you’re into baseball or music, there are so many things going on in the summer months. Find something nearby that you want to go to, rally some friends and enjoy! If you will have to stay in a hotel, then make it a weekend trip with the event as the focus. The nice thing is that this is technically a trip, but you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to be there … but you’ll still get a tiny taste of vacation.

Figure out who you know

If you’re dying to go to the beach (or any body of water, for that matter), think about friends and family members. Do any of them live near a beach or lake where you could stay? One of the biggest costs of any trip is the hotel bill, so if you can dodge that by crashing with someone else, that will save you a lot of money. Start scanning your list of Facebook friends ASAP!

Try to split costs whenever possible

Figure out how much you are willing to spend and do not go over it. If you’re really crunching to be able to afford a trip, consider inviting additional people to join you. Trip costs can be cut drastically if you’re splitting gas and hotel costs with multiple people. This is one of the only ways I can afford to travel!

Take a day trip

Day trips don’t always have to be to somewhere exciting, but it’s nice to escape your hometown, even if it’s just for a little bit. The nice thing is that you won’t have to worry about paying for a hotel bill, and if you’re traveling within an hour or two away, gas won’t be crazy expensive. Whether you’re visiting a big, bustling city or a small, quirky town, you’ll be able to find fun things to do. Research websites like Groupon and LivingSocial ahead of time to make sure you’re hitting up the best (and cost-effective) spots.

Can’t afford to travel?

No worries, you’ll still be able to have fun! We can’t always afford to travel, but it is possible to still have fun in your hometown. If you’re completely landlocked, consider gathering up your group of friends and hitting up a local amusement park or pool for the day. While it’s not something you can afford to do all of the time, you’ll be able to save up pretty quickly.

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