Travelling is a must for everyone, especially as a student. You are not only going to see the world or your country better, you meet new people, learn more about yourself and have something to talk about at the dinner table. Let’s not forget about all the instagram pictures you will take.
Many students, however, are quite oppose to travelling because it sounds like it is expensive and students are well known to be broke and have little to no money. I definitely was of this mindset. But, this does not have to be the case. Below are seven money saving tips that any student can use to save lots of coins while travelling.
1.Travel in Your Country.
Yes, you heard that right! Travel in your country first before you whisk yourself away to an exotic place like Hawaii or Bali. Chances are you have not seen the entirety of your country. I lived in Ghana on and off for 14 years and did I ever go North of the middle of the country? Nope. When I lived in Connecticut did you ever find me further west of Pennsylvania? Nope. Listen to this, I went to University in Toronto and have never traveled more than 1 hour North of the Greater Toronto Area and apparently there is a beautiful park an hour and a half away from me and I have never seen it. The moral of this story is that, chances are you probably have not seen much of your country. Staying in your country or province/state is easier because you do not have to worry about currency exchange and you may have cheaper travel options available to you, whether be the bus or the train. So, before traveling outside of the country, look within and see where you can travel to.
2. Always look for student prices.
The perks of being a student is you get a student card. Make full use of your tuition, which also covers your student card, by using the hell out of your student card. This means looking out for student prices and student discounts. Chances are you are bound to find a deal when it comes to either the mode of transportation or eating. I know for one that VIA Rail Canada offers student prices, and I know this because they advertised a ton in my school but google helped me verify this. You can also get an SPC card, which is available in Canada and America (not sure which other countries) and can save you some coins for shopping or food. The SPC cards, though, have to be renewed every year but they are a great option.
3. Avoid the plane if possible.
Obviously if you are travelling abroad then a plane is your only option, but when you have other options available to you make sure to explore it. A bus is probably the cheapest option but a train too is not a bad choice. It may be a little uncomfortable than a plane but it could mean saving extra money to spend on more worthwhile experiences at your final destination.
4. Use your Legs
The best way to see the place you have travelled to is by walking. This way you can really take in the place, and chances are, you are going to discover new places and new sites. This was definitely the most enjoyable part of my last trip to Montreal. I learned more about the history of Montreal just by walking from point A to point B. Plus you can get a ton of exercise this way. Public transport is also a good option if you can’t walk to a certain place, and if it is a bus, you can stare out the window and check out the sites. I will not suggest uber, lyft or an ride share options because, remember, we are trying to save money and see more of our travel destination.
5. BYOB (Bring your own breakfast)
One of the big things about travelling is trying new cuisines, but sometimes food in certain areas can be expensive (Canada is definitely one of them). So bring your own breakfast! This is a big way to save money. And no I am not talking bring eggs, or bread but packing none perishable foods such as cereals or my personal favourite, oatmeal. Oatmeal can be made easily with some hot water and it expands so you don’t need to carry a ton of it to make enough for a satisfying meal. Bring along dried fruits and nuts that can really accompany your oats. With this you also know that you for sure have one meal you have available. Bring along, or purchase, some fruit at the local grocery store to have as a snack or accompaniment.
6. Ditch the Hotel
In the world of couch surfing, AirBnB and apps to find hostels, ditch the hotel. It is probably the most expensive accommodation available at any place. I will highly suggest finding a hostel or choosing an AirBnb. They are cheap options available and the best part is that you can meet new people. Hostels are a great place to meet other student travellers. If you choose an AirBnB, your AirBnB host can probably give you suggestions of places to see and things to do. For the AirBnB, I suggest getting a private room rather than an entire apartment to yourself because it is cheaper and you still get a more private living experience.With this, traveling alone does not have to be lonely because you can still get meaningful human contact. Unless you are travelling with friends, splitting an entire apartment is also manageable.
7. Bring your own travel meals.
If you are taking a train, a bus, or a cheap flight, chances are they will make you pay extra for food, and this food is expensive. Save money and pack your own lunch. With this you have an extra container you could also put leftovers in if you need to.
These seven tips are bound to save you some coins on your travels. Being a student or broke does not mean you cannot see the world. You still can have an adventure with half the costs.