10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I’d Known Earlier.

10 Student travel tips i wish i'd known earlier.

From whether you should take the plunge to study abroad during your summer holidays, to actually being out there and making the best of your overseas stint, this article offers you 10 student travel tips on alternative ways to travel while studying, how to overcome pre-trip anxiety, and how to utilise your status as as a student to travel cheaply!

10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I’d Known Earlier

1. Ask the experts.

There are many considerations when thinking about studying or . Can I afford it? Can I map the classes back to my degree? Does it fit the requirements of my major? Are my grades good enough?

Speak to your study abroad school staff or seniors who have been there.

The people who work in the study abroad department and run programs are very passionate about study abroad. They are the people most likely to know how to work around the student’s concerns. This could be anything from pointing them towards scholarships to help cover costs, or finding ways to bypass minimum GPA requirements. – Ann Belle, who worked in student travel and study abroad programmes

Don’t let your worries stop you from studying abroad!

2. Utilise off-peak periods.

10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I'd Known Earlier | Bel Around The World
Cambodia temples

Summer breaks can go up to 3 months, and that’s more off-time than any full-time employee. What better way to use them than travel?

Work your holiday plans around school holidays – for example, in Europe, prices skyrocket in late July and August, so if you are travelling there try to plan your adventures (or at least your flights) to take place earlier or later. – Claire

3. Engage in student-focused tour agencies.

When booking flights, some great deals can be found for students on STA. I’d always advise to enquire first and then check on the internet, but with a heavy student discount it’s often cheaper to book through them. – Claire

Many students from my school count on STA to be able to source for the cheapest flights or rail passes when doing their international exchange.

Other agencies that specialise in youth travel include ContikiTopdeck, Indigo Tours (Europe) and WSA Europe (Europe). I absolutely love to follow their travel adventures as they are adrenaline-seeking and full of fun! 

StudentUniverse offers a great resource for discounted travel specially for students too.

4. Intern abroad.

10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I'd Known Earlier | Bel Around The World
Anomaly NYC

It’s the summer holidays. Do you want to get out there, but feel constrained by your finances? Do you dream of exploring the world, but feel that you should be using your summers to get some work experience? What about combining both work and travel?

Pop down to your university careers office, who will often have summer internship opportunities or openings for charity work abroad! You could end up spending your summer volunteering in Africa, interning in Hong Kong or teaching English in Thailand, and by securing the placement through university, you’ll receive support from them throughout its duration. – Claire

5. Volunteer.

Student years provide excellent opportunities for travel: exchange programs, volunteering, study tours, etc. If you’re looking to travel with a purpose, or look into creating greater awareness to the underprivileged through travelling, try volunteer programs! Having such experiences might even enhance your employability when you graduate.

Other than covering your accommodation and food in another country, volunteering gives you a chance to connect deeper with another culture, gain new skills and inner fulfillment for doing something good for this world. You can look into programs such as Erasmus, Youth in ActionEuropean Voluntary Service, AIESEC and Au Pair (An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family). – Natalia

6. Flash your student card.

Get the ISIC Card! What I love about this card is that there is no age range as long as you are a student. It can be used in over 130 countries on things such as airfare, accommodations, museums, FOOD, and so much more! – Katie

Always ask if they do student discount – a lot of places that offer it don’t blatantly advertise! – Claire

Almost all museums, tourist attractions and even transport options have discounted prices for students. Trains in Europe often have lower prices for those who are under 25 or 26 years of age too. So, my tip would be, to carry your card and find out student prices before paying up the normal costs. – Menorca

7. Befriend locals.

10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I'd Known Earlier. | Bel Around The World
A local in Cambodia

Something that really helped me out when I was studying abroad in France was making friends with my classmates who were locals. This gave me the opportunity to practice my French, get the inside scoop of places to visit that were off the “tourist path”, and take a deeper dive in the French culture. – Katie

Vivian recommends Couchsurfing.com, Travel Buddies and the Thorn Tree forum by Lonely Planet.

However, always remember to double check the identity of your new friends, preferably through Facebook, because some might not be who they claimed to be! Safety should always be the first thing that comes to our minds.  Danielle and I couldn’t agree more.

My Couchsurfing experience had been my primary way of meeting the locals while I was travelling in Europe last year!

It helped to cut my accommodation costs as well so that’s the best of both worlds!

8. Travel on trains or buses.

10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I'd Known Earlier. | Bel Around The World
Jakarta public bus

If you’re in Europe, take advantage of a Eurail Pass. Sure, train travel takes a bit longer than plane travel, but if you buy a pass it can also be a lot cheaper! As a bonus, you get incredible landscapes you would not otherwise have the chance to see. You can also take train travel as an opportunity to stop in smaller cities you wouldn’t normally consider – that’s where the true culture and local experience is! If you have a long break and plan on traveling through it, I highly recommend planning a rail trip. – Kelly

9. Look out for discount codes.

Like this Airbnb code which offers you US$35 off your first booking!

10. Lastly, let loose!

10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I'd Known Earlier | Bel Around The World
Parasailing in Bali

Don’t be afraid to splurge every once in awhile. While budgeting is important while traveling as a student, you can’t let it drag you down. Is there an incredible Michelin-star restaurant in a city you’re visiting that you’ve always wanted to try? Or how about that wine tasting tour or cooking class you would love to do? If you think it will truly enhance your experience, go for it! You can make it up somewhere else in your trip. – Kelly

Kelly couldn’t have ended this better.

I may have my reservations about taking the hot air balloon in Turkey, skydiving in New Zealand, bungee jumping in Phuket or tasting Michelin-star food in Budapest, but at the end of it all, I know I didn’t want to leave the country regretting not experiencing it.

10 Student travel tips i wish i'd known earlier.
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24 Replies to “10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I’d Known Earlier.”

  1. Awesome tips you have given us.

    1. Thank you Candy! Are you a student yourself? 🙂

  2. Thanks for including my tip there! I love that college age students travel and hate the idea of anyone not doing it because of roadblocks like money.

    Great post! 🙂

    1. Thank YOU Ann for contributing. Do you still work for study abroad programmes?

  3. Hi Valerie,
    Where will she be studying fashion at? London? Paris? NYC? Let me know if she has any concerns about studying abroad. Happy to speak with her! 🙂

  4. these are excellent tips! I wish we had traveled more when we were college students! Your adventures look magical!

  5. Damn, those are so true! I just did an internship abroad, and I had the most amazing experience of my life! Befriend with the locals is definitely the thing I do love the most! x


    1. Hi Liana,

      You’re lucky! Where and what did you intern as? It’s not easy finding an internship overseas I’d say. Most of them are unpaid and it doesn’t help that we have to cover our own living costs. :/

  6. Great post – very informative for students. I wish I traveled as much when I was studying. I ended up interning for a company in order to get a dream job. Its a trade off that I do not regret , but once should still travel as much as possible while studying. You learn a lot travelling.

    1. Hi Shounak,

      You’ve got a point there. Many students in fact (especially in Asia) do place heavy emphasis on landing themselves with a stable job after University, and putting travelling on the backseat. To each its own I’d say, but travelling is definitely for everyone! 🙂

  7. Great tips and there are a few more from me:
    1. Use Couchsurfing, but be careful.
    2. Try to find out if you can get a press pass as a blogger in your country. That is so helpful!


    1. Oh Sinicilliya,

      Thanks for sharing your tips! I’ve only got my blog set up this year, so I’m working on point 2 now. Lucky for me I’ve got some progress for that with my upcoming trip to New Zealand so I’m very thankful!

  8. Excellent tips for student travelers. I just decided to skip the whole summer break travel thing and took a gap year that spread into a gap life, lol. I think students will find this extremely helpful.

    1. Hi Genesis,

      Wow that was a bold and unconventional move! How did you fund your travels being constantly on the move then?

  9. Great tips! I did not have much opportunity to travel while I was working my way through University, I guess I make up for that now.

    1. Hi Jen,

      It’s never too late! So you’re working and travelling now? Your job allows you that flexibility?

  10. Very good post! I tried couch surfing myself and at first I was so scared but the experience was always more than great! I think it is probably a must try while traveling 🙂

    1. Hi Tina,

      I totally understand. I was terrified when I first took the plunge to Couchsurf solo too! There are both up and down sides to it. Check out my experience here: belaroundtheworld.com/couchsurfing-yay-or-nay/. Where did you Couchsurf in? 🙂

  11. #2 and #7 are the biggest ones for me! Asking the locals always seems to get me the best insider info. I love to ask, “If you had the day off, where would you go?” usually it’s an awesome spot that’s well off the tourist trail 🙂

    1. Hi Tae,

      Oh yeah, did you get lucky and have the locals bring you along? I got to experience this while I was couchsurfing!

  12. Although I’m no longer a student, one of the main regrets I have now is that I didn’t take up the opportunities to go on student exchange, intern or travel for volunteer work! Your post resonates with me a lot and I’ll be sure to get some of the kids I tutor to have a read 🙂 Great tips!

    1. Hi Suanlee,

      It’s never too late to travel around still! You just got to make time for it. Thanks for sharing – it means a lot! 🙂

  13. […] Read: 10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I'd Known Earlier. […]

  14. […] I have many! One of it is to utilize your student pass to get discounted travel on certain tours and museum visits. The rest of my travel tips can be found here. […]

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