There are many things to think about when you’re traveling as a student – which destinations throw the best parties, which might further enrich your studies, and, before you leave, making sure your essays are all submitted.
But one of the biggest considerations is your budget.
At home, you’re probably used to taking advantage of student discounts to get you through each week – clothes, movie tickets, transportation – often students get a 10 – 20% discount to reduce the burden on the cost of living.
But this is something you can also apply to traveling!
Many countries around the world (most actually!) offer student discounts, which can greatly reduce the cost of travel. And depending on the country you can get these discounts on everything from flights, to ground transport, and attractions.
So, read on for how to get them!
How to Get Student Travel Discounts
Get an International Student Discount Card
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 youth and student cards that offer 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.
If you are not a student, but are 30 years old or younger at the time you apply for the card, the International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) will work for the same purpose, and is a great way to access discounts if you’re not currently studying.
Even if the place you visit hasn’t advertised a discount, flashing these cards might get you some great deals abroad. It’s always worth flashing the card and asking. You could save hundreds of dollars when totalled up!
To get an ISIC card you’ll need to send them a copy of your university student ID, clearly dated and indicating you are a full time student. Or, they’ll also accept a signed and dated letter on official university or school stationery stating you are studying there full time.
Today offers access to the cheapest flights the world has ever seen. There are many low budget airlines that are favorites among students, though as a student, you may have even more benefits than other people do.
May airlines will offer student airfares, and there are travel agencies like STA Travel who exist solely to cater to student and youth travel. To access their deals, you typically just have to subscribe / sign up with your school email.
Naturally, low-cost airlines already have amazing rates, and flying low cost doesn’t always have to be a no-frills experience. Check out this list of the best budget airlines in the world, and subscribe to their mailing lists for deals.
Many epic airline deals are offered last minute, so it’s important to stay on top of your workload so you can book these type of deals. It may be tempting to find a trusted site to pay for essay, but aim not to leave your assessments to the last minute so you’re free to travel on last minute deals.
Student Transportation Discounts
One of the industries 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.
Taxis are, by and large, the most expensive way to get around. But a great approach is to make use of pedal-power; many cities offer bike rentals, with pick-up and drop-off locations, which is quicker than walking and still much less expensive than other forms of inner city transport.
Further ways to save on transport is to walk where possible. Walking is free, and many destinations will be easy enough to navigate on foot. Have an up-to-date map on hand, and get to know the language a bit so you can understand street signs or possibly ask for directions.
Student Accommodation Discounts
Student discounts on accommodation are a lot more difficult to find – largely because hostels were invented for this purpose!
Within the sharing economy, there are a lot of options for the open-minded adventurer who is willing to welcome the gesture of a kind stranger, or to connect with others using one of many social apps. Couchsurfing and Airbnb are two of the biggest.
As an alternative, you can even search for house-sitting opportunities online. Now a massive movement, it’s super easy to find house sitting opportunities all over the world, of all kinds; it’s a very viable way to travel (some people even do it full time!).
House sitting is an exchange where you take care of someones property and pets while they’re away, and in return are allowed to stay in their home, free of charge. As long as you’re responsible and can abide by house-sitting etiquette, you’re golden.
Image credit: Barnacles Budget Accommodation (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
What are your tips for finding student discounts? Leave us a comment and let us know!