Want to successfully travel cheap while studying abroad?
It’s a new year and with that comes new resolutions! If yours is to travel more, then keep
reading because the University of Nottingham’s Travel Society has put together some
handy tips for how to travel on a budget.
1. Plan ahead, do your research.
Decide where to visit and how to get there – websites like SkyScanner and Google Flights allow you to search the cheapest countries or cities to go to, and Seat61.com is a great website that offers information how to travel across Europe by train and ship. If you’re planning on hitting multiple destinations, use Google Maps to help visualise your route and see if there are other places nearby worth visiting.
2. Be open minded.
Paris, Berlin and Rome may be the first cities you think of visiting, but these can often be expensive. Instead try places in Central and Eastern Europe such as Prague and Budapest. These places don’t use Euros and often, the exchange rate means you get more for your money.
3. Book your tickets early.
Pick the right days as it can be expensive if there are events going on in that area around that time. Also remember that weekend flights on Fri/Sun can be more expensive- use your mid-week days off wisely!
4. Find a comfortable but cheap place to stay.
Hostels have come a long way from the dingy places they used to be and are great places to meet fellow travellers. Try chain hostels such as Meininger and A&O which are comfy yet cheap and often centrally located. Airbnb is also a good option. Try Couchsurfing for free accommodation – look into their reviews before booking! Better yet, if you have friends from the area, see if they’re willing to host you!
5. Check the public transportation.
Buses are usually cheaper than trains. Do look into night trains or buses too when planning to travel from one city to another as you may save time and money. Check if day travelcards are available as these often work out cheaper/faster than buying single tickets.
6. See if there are any free activities in the city.
Free walking tours are a great way of discovering a place, particularly if you’re short on time. Although ‘free’, custom requires you to tip the guide at the end of the tour. €5 – €10 is a good ballpark.
7. Pack light.
If you are flying with an airline, make sure your carry-on luggage fits their strict limits. Otherwise, you will be asked to pay to check it in. Likewise, make sure all your liquids are below 100 ml or you’ll have to chuck it at the airport.
8. Don’t forget your Student ID!
Many attractions have student prices and feel free to ask if a place has a student tickets/discounts.
9. Eat like a local.
Check out food markets, street stalls or just simply ask for an opinion on where’s good to eat when you arrive at your location. Not only will you save money, you’ll get to taste what’s cultural to that area. No McDonald’s for you!
Melissa Sumalinog and Angelica Too
Featured image courtesy of ‘Drew Coffman’ via Flickr. License here.
Article image courtesy of ‘Calsidyrose’ via Flickr. License here.
Article image courtesy of ‘Martin Terber’ via Flickr. License here.
Interested in writing for Impact Travel? Join our contributors group!