How to Travel as a Student on a Budget

One of the perks of being a student it that you have time during the summer to explore the world. If you suffer from wanderlust, as I have for many years, it’s best to grab the opportunity to travel now. Start saving up, plan your trip and follow the #partypig tips for travelling on a budget.

Stay in hostels or couchsurf

You’ll of course need a place to rest your head at night, but your priority needs to be staying somewhere cheap, not a four star hotel. Hostels are great because they’re low in price, and they often offer breakfast for free. They also have kitchens where you can cook your own food, rather than spending a small fortune on eating out. Another option is couch surfing. There are plenty of sites where people are offering space in their homes to intrepid explorers like us – just make sure you use an official site, and someone who has hosted before.

Look for student offers

During your trip and before, it’s worth looking for offers specially for students. Some European countries will accept student ID or an NUS card when you’re booking attractions. If you’re looking into Interrail, they even have a special ticket at a reduced price, just for students!

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Work while you’re abroad

Working while you’re abroad can help you get funds for continuing your travels. If you’re participating in Camp America or a similar project, the funds you collect there will be enough to get you home and allow up to a month of travel if you budget carefully!

Wait for sales before you book

More often than not, if you’re booking an all inclusive package, the trip will be on sale at some point. Make sure to keep an eye on the prices – the later you book, the cheaper it should be.

Travel in a group

Group travel is often cheaper since you can share the costs of rooms, and benefit from group discounts. Travel with family, or friends, or even a group of like-minded travellers you meet along the way! You can book entire rooms in a hostel if you have enough people, which also means you don’t have to share with strangers if that’s something that bothers you.

Travel light

The less you take with you, the better. First off, it’s easier to travel from destination to destination with less to carry. But more importantly, you can store your bags free of charge in the hand-luggage part of any plane!

Consider different types of travel

If you want to travel in the cheapest way possible, it’s worth looking into different methods of getting from A to Z. A ferry might take longer, but could be cheaper than flying. Depending on your budget and time span, it’s worth considering.

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Plan thoroughly

It pays to plan. If you look to the future and look how much everything will cost, you may be able to save some money on pre-booking, or on discounted deals. If you create a budget, it also gives you an idea of how much money you’ll need to take with you, and how much to exchange into your needed currency.

Stay close to home

You don’t have to go abroad to see incredible places. There’s plenty of history, culture and beauty on anyone’s doorstep that can often be reached by just a short road-trip or train ride.

Travel on a Tuesday

According to some, Tuesdays are usually the cheapest day to fly, since it’s the least popular day to. If you have to fly out to somewhere, consider doing it on a Tuesday.

Pack some food

If you’re going somewhere where the food isn’t particularly inspiring, it’s worth taking food with you that you can cook or eat raw. It’s much cheaper than spending money on meals out, and a Pot Noodle is always a nice home comfort when you’re abroad!

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Travel at inconvenient times

It may be a little annoying getting up at 3am to catch a flight, but the fare will be significantly cheaper, making it worth the yawning.

Get ready to walk

When I visited Paris, I was miles away from all of the main attractions, and I was only there for two days. I worried that if I walked everywhere, I wouldn’t have time to see everything, but I was mistaken. It saved me valuable euros to walk everywhere, and I saw the entire city as I did so. Most importantly, I had chance to see everything!

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Look up free attractions

If you’re in Berlin, it’s free to see the art-smothered Berlin Wall. If you’re in Paris, you can explore the Luxembourg Gardens. Amsterdam offers the Red Light District. Venice is a beautiful place to explore on foot. Every major city has things to see for free if you’re worried about overspending!

Be savvy

Get to know a city while you’re there, and make sure you know its ins and outs! It’s best to know the rules of any place, but especially if you’re abroad. I got a hefty fine in Berlin because I didn’t validate my train tickets – pay attention to what you’re doing or face the consequences!

by Hayley Anderton

 

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