Itching to travel but don’t quite have the cash to splash? Here are a few things to consider:
CREATE A BUDGET
Be realistic about how much money you’ll have and jot the amount down. Assume that you’ll spend more than you think, because this will help you out in emergencies, or when you want to treat yourself. To make the most out of your trip, leave room in your budget for affordable bucket list items (all the things you MUST see, do and eat), and be flexible with the rest of your time. Oh, and get yourself a travel money card with low fees so you can spend your $$!
DID SOMEONE SAY STUDENT DISCOUNTS?!
Most students are eligible for an International Student Identity Card, which will give you access to discounts on flights, accommodation, food and activities internationally! If you’re studying at a university overseas, check out whether you’re eligible for discounts in your area through local initiatives. The European Student Identity Card is a great one for this, because it’ll get you access to museums and sites FOR FREE.
DESTINATION IS KEY
Planning your travel destination around your budget is a great idea if you want to travel, but you’re not fussed where you end up. Destinations that are off the beaten track are often a whole lot cheaper; they don’t see many tourists, so you’re less likely to fall into tourist traps. However, if you’ve got your heart set on New York, Japan, or Paris, booking everything far in advance will get you there with money to spare.
Flights cost less depending on what day you book, and also depending on the day or month you fly, so it pays to be flexible with your dates. A good first step for booking flights is to look at flight comparison sites for cheaper deals than what an airline is offering directly. Before you add your dream flight to your shopping cart, you’ll also want to consider whether you actually need that extra baggage, or whether you can realistically pack light enough to only need a carry-on bag. Making this decision now - rather than at the airport - will save you lots.
TRAVEL LIKE A LOCAL
You may have to sacrifice a few Uber trips to make your dollars stretch. Instead, rent a bike to explore a new city, or do a bit of research into public transport in the area. If you’re in a new place for a few days, chances are there’ll be a 2 or 3 day tourist transport pass that you can buy for a fixed price! On another note, definitely check out the walking tours offered by locals (this’ll cost you a small tip), and while you’re at it, ask them where to get a cheap feed.
ACCOMMODATION TIPS AND TRICKS
Hostels are a no-brainer: the more people in your room, the more money left in your pocket (plus the more cool people you’ll get to meet). Airbnb is another great choice if you want something a little bit more comfortable without a hotel price tag. If you can, grab a place with breakfast or a kitchen included, so you can cook yourself a feast when money’s tight. Most importantly, have a good look at reviews from past visitors before you commit to a bargain!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR FRIENDS!
Travelling in a group will save you loads on food, car hire and accommodation, because you can split the costs between those in the group. Having international friends also comes with the added benefit of free accommodation and a local tour guide when you go to visit them! Just make sure you return the favour :)
IF YOU’RE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL…
👉 Buy a local SIM card to avoid HUGE fees on data and phone calls
👉 Sell your stuff as you go to keep your bag light
👉 Buy anything you need along the way at second-hand markets or stores
👉 Investigate whether your VISA will allow you to work odd jobs as you go
Hello! I'm Taylor, a Marketing Coordinator here at AIM Overseas. What I also am is a mediocre salsa dancing amateur, a lover of modern art, and someone who falls over a lot. Studying overseas in Germany for a year in 2015 changed my life for the better.... so much so that I did it again for three months in Spain after I graduated two years later. I'm passionate about helping students get overseas during their degree, as well as encouraging anyone to dive out of their comfort zone to travel!