There’s no doubt that traveling as a student is one of the most exciting ways to add to your studies, and one of the most enriching ways to gain life experience, and broaden your perspectives and global knowledge.
Though it’s often tough traveling as a student – not just because you’re often juggling your travels with essays, deadlines and assignments, and not just because you’re limited to only being able to travel during semester breaks.
The toughest thing about traveling as a student is often the money! Actually being able to afford to travel, because when you’re studying full time, you’re not always capable of earning!
And that’s exactly why most countries offer student discounts.
If you want to get student discounts abroad, the key thing you’ll need is an internationally recognized student ID. Your ID from home might work, but don’t count on it.
While there are several student cards offering discounts around the world, the best known card is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). This is the only internationally recognised proof of full-time student status issued in close to 130 countries.
Flashing these cards means access to some great discounts abroad, and you can easily save hundreds of dollars when you total it up! Wondering what discounts you can get with the ISIC? Read on!
Discounts You Can Get With the International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
Attractions & Entertainment
Attractions and entertainment are the most common thing you’ll be able to save money on using your ISIC. Regardless of whether it’s a walking tour, entrance ticket, or theater show, most businesses have up to 10% off for students.
There’s an official ISIC global app which you can download, which allows you to explore discounts on the go. Though the easiest way to check if the attraction you’re visiting offers a student discount, is to pull up their website.
Find the page that lists their pricing, and there’s often a line underneath the full price, which lists any concessions. For instance, on the Tower of London website, there’s a tab that says ‘Visit’, which lists adult entry for £24.70, or concession for £19.30.
If it’s not actually spelled out as to who qualifies for the concession discount, it’s generally accepted that ‘concession’ means students with a valid ID (being your ISIC card), children under 16, and senior citizens over 65.
Museums, theme parks, and heritage listed sites all commonly offer student pricing; if they don’t list this info on their website, and it’s not listed on the ISIC registry, it’s still worth flashing your card – it never hurts to ask!
Whether you’re bussing it, biking it, or taking the train, one industry that offers student discounts pretty much across the board is transportation. Public transport in most countries will offer 10 – 20% for those who can present an international student card.
Do your research online before you head off on your trip to see what kinds of discounts you can find. Government / State run public transport will often be subsidized a lot more than privately owned companies will.
You won’t find discounts on taxi services, or private cars, but the general rule is that there’ll be discounts available for any form of transport commonly used by local students.
One of the most common forms of student transport are bicycles. It’s a pretty worldwide cultural trend that students make use of pedal power to save money, and while local students will own a bike, many cities offer bike rentals for tourists.
These bike rental services often have pick-up and drop-off locations, and are quite commonly State / Government run. Check your options before you arrive in a city, though most offer student discounts, and you can save a fair bit of money.
Food & Drink
Broadly speaking, food doesn’t tend to be an industry which offers student discounts. However, as students typically hit up the bar scene in many tourist cities, there may be special student lunch / dinner deals at popular student spots.
These restaurants and bars tend to be located within close proximity to a university or campus, so it’s worth doing some research before you travel. Many bars offer drinks discounts to students.
Because this isn’t an industry that widely welcomes the student discount, it’s worthwhile actually using the ISIC website to search for their existing partners.
For instance, using their search feature, and choosing the food and drink category, I found that Yokoya Ramen in New York City offers 10% off food purchases.
Other categories like shopping, accommodation, and local services, are less prone to offer student discounts, though it’s always worth asking.
While you won’t be able to get student discounts on things like groceries, or essay writing service Customwritings.com, the discounts you do have access to are pretty wide reaching.
Keep the card in your wallet so you have it handy to flash at all times. It goes without saying, that if you don’t have your card with you, you won’t be granted the concession price – even if you’ve booked it online.
What are your tips for finding student discounts? Leave us a comment and let us know!