Last year’s Breaking News Editor Suzanne Craig chronicles her adventures while studying abroad in Sweden.
Traveling gets expensive fast, especially to tourist hotspots like
Options for cheap places to stay are scarce in the remote northern regions of Scandinavia.
Luckily, the local chapter of Erasmus needed someone to coordinate with the travel agency.
For ten hours of labor and a willingness to help count heads on buses, I got all my expenses paid.
All expenses and all additional excursions were covered by the travel agency, Timetravels, so long as I could sell 20 tickets.
Those tickets sold themselves, with promotion I got another batch of 20 sold so I wouldn’t be managing our campus’ group by myself.
The most difficult part wasn’t even organizing the trip or transportation for 37 to Stockholm, it was in making sure I could miss a week of classes!
Two courses had mandatory lectures and one had a course start meeting.
Thankfully all the professors understood that between Lapland and their classes, Lapland was going
Depending on the student organization at your institution, there may be similar opportunities for coordination in exchange for a free trip.
Between the travel agency’s promotion and the local Erasmus chapter the trip leaders were able to swing travel expenses and a small food allowance.
Another option is to work directly with the travel agency.
Many agencies have student discount rates or student group rates, even if they aren’t posted on the website.
If you are able to sell a large enough batch of tickets the costs can be covered by the agency, even if it isn’t through a student organization and it’s just a matter of you convincing all your friends to go.
Travel agency group rates and the potential for a free ticket make the slightly more expensive and touristy nature worth promoting.
This is especially true if you are the freebie, because as soon as the trip starts your responsibilities reduce to making yourself available to help the travel agency’s trip leaders.
The most I have done so far is check names off lists to make sure no one was forgotten.
Of course, this can become a little more stressful depending on the group and excursion.
Rumor has it the snowmobile excursion can result in some pretty hefty injuries if students don’t pay attention.
The simple solution is to make sure students pay attention to instructions and point out the ones goofing off to the tour leaders.
This not only prevents you from being the bad guy when they get booted from the activity, it keeps you from spending hours in a medical center when you could be skiing or driving a dog-sled.
Potential injuries aside, the work required to promote a travel agency based excursion is minimal and the payout is potentially huge.