College is the best time of some peoples' lives. That said, it can also leave people stuck with massive loan bills while they're still finding their first post-college job.
Sadly, being under the weight of student loans can really hurt people's ability to travel. Budget travel site CheapTickets conducted a survey in which 70 percent of respondents said that student loan debt has impacted how often they travel, and one-in-four respondents said that travel is the number one investment they would make if they didn't have to pay their student loans for the year.
And now, CheapTickets is willing to help. The company is launching a Student Loan Vacation Sweepstakes to pay some recent graduates' student loans for a full year so they can travel more.
From May 21 through June 6, graduates over 20 years old can enter the sweepstakes. While not every entry will win, the chosen winners will receive $4,716, which is the equivalent of 12-months worth of the average monthly loan payment, which is $393, according to a statement from the company.
Even if your loans are slightly more than average, that's still almost an extra $400 a month for an entire year that you can put towards travel. In addition, the company is throwing in an extra $250 in travel money to get winners started on booking their next trip.
But even if you don't win the sweepstakes, or if you're a non-student, there are still ways to plan an amazing vacation on a budget. CheapTickets also shared its list of 10 destinations around the U.S. that are 25 to 30 percent cheaper this summer, as well as budget travel tips from TikTok personal finance influencers Tori Dunlap and Katie Swanson. Some of these budget-friendly destinations can be surprising, such as big cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and Miami, as well as underrated destinations like Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
After a year of mostly no travel, a lot of places are reopening and ready to welcome back tourists –– so it's the perfect time to possibly snag a deal.
For more information or to enter the Student Loan Vacation Sweepstakes, visit the CheapTickets website.
Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.
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