Throughout my second year of University, I visited 5 countries. As a student with a small budget to work with, I had to navigate travelling on a strict budget. Here are my top tips on how to afford to travel as a University student!
1. Travel at the right time
As a University student, you are likely to have days off throughout the week, as well as different holidays to schools, for example in January, so take advantage of this and try to travel during term time to find cheaper flights and accommodation. You may also find that your destination may be quieter during these times, allowing you to avoid the crowds too!
2. Base your destination on your budget
It is so important to choose the right destination when travelling as a student. Although the majority of places can be done on a budget, it is much easier to choose somewhere that can easily be done cheap to make staying within your budget easier and your time there much less stressful and focused on money. There are so many budget friendly destinations which are great for students. Big cities, such as Rome, can be a lot more expensive than other destinations, such as Zadar. Choosing your destination wisely is a key factor to consider when travelling on a budget. Some cities are cheaper to fly to and/or have cheaper accommodation than others, so make sure to factor this in when planning your trip.
3. Find cheap flights
There are so many cheap flights available if you look in the right places. Return flights can cost as little as £9, so don’t waste your money on expensive flights! This allows you to spend a bit more on better accommodation, activities, food, and drink when you arrive. Spend the time to research flights, it will be worth the savings! Sometimes last minute flights can be a lot cheaper than booking months in advance, however, this is not always the case and last minute flights can be super expensive, as well as last minute accommodation bookings potentially being the same!
4. Eat cheap
There are so many ways to cut the cost of eating on a trip. If your accommodation has kitchen facilities, do a supermarket shop and cook some or all of your meals there. If you prefer not to cook or you don’t have the facilities, try to eat at cheaper restaurants, such as McDonalds, or buy sandwiches from supermarkets, instead of eating at expensive restaurants. This is one of the best ways to cut down spending on a trip and make sure you keep within your budget.
5. Figure out the public transport systems
Taking public transport is usually so much more cost-effective than using taxis. Try to research these systems before taking your trip to avoid struggling when you’re there. However, sometimes it can be cheaper to get a taxi and split it between you if you are travelling in a group. Just make sure to have an idea of prices and routes to make travelling easier.
6. Travel as a group
There are so many amazing Air BnBs for groups of people, which can be great for students travelling on a budget if shared between a group! This can potentially be cheaper than staying in hostels and hotels, so if you are travelling with others, check Air BnB first!
7. Stay in hostels
In big cities there are many hostels, which can be a lot more budget-friendly than hotels, especially if travelling alone. Hostels are also great if you are taking a budget trip alone, as many of them are filled with solo travellers and can be very social environments.