Travel and education are two of the best ways to enrich your life and broaden your horizons. After the decision to return to college, though, you may begin to wonder how much a degree program will limit your free time. Because going back to school is such a commitment, many students like to take a vacation beforehand. This gives you the perfect opportunity to celebrate the start of a new chapter in your life, and we've put together a list of four great destinations for the incoming student.

Before You Go

Before you can embark on your travels, you need to make sure you’re financially prepared first. Traveling can be expensive, especially during certain times of the year. And since you’re going back to college soon, you need to factor in the cost of your tuition. You may already have existing student debt, which isn't uncommon among returning students. Rather than simply defer payments, you can refinance your student loans into a new one. 

Private lenders can help you manage the costs of your existing debt, save money, and be even more financially prepared to return to the classroom. Freeing up money from monthly bills can also help you get the most out of your travel itinerary. Cutting back on takeout and cooking at home can save you $100 or more each month. Put these funds toward your trip, whether it's paying for your flight, upgrading to business class or staying an extra night in your destination. Now, let's delve into the locations.

Central America

If you’re looking for a place to go on an adventure, then Central America is just the place to go. Central America is home to many exotic and must-see places such as Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. These areas are filled with historic landmarks, tasty cuisine and ancient ruins for you to explore.

New Zealand

Sparkling blue waters, towering mountains and a wide selection of islands, New Zealand is full of scenic views and exciting activities. It’s one of the best places to let loose before hitting the books. Get your fill of nature at Stewart Island by hiking along the Northwest Circuit, birdwatching and camping in the forest. Take a breather at the city of Nelson by sipping aged wine and visiting the three nature reserves that surround you.

Japan

Japan is a place where many avid travelers hope to visit. You know how people say there’s nothing you can’t do? You’ll understand it when you take your first step into Japan. From visiting the near infinite number of one-of-a-kind shops to exploring breathtaking temples and historical monuments, Japan has it all. 

Lose yourself in the illustrious cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Melt away your stress at one of the many traditional hot springs and pet foxes at the Zao Fox Village. Japan is an all-in-one vacation spot you’ll never want to leave. This can be an easy city to get carried away in so be sure that you are following rules for safe solo travel if you go by yourself. Especially if there is a language barrier it can be all too easy to unintentionally get into a less than desirable situation. 

Fiji

Do you prefer a more relaxed and tropical getaway? Then set your sighs on Fiji. Located along the south Pacific Ocean, Fiji is the tropical utopia you’ve been searching for. There are hundreds of islands for you to explore, including the capital city of Suva. Have fun with activities such as snorkeling, kayaking and even participating in kava ceremony.

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