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AS STUDENTS, WE all know the hardships that come with budgeting. Food, rent, tuition, books, and many more necessities eat away at our hard-earned money, so much so that when it comes to our four-month vacation, most of us are thinking of getting full-time jobs instead of travelling. Despite these obstacles, Anna Starostinetskaya—cofounder and editor-in-chief of Off Track Planet, an online travel magazine—gives her top five tips to those who want to see the world on a budget.

1. Don’t pack anything you need to check at the airport. Bring a backpack, fill it with essentials, and hand wash things in the sink as necessary.

2. Stay at hostels. There are many around the world that are comparable to hotels in quality, but cost much less.

3. Street food is usually the most authentic representation of a culture’s cuisine—not the dolled up fancy stuff you get at sit-down places. See a cart.  Eat at a cart. Save money.

4.   Shop at the local grocery store and pretend you’re having a picnic at your hostel … or take [the picnic] to a park if that’s [an option].

5. Be social—how does that save money? The more locals you befriend, the better your chances at: A) Scoring a free place to stay, eat, and drink; B) Finding out about local hangouts that don’t cost as much as tourist spots; and C) Having connections in various places around the world will set you up for free travel in the future.

Sofia Hashi