The words “broke” and “college student” practically go hand-in-hand. And if you’re a broke college student studying abroad (like me), your money challenges are likely to be even worse. How to cope? By taking advantage of the many discounts available to students both at home and overseas. Here are best student-only deals and student travel discounts on transportation, lodging, attractions, and getaways.
You can’t get anywhere without proper transportation, and flights can cost you an arm and a leg if you purchase them directly from the airlines or major OTAs (online travel agencies). Thankfully, there are websites like STA and Student Universe that offer discounted airfare just for students. Another great site to check out is Travel Cuts. This Canadian company helps you save on flights all over the world.
Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Two more great discounted flight websites are OneTravel and Student Flights, which both offer deals and discounts on domestic and international travel.
Maybe you don’t need to fly to get where you’re going. Your next best method of transportation would be the train. Especially in Europe, trains are one of the best ways to go from country to country in a quick and easy way. As a student, you can get up to 35 percent off train travel with Eurail. Another option in Europe is Rail Europe, which offers discounted rates on passes and tickets for select trains to students between the ages of 12 and 25.
If you’re traveling in the United States, Amtrak offers a Student Advantage Card that can save you up 50 percent on clothes, food, entertainment, books, and, of course, rail fare.
RELATED: Getting the Most Out of a Rail Journey
Two of the best bus travel companies offering deals for students are Megabus and Eurolines, both of which provide coach-class transportation for a fraction of the cost of other bus lines.
Perhaps you’re planning to hit as many countries as you can during the course of your stay abroad? Then Busabout is the purchase for you. Busabout is a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour bus that lets you ride as many times as you want for a one-time fee.
If you’d prefer to handle the traveling yourself, you should probably look into renting a car (even if you’re under the age of 25). Just make sure you have the proper license to drive. You could also join a carpool through websites like Karzoo and Ride Finder.
Instead of paying insane amounts of money to stay in a hotel, why not spend a little less and stay at a hostel? Websites like Hostel World and Hostelling International list all of the best hostels all around the world and even offer memberships that would allow you to pay a little now to save a lot on each hostel later on.
If you’re looking for an even cheaper experience, sleep on someone’s couch for the night with the Couchsurfing.com. Of course, this section on lodging wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Airbnb. Stay in a shared or private room, or book the entire place for yourself, for usually less than what you would spend at a hotel.
RELATED: Will Airbnb Be the Death of Hostels?
At Viator.com, you can find more than 100 sightseeing cards and passes that will save you a few dollars per each activity that the card holds. We Love Citycards has many of the same offers for cards in 21 different countries. Just feel like exploring the U.S? CityPass has discount cards for all of the major cities across the country.
Some tour companies offer weekend trips specifically geared toward students. Contiki offers hundreds of trips for anyone ages 18-35. WSA has plenty of guided weekend trips to choose from at far less than you’d pay with a standard travel agency.
If you want to travel with a group of other students, EF College Break has a handful of educational tours with plenty of free time to allow you to do your own thing, too.
Students Discount Cards
If you’re looking for discounts on everything from clothes to food to entertainment, consider purchasing a student discount card. Some of the top providers are International Student Identity Card (ISIC), National Union of Students (NUS) Extra, International Student (ISE), and International Youth Travel Card (IYTC). Each of these cards costs less than $25 to purchase and offers discounts and benefits at more than 125,000 locations.
More from SmarterTravel
- 10 Hostels Too Upscale to Believe
- 10 Authentic Ways to Travel Like a Local
- 10 Tips for Women Traveling Alone
Nicole DiCenso is currently studying abroad in London, England. She loves to travel and document her journeys, so follow along on Instagram @GirlLostAbroad.
Last Updated: September 14, 2015
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