By Anastasia Burton
We all want to travel and live our best lives, but it’s no secret that some of the best things in life cost money (and many of us students just don’t have it). By the time you read the final sentence of this article, you will be ready to cross all borders with little to no money! This is our comprehensive guide to getting all the best travel deals on a student budget, so that you can see the world without splurging through your savings or SUSI.
1.Fly with Ryanair: I already know what you’re going to say, “their flights always get delayed!” While this is true, Ryanair has worked on its policies and is improving gradually. Ryanair is a budget–friendly airline that offers sales and flight deals almost every month. Right now, you can fly to London and back for about €20! So, lesson one – fly with a budget–friendly airline and you’re guaranteed to save as a student traveler.
2. For accommodation, use Booking.com. This brings us to lesson two; affordable accommodation (an issue many of us are too familiar with). Booking.com offers great savings and deals on hostels and hotels all around the world. Usually, the app cuts up to 15% of the original price to promote tourism and gives everyone a chance to travel and avoid living on the streets. For example, I spent €80 for four nights in the centre of Amsterdam city through Booking.com. Now, considering the low price of your airline and the affordability of your housing, you’re already mostly prepared for your holiday and it hasn’t left you in student debt!
… or use Airbnb: Hostels and Airbnb’s are often some of the cheapest options to stay in and many are very welcoming and comfortable. There is no need to be afraid of hostels and sharing a room with strangers; they are doing the exact same thing and looking for budget-friendly travel options just like you! You may even make friends in your group hostel, as, often, they’re used primarily by young people. Don’t forget, you travelled abroad for some sight-seeing and to explore the location, not just to stare at the four walls of a fancy room!
3. Once accommodation and flights are sorted, most of your pre-holiday spending ends there. However, what will you eat once you arrive? Food can be a huge money spender when on holiday, not to mention drinks and alcohol! My advice is to avoid restaurants and fast food chains when abroad. Instead, go to the closest supermarket (most European countries have Aldi or Lidl, which are great for affordable food options). Once you are in the supermarket, you have a choice between the local food and food you are more familiar with. You should buy enough food to last you the few days you will be staying, and I promise you, it will be cheaper (and healthier) than getting fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
4. Once the three most important conditions, flights, accommodation and food, are thought of, move on to travel. Avoid taxis! While you are abroad, there will always be 24hr tour buses, and in some cases, travel boats. Purchase a 24 or 48hr ticket and that will usually bring you to all the tourist attractions, plus give you an easy way to get back to your accommodation. The tickets usually vary from €18-32 depending on your age, however if you are a student, you can get discounts!
5. With that in mind… Always carry your student ID when holidaying abroad! Most museums, tours and food chains in Europe have student discounts, so use ‘em!
6. And finally, if you are planning on buying souvenirs for family and friends back home, avoid buy the crazy expensive stuff. A magnet will do fine, a post card even better! Postcards are always cute and customized for each city! If you buy a few, you can usually get a discount and then buy stamps from the same shop to send them out. This will give your loved ones and friends a nice gift to put on the fridge, complete with pictures of beautiful landmarks and destinations.