A student's budget is usually pretty tight, and travelling tends to be rather expensive. But don't let these facts pin you down: it is possible to travel without breaking your student bank! You just have to know a few tips and tricks to travel with a student budget. The world is full of student friendly destinations and with your ISIC card you enjoy a myriad of student discounts on travelling, accommodation, food and attractions on the road. Check out these 7 tips to travelling with a student budget, and start planning your next adventure!
Yes, Paris is lovely, but might make your bank account cry quite fast... Prague on the other hand is another pearl of Europe, and you can relax with a pint of beer for 1 EUR amidst your walk in the stunning city center. Greece, Portugal and Bulgaria are also price-wise very student friendly European destinations. Wish to travel a bit further? Try Morocco, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos or Guatemala. Thailand is also an excellent ISIC-country! If you yearn to feel a true metropolitan vibe on your budget's behalf, make the most of what the otherwise pricey destination may have to offer for free. London for example has tons of fantastic museums and attractions without an admission fee. There is also a bunch of apps to help you budget for your trip, such as Budget Your Trip or My Funky Travel that lists destinations according to an estimated daily travel budget.
Bear in mind that it does matter, when you travel. During the summer months, popular winter destinations like Thailand are much more affordable, and the weather is usually quite okay during the summer months too.
Regardless of your travel method (plane, train, bus or ferry) the golden rule usually is that the early bird catches the cheapest tickets. Pick your destination and travel time well in advance; this will save you a lot of money! Also, try to travel off season: it's no use trying to book a flight on a summer Saturday a week before departure... Check out the affordable student flight tickets available exclusively to ISIC card holders.
Travelling light and packing strictly only what you need is worth the while. First, you'll really have to think about what you actually need on your travels, and moving around at your destination is a lot easier, when you've only got a small backpack to carry, and not five pairs of shoes and three pairs of jeans... Many airlines also charge extra for luggage, so travelling with just carry-on will save you a penny or two for sure. If you are travelling far and/or for a longer period of time, consider buying a student flight ticket. Luggage is always included in it and the terms and conditions are also more flexible than with a normal flight ticket.
There's a ton of affordable accommodation options available for students, and it's worthwhile to spend some time on finding the right place to stay for your trip. Hotels.com offers ISIC cardholders a nice discount on hotel nights, and a student discount is also available at Generator Hostels. Airbnb is also a great choice for a student looking for relatively cheap accommodation, and is also a great way to get to know local life. To the adventurous students out there looking to make new friends, couchsurfing is also a superbly cheap option to spend the night. If you are booking your stay at a hostel, also remember that sleeping in a dorm will be much cheaper than booking a private room.
Tourist spots, tourist prices! The top sightseeing spots are the top for a reason, but bear in mind, if you intend to visit them that they may come with a large price tag. A great way to catch a glimpse of the top spots is a walking or a bicycle tour around the city. Renting a bike is a great way to get around fast and also get to know the local way of life, as a bike is the primary vehicle in many top destinations, such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Kyoto. Instead of enjoying a glass of wine at the top of the Eiffel tower, have a picnic on the lawn next to Eiffel. Also, staff at your accommodation may be able to tell you the top spots for locals around the city. You can also find a local companion with similar interests on CoolCousin, or check out what's happening at your destination during your visit via AroundMe. Rather than running after tourist attractions, check if there's a food market, an art exhibition or a great gig on tonight!
One of the biggest chunks off your budget will be food and beverages. To save a good sum of money, cook your own breakfast, lunch and dinner, especially if you are staying at an Airbnb, a hostel with a communal kitchen or at a friend's place. Shopping at the local supermarket is definitely an experience, too! Street food and food markets are also an affordable option for your meals, and a rule of thumb is that when you get a bit further away from the city center and the tourist attractions, the prices for food and drink will come down too.
One way to travel affordably and spend time abroad for a little longer is going on a Working Holiday. Working Holiday, as it says, combines working and travelling abroad. With a Working Holiday visa, you can work and travel for up to 12 months in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US. The jobs are usually on the fields of tourism, hospitality and agriculture, such as helping around on fruit farms, looking after cattle, or helping at a hostel or a restaurant. At Workaway, you'll find all sorts of projects around the world at private hosts/employers: you may find a spot on a farm, help an entrepreneur with their website, restore a historical building, you name it! Workaway projects usually cover accommodation (some employers may ask a small fee for accommodation) and some meals, but are usually not salaried positions. Working Holiday positions are salaried, which helps you earn some more travel money while already abroad. Working Holiday and Workaway are both great ways to lengthen your journey, make the most out of your budget and also gain working experience and memories that last for a lifetime.
We can't emphasize this enough: REMEMBER YOUR ISIC CARD! 130 countries and more than 150 000 student discounts around the world is not a menial matter and especially when travelling the benefits of the ISIC card are huge. ISIC gets you student flight tickets, accommodation with a student discount and a 50 % student discount on entrance to a myriad of UNESCO world heritage sites. In the ISIC app, your digital ISIC card is with you wherever you go, and it's not a wasted effort to show your ISIC card at the till at every shop you go to, as the ISIC card may grant you many local student discounts, too. If you don't have an ISIC card yet, you can purchase one here.
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