Summer Vacation Ideas for College Students on a Budget

Summer is finally here! With a few months off from college, summer break is the perfect time for students to take a well-earned vacation. If you have 5-star resort dreams but are on a one-night-in-a-hostel kind of budget, let us make a few suggestions for planning a summer vacation that are easy on your wallet while still being fun and relaxing.

Whether you want to live at the beach, eat your way through a new city, or get in touch with nature, we have recommendations for everyone. 


If you have access to a car, a roadtrip is a great idea. You can lay out a few cities you know you want to hit or check out or to help plan a route near you that suits your interests. Splitting the cost of gas with friends is much cheaper than flying or other modes of transportation and driving is a great way to see part of the country you wouldn’t have come across otherwise. 

Tip: Become addicted to a new podcast while you’re driving with recommendations from Tink founder, Lauren Passell. Treat your ears to hours of true crime, gossip, scary stories, forgotten history, or current event breakdowns.


Austin, Texas

Known for its vibrant music scene, Austin offers live music performances, food trucks, and outdoor activities – all either free or budget-friendly. Explore the trendy South Congress Avenue, visit Barton Springs Pool, grab a taco from a food truck, kayak the river or take a boat tour at night to see the bats, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Sixth Street. If you’re of drinking age, there are tons of great breweries in Austin and the surrounding area. 

Tip: There are hundreds of e-scooters in Austin which offer a fast, fun, and cheap way to get around the city. Download the Lime or Bird app to unlock them. 


New York City, New York

The city that never sleeps offers tons to do on a budget. You can stroll through Central Park, rush tickets for a Broadway show, use your student discount at museums like The Met or MOMA, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, take the Staten Island Ferry for free to get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, and try a NY slice of pizza for just $1. 

Tip: Save money on accommodations by staying in an outer borough (Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx) and taking the subway or water taxi into Manhattan for sightseeing. If you’re craving some beach time, take the subway to Coney Island or the Long Island Railroad to Long Beach. 



If you want to go international, Mexico is a great cost-saving destination with a multitude of options for every kind of traveler. For beach lovers, there are resort towns like Cancun, Cozumel, and Cabo San Lucas. For those who like to be a little off the beaten path there are trendier locations like Tulum or Holbox. For foodies, Mexico City and Oaxaca are must-sees. The exchange rate is favorable for Americans and Airbnbs are very reasonable when split with groups. 

Tip: If you’re hoping to stay at an all-inclusive resort, has flight and hotel packages for all major cities in Mexico. 



Whether you’re a Disney adult heading to Orlando or want to soak up the sun on the beach, Florida has a variety of destinations to check out. The sunshine state has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, like parasailing along the coast or touring of the everglades via airboat. Florida is also home to the oldest city in the nation, St Augustine, It's rich with history, has gorgeous Spanish architecture, and wildlife sanctuaries.

Tip: There are many airports in Florida, so if you’re not sure which city is right for you, set your Google Flights destination to “Florida” to see which has the best and cheapest flight options from your city-of-origin.


Interesting Accommodations 

If you don’t have a destination in mind, you could let your accommodations choose for you by booking a unique Airbnb or hotel. Airbnb lets you filter by property type like “cabins” or “amazing pool,” but also wackier options like “windmills” and “caves.” You could stargaze in a bubble dome in Joshua Tree, stay the night in a farm silo in Montana, or try glamping in a covered wagon in Tennessee

If you're more into hotels, take a look at this Thrillist list to find the coolest hotel in your state and make a staycation out of it. In San Luis Obispo, California, the famous Madonna Inn has themes for every room. If you love horror movies, try to make it through a night in one of the most haunted hotels in America.

Tip: Choose the one most important factor (water access, isolation, number of beds, etc) to help narrow your search and be flexible with your dates to get the best rates. 


We hope you enjoy your summer vacation no matter where you decide to go. Remember, planning ahead and being flexible will help you save money as you plan your trip. For more tips on how to save money while traveling as a college student, check out this article on the Kora blog. 

If you need help funding part of your trip, check out Kora - the money app for college. With KoraCash, you can borrow up to $3,000 and choose repayment terms that work for you, all while building your credit history. 


Kora can help fund your vacation!

KoraCash is an excellent option for a personal loan for students. KoraCash is perfect when students need help funding the gaps in their summer vacation budgets, like covering a flight or hotel stay. Life comes at you fast, and Kora is here to back you up. Here's how it works:

  • Download our app
  • Apply (you must be over 18, a current/recent college student, live in an eligible state, and have an SSN)
  • Get up to $3,000 
  • Make flexible payments when you want 

One of the best parts of KoraCash is that it may help build credit history as you repay the loan. You contribute to growing good credit history without a credit card while getting access to needed funds. It's the best of both worlds! 

Learn more about Kora and get started on your money app journey with a company built for college students.

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