How to Travel Abroad on a Budget
Traveling offers students the chance to broaden their horizons and experience new cultures. It is one thing to read about a culture or a particular world landmark and another to see it up close and in person. Budget difficulties hold many potential travelers back, however, as they begin to add up costs associated with flights, hotels, and food. Fortunately, there are a few tips and shortcuts that people can take to keep their travels on budget and still experience what the world has to offer.
Related: 101 Study Abroad Hacks
Student Admission Discounts
Similar to the way that a student ID can sometimes get students discounts in their college town, an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is fantastic for getting discounts overseas. Students must be over 12 and study full time to qualify. Many major museums, such as the Vatican Museum, offer discounts on admission.
Around India, discounts are available on everything from bus services to coffee shops. It is a great way to see major sites without paying full price.
Student Discounts on Traveling
Many airlines, train companies, and even buses will offer student discounts to those with a student ID. Before purchasing any kind of travel ticket, ask about student discounts.
Even without student discounts, budget airlines are very popular within Europe. Those who plan on relying on rail travel should investigate the various passes that offer various numbers of railway trips for a single rate. Many students can have more flexible schedules, so try to be open and take those cheaper tickets when they arise, even if they do not completely line up with the original plan.
When looking to move around a city, using public transportation typically is the best route. It is cheaper than many other options and offers visitors a more in-depth look at the culture and daily lives of the locals.
Places to Stay
After travel, lodging can be one of the most expensive aspects of travel, but it does not have to be. Many travelers of course know about hostels and the ability to find lodging for significantly less than the price of a hotel, but there are other options as well.
In India, for example, the Green Palm Homestay offers traveller’s rooms with a private bathroom and air conditioning, which is near luxury after many hostels, in an area that lets travelers see nearly the entire region has to offer. There are places to bike ride, canoe, and explore the various island villages that have risen among the waterways of Kerala.
Of course, those looking for a really exotic leg to the trip might try camel riding in the Indian desert, followed by staying at the Sand Dunes of Thar Desert. These unique, tent-like lodgings definitely offer an experience to be had.
Other ways to find free or cheap places to stay might involve a bit of work, literally. Those who are very short on cash might consider bartering for a free or reduced price in exchange for work around the hostel. Other options may be contacting students at local universities to see if there are any local groups that host visitors. There might even be some English-speaking exchange students with a couch to offer.
Of course, traveling with other students can make lodging cheaper wherever it may be. Take a friend to two along on the journey and split the cost of a room.
Eat Where the Locals Eat
Every major tourist city has numerous restaurants dedicated to serving tourists. These places typically mark up prices and do not offer the same authenticity as a place further off the beaten path. For example, finding where the locals go when they want comfort food in Agra will probably offer a much better selection, better taste, and better experience than the tourist place next to the Taj Mahal.
Visit college areas to try and meet up with other students who may be able to point travelers into the best direction. Student areas are also more likely to have English speakers, which can help enhance the visit and make it easier to see areas that are away from tourist areas.
Traveling always offers adventures, but it does not always need to come with a hefty price tag. Strategically planning travel, lodging, and food can drastically cut expenses and make the trip even more rewarding. Keep the above advice in mind and prepare for an affordable trip of a lifetime.