To travel around the world is a dream of many people. However, often it’s the lack of money that prevents us from living this dream. Especially if you’re a student as I am, it’s even harder to afford travelling. What if I tell you that it’s absolutely not necessary to spend a fortune but still see a lot of the world? 😉 As a student and frequent traveller, people often ask me how I manage to travel that often. Therefore, I decided to write a blog post about how to travel on a budget as a student – including tons of tips & tricks!
(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)
How To Save Money on Your Travels
Before I started traveling on a frequent basis, one of the most important questions I asked myself was: How can I save money while traveling and still enjoy and do all the things I want to? In the past two years, I went to more than 20 countries and tried tons of different money-saving tips.
Moreover, I used some really awesome tricks not everyone is aware of I guess. As a student with a tight budget, the following points are very useful if you want to travel on a budget successfully!
1. Be Flexible With Time and/or Destination
First of all, it’s necessary to know where and when you want to go somewhere. The earlier you know, the better and cheaper the prices for flights, accommodation, etc. will be.
If you have a specific destination in mind and you already know exactly when you want to go there, be sure to book everything as early as possible. If you wait too long, it’s likely that prices increase a lot – especially for flights.
Second, try to avoid the holiday season as much as possible as everything will be overpriced then. That’s particularly the case during Summer, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Easter. Here it’s even more advisable to book everything as soon as possible to save a lot of money!
I’m personally more a spontaneous traveler and it happened only a few times that I booked my trip a long time in advance. Moreover, I try to be as flexible as possible with my next destination.
Thus I normally use websites such as Skyscanner or Checkfelix to see what flights are the cheapest. That’s exactly how I booked a €360 flight from Vienna to Los Angeles and back! Here’s what I did to find this incredible bargain:
How I Find Destinations With Skyscanner
Back in December, I knew that I would have some free time in February and used Skyscanner to book a trip. There I chose from Vienna to Everywhere and selected the entire month of February as travel date.
After clicking on “Search Flights” I got all flights from Vienna to everywhere in the world ranked from cheapest to most expensive. (I love using this tool to find my next destination!)
Next, I tried to find the cheapest flight days and compared all prices from different booking websites. I usually end up booking the flights directly with the airline operating them. That’s because in most cases the prices are the same and it’s easier to change or edit the booking.
I find this very helpful, especially if you’re a student and/or a rather spontaneous traveller because it’s great for everyone who wants to travel with a limited budget. Furthermore, you can discover some new places and put them on your bucket list (or book a flight there immediately).
2. Find The Right Kind of Transportation
My next advice for you is to find the right kind of transportation. That applies for transportation to but also at your destination. It’s not always necessary to fly somewhere. Instead, you can have a look if there’s a good bus or train connection. Especially if you’re heading to a place nearby, you can not only save money but time as well.
Therefore, I always compare all different types of transportation, whether I’m heading to a place or I need to travel around at the destination. Mostly it really pays off to do extra research work.
For instance, when I was in Poland, instead of flying from Krakow to Warsaw, I used Flixbus. Not only was the ticket super cheap (around €5), but the entire journey didn’t take much longer as if I had chosen the plane.
3. Choose Your Accommodation Wisely
Another tip I want to give you is to look for the right accommodation. Of course, one of the most crucial parts of choosing one is the price. However, I never just book the cheapest option I can find because besides finding an inexpensive one, it’s also important to know what you get for the price.
Thus I always have a look at location and facilities as well. It’s a great advantage if it’s located close to the main attractions or in the city center. Thereby you don’t need to spend any money on transportation and it’s easy to explore everything on foot.
Furthermore, another benefit could be a room with breakfast included so you don’t need to spend money on eating outside.
How to Find The Perfect Accommodation
There are many different platforms and ways how to find accommodation. The following ones are typical examples that I normally use:
TripAdvisor TripAdvisor is a great platform I use to compare prices and check out reviews. I usually choose the type of accommodation I prefer (mostly hostels or 3-star hotels) and then compare them regarding location, facilities, etc.
Booking.com Another platform I frequently use is booking.com. Again, I apply all the filters I consider important and start comparing different accommodations. Moreover, I prefer to sort the results by either the lowest price or review score & price.
Airbnb Last but not least, the third platform I love to use is Airbnb. Mostly I prefer booking via Airbnb because the prices are better and it’s a great opportunity to receive tips from locals and meet new people.
I chose Airbnb for my trip to Los Angeles and stayed at a very lovely place in the heart of Hollywood. Believe me or not, I paid only €186 for seven nights! If you’re not a fan of staying at hostels, then Airbnb is definitely the perfect platform for you.
Packing the right stuff is as simple as it is crucial when you travel on a budget. Make sure to travel as light as possible and only use hand luggage for shorter trips. Therefore you can save additional costs for checked luggage or extra fees for overweight bags.
Besides packing light, you should also think carefully about the stuff you take with you. For example, I always pack appropriate clothes for different weather conditions. Moreover, what I normally take with me is medicine such as pain killers. These are only a few examples on how to avoid unnecessary costs and it feels good to be prepared for any incidents.
5. Prioritize Your Budget
Lastly (and probably the hardest part): Prioritize your spendings! Being a student means having a very limited budget (at least in my case haha).
Unfortunately, this means you need to renounce a few things sometimes in order to travel on a budget successfully. Whether you prefer staying at a more expensive accommodation or simply eating out every day, it’s unlikely you can afford everything. Therefore I recommend you to set priorities.
If you want to stay at a more expensive accommodation, maybe save some money by simply doing rather inexpensive activities. However, if you’re more the adventurous type of person and spend less time at your accommodation, maybe you can forego the comfort of a luxurious hotel.
To Put it in a Nutshell …
As a student, it can be difficult to travel often, though it’s not impossible. I’ve been to more than 20 countries in the past two years without having regular income most of the time.
If you’re really passionate about travelling and want to see the world as much as possible, then you can definitely do it! And I really hope this blog post about how to travel on a budget helps you to fulfill your dream! 🙂
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Do you want to travel like me? Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources:
Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!
Accommodation:Booking.com is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.