What are the Best Tips for Student Travel?

T. Alaine

Traveling as a student can have great advantages if trips are carefully planned and well researched. Some secondary schools and most colleges and universities offer opportunities to study in different countries, and their coordinators and connections should be utilized to make the most of every available opportunity. Even if a student is setting out separately from an academic institution, however, there are a great number of deals and tips available to make student travel easy and affordable. Student travelers can use their student identification to obtain discounted travel and admission tickets, and should be sure to network with other travelers to obtain first hand, location-specific advice.

Some hostels offer private accommodations for an extra fee, but many do not.
Some hostels offer private accommodations for an extra fee, but many do not.

One of the most elaborate types of student travel is studying abroad. Most academic institutions that offer these trips provide students with either academic housing such as dormitories and apartments or coordinate living arrangements with host families. Study abroad trips generally require students to attend classes at a campus in their new country, but also include sight-seeing, educational trips, and other typical tourist activities. The administrators or coordinators responsible for organizing study abroad trips are usually very knowledgeable of the destination location; student travelers should use this to their advantage, and ask these professionals for advice finding everything from affordable housing to the best attractions and restaurants. Using coursework as an excuse for student travel is a great opportunity, but can often be expensive depending on the sponsoring institution.

Hostels cost less money than hotels and often attract younger guests, who will most likely be sharing a room with other customers.
Hostels cost less money than hotels and often attract younger guests, who will most likely be sharing a room with other customers.

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Student travel can also encompass smaller trips, which can be either domestic or international. One of the best student travel tips, regardless of the duration or destination, is to use student status to find discounted air, bus, or train fare. It is extremely common for transportation companies in many different countries to offer reduced ticket prices for individuals aged 12–26 years, or for those in possession of a valid student identification card. Transportation costs can easily be the most expensive aspect of student travel, so doing some research and figuring out which type of travel or specific company offers the best discounts can save a lot of money. Comparing prices on internet pages that list several different providers can help keep prices in perspective.

Lodging is another area where research pays off, although student discounts are generally less common. Luxury hotels are usually not within students’ budgets, so getting creative can help cut costs. Before choosing a hotel, it is a good idea to think hard about possible contacts in the destination city. A family member, childhood friend, or roommate’s family might be happy to provide temporary lodging to a student traveler. Youth hostels are also an option, and are generally a good place not only to sleep at low cost, but to meet other travelers and pick up insider tips.

Student travel discounts are usually offered at sightseeing locations like museums or national landmarks to encourage educational experiences. Some tourist donations might cite a suggested entrance fee, but really will accept a donation in any amount for admittance. Reading student travel blogs or catching up with friends who have made the same trip is an excellent way to find out about unadvertised discounts for entertainment, tourist attractions, and dining.

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