Travelling the world on a budget is a dream many of us have, even non-students. The smell of freedom is irresistible, not to mention the ability to discover new cultures, make new friends and buy some groovy souvenirs from far away places. The new buzz word to travelling in “style” is called “frugalistic.” OK, I just made this up, but I’, sure you get the idea.
Budget Travel for Money-Conscious Students
Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to be loaded to travel and see the world. All you need is a plan, a budget, and some smart guides to help you pack well, travel savvy and save money along the way. This article will help you get the best value for the least money spent.
Tip # 1 Get Off the Beaten Track
One of the best ways to save money while overseas is to avoid the well-trodden tourist hot spots. A Coca Cola will cost you twice the normal price at Saint Mark’s Square in Venice than you pay elsewhere. The same applies for tours in popular tourist destinations, meals in the swanky spots of the Coute d’Azur in the South of France and clothes bought in New York’s elite shops.
Venture away from the hub of tourism and you can save a lot of money for just about everything.
Tip # 2 Fly Mid-Week
A great way to save money before you even leave home is by booking your fight in the off-season, and mid-week. Try to travel when it’s quiet, avoid weekends, public holidays and major seasons at your destination.
Since your flight is bound to be one of the most expensive parts of your trip you can save thousands of dollars by booking smart. Money that can be better re-purposed for souvenirs and travel.
Tip # 3 Consider Planning Ahead With a High Interest Savings Account
High interest savings accounts such as the Virgin Saver are a great tool to budget for an upcoming holiday. You want a cost-free/low-cost account that allows you to make deposits at will, withdraw money at will and preferably offers high interest rates.
Tip # 4 Vouchers/Discount Codes Rule
Money savvy students have long discovered the power of vouchers and discount codes for all things related to travel. Whether you book a day trip, buy a meal in that yummy pizzeria down the road from your accommodation, or consider buying a local bus pass to get around, make sure to check if there are some vouchers to save you a few dollars. You’d be surprised how much money can be saved by spending some time to collect these little goodies.
Tip # 5 Be Wary of Your Travel Companions
One of the easiest ways to splurge a fortune while travelling is by choosing travel companions who like to spend money as if there’s no tomorrow. Try and stick to people who like you need to look after their budget – people who love to find bargain deals while keeping the fun factor alive.
Tip # 6 Get Cashed Up With Another Job
Even so you are busy studying nothing can stop you from getting a second job before you venture on your holiday. Those extra funds will come very handy when you find yourself at the Full Moon Festival in Thailand and a bunch of thirsty friends. Who’d want to forgo the fun of beer, dance and fun while being in a magical place.
If it’s the Opera you crave while touring London on a shoestring you will have those surplus funds needed for the tickets.
Tip # 7 Be Card Smart
Being card smart by choosing the right credit card to accompany you on your trip can potentially save you a lot of money. The first rule in picking a card is to get smart about the selection available to you. Consider reading up on a credit card comparison site to get up-to-date about the current market.
Be aware of your financial prowess and how much money you can afford. Don’t fall for deals that sound too good to be true, because they usually are.
Tip # 8 Go Prepaid
If you are really stuck with your finances consider travelling with a prepaid card only and leave your credit card at home. However before you leave home make sure you do have ample cash in your account (budget+20%). It’s also handy to have a reliable contact at home to help you in a financial emergency should the going get tough.
Tip # 9 Don’t Forget Your International Student Card
The International Student Card can be a great tool to save even more money for you. With this card you can discounts on many things, including:
● Bus passes
● Entry tickets for museums, shows, sports games, theme parks
● and much more
If you’ve ever visited Khaosan Road in Bangkok you’d know a thing or two about getting one of these babies on the fly.
Tip # 10 You’ll Never Know If You Don’t Go
Years ago the Northern Territory of Australia launched a popular tourist campaign with a similar slogan. This slogan has always stuck with me because quite frankly speaking life’s too short to waste time working your butt off until you get your pension.
Travel is best experienced while you’re young, fit and ready to embrace the world. Travel is addictive – don’t say I didn’t warn you. Once you’ve tasted your first bite of the wide open world you will be hooked and need another fix as soon as possible.
What is better than to experience the thrills of this planet, discovering other cultures, making new friends that speak another language to yours, and seeing some of the best scenery there is to see anywhere, all thanks to travelling on a budget?
I don’t think there is a better way to experience life itself! But I can only speak for myself while you are obviously still in the planning stages of your first big trip. I sincerely hope you will get to experience this at some stage in your life because it will open your eyes, make you more compassionate, and more tolerant towards other cultures and ways of life.
Happy, safe travels!