Student Travel Guide

Whether you’re backpacking, studying abroad or simply vacationing, seeing the world on a budget can actually make an overseas experience even more authentic. Getting out there and seeing incredible landmarks, enjoying cocktails with new friends or dancing the night away to foreign beats doesn’t have to cost a fortune. From where to stay and what to eat to planning tips and travel safety, use these tips to have a world-class adventure without breaking the bank.

Budgeting Cuisine vs. Fine Dining

Eating Out
Eating out shouldn’t dwindle your travel funds in a single bite. Make the most of every penny with these tips:

  • European cafés are excellent venues for meeting new friends and conversing with locals. Don’t miss out, just make your meal count. Ask for a to-go box and divvy up your meal for leftovers.
  • Some of the most cultural food experiences are served off the streets, not at a fancy restaurant. Get the all-American experience eating hotdogs in New York City or pick up a savory curbside sausage in Sweden—your taste buds and wallet will thank you.
  • Food stalls in Europe and Asia offer cultural food choices that are a step above a street vendor and half the price (or less) of a sit-down meal. Plus, you’ll get a real sense of local flavour.

Eating In
With a little planning and a sense of adventure, you can savour the culture and save money doing it:

  • Local markets offer a culinary experience complete with native delicacies you won’t find elsewhere.
  • If you’re travelling with a group and you must go out to dinner, make it a “tapas style” meal so everyone can sample different dishes and flavours.

Room for Rent vs. Posh Accommodations

Mingle with the Locals
Search these sites for good deals, new friends and travel insight from a local perspective.

  • CouchSurfing: According to the site, this option allows travellers to stay with locals in every country on earth. Travel like a local, stay in someone’s home and experience the world in a way money can’t buy.
  • Airbnb: Offering a little more privacy than Couchsurfing or a hostel, Airbnb enables locals to book their space to travellers.
  • Hostels: The beauty of hostels isn’t in the accommodation themselves but in the people you’ll meet. If you’re open to new experiences and saving lots of money on lodging—and willing to stay in less than luxurious accommodations—visit Hostels.com to search locations near your travel destination.

Time for an Upgrade

Sometimes spending a little more on accommodation actually saves money in the long run. Use these guidelines to decide when it pays to splurge:

  • Centrally located: A hotel located walking distance from main attractions can save you significant money on cab fares. Unless the country you’re visiting offers low-cost public transport, save a few dollars by staying in a central location.
  • All-Inclusive Hotels: All-inclusives sometimes take away from the spontaneity and cultural aspects of a vacation. But, if you’re travelling with your significant other or simply prefer more private accommodation, all-inclusive resorts offer great options for bulk savings.

Playing It Safe vs. Bucket List

Safety First
When it comes to travelling, safety and preparation can make or break your trip. Take these necessary precautions to save money and have peace of mind:

  • Make an appointment with your doctor and ensure you have all of the proper vaccinations necessary for international travel.
  • If your insurance plans don’t fully cover you overseas, purchase a separate travel insurance policy. There are plans to cover you for emergency medical services, damage or theft of a rental car and lost or stolen luggage, personal effects and important travel documents.
  • Bring copies of your passport. If your passport gets stolen or lost, you want to be sure that you can still get back into the country or be able to prove your citizenship.

Make Memories
Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to start crossing off items from your global bucket list. Not sure where to go? These sites have some ideas to get you started:

Living Up Your Gap Year

Not sure university is the next step for you? Taking 12 months off between school and university has become almost a rite of passage. Make your journey count with a little inspiration:

  • Plan your trip: The travel experts at First Abroad are dedicated to helping you find the perfect gap experience. From work travel opportunities to group specials, this site is a great planning resource.
  • First-hand perspective: Follow Nomadic Matt for a complete guide to travelling on the cheap.
  • Get inspired: You’re ready to go—just not sure where? Find your inspiration with this Rough Guide.

Gap year or not, an epic travel experience creates memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re going for a full year or a few weeks, proper planning is essential to making the most of every penny. As a rule, safety should always come first. Secure a proper tarvel insurance, vaccinations and identification, then pack your bags (lightly of course), gather your friends, and embark on your adventure.

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