Travelling on a Study Abroad Budget

Written by  January 20, 2014

How to see the most for the least.

Regardless of whether your wanderlust or your insatiable curiosity about other cultures led you across the ocean, living in another country is the perfect opportunity to travel. From neighbouring cities to distant countries, your options are only as limited as much as your imagination—and wallet. Travelling far on a student budget is an art, so it’s important to make every penny count when planning your next adventure.

Transportation

Transportation is usually the most expensive part of travelling no matter your final destination. Carpooling and buses are the cheapest options but are the slowest. If you enjoy taking in beautiful scenery, normal train tickets are another good idea with special student deals and multiple destination tickets from RailEurope. High-speed trains are more expensive but arrive hours earlier.

Low-cost airlines are another alternative with companies like Ryanair or EasyJet offering cheap tickets, especially if you aren’t picky about the destination. Before booking with low-cost companies, remember to look for hidden costs including transport to and from the airport. In the end, it may be cheaper to fly with a bigger company especially to more popular destinations. 

Accommodation

Staying with someone is the most student-friendly, with the added benefit of visiting a friend and seeing the city from a local perspective. If you don’t have contacts in the area, couch surfing is a great alternative to meet people and stay for free. Other options include camping, Airbnb, and hostels. Depending on the city, hotels can even be within budget if they include breakfast.

Eating

Finding a cheap and healthy place to eat is challenging in a new place, especially if you are staying the tourist areas. It’s easy to pay too much for low-quality grub. Grocery stores are always the most cost-effective solution, as well as student cafeterias and street food. If you are paying for accommodation, try to find a place with breakfast included. Then, be prepared to eat as much as possible.

Entertainment

The easiest way to save money while travelling is to look for free activities such as free walking tours, festivals, parks, churches or museums. While most places have student discounts, some deals are country specific. In France, residents of the EU, including international students who are under 25, get in to most monuments for free. In Britain, most of the museums are free, while Westminster Abbey can be quite expensive. There are also city cards, which include unlimited access to famous sights, activities and sometimes even city transport in the price. 

No matter where your journeys take you, remember to have fun!

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Kait Bolongaro

Originally from Vancouver, Kait Bolongaro is a Paris-based journalist and photographer. She is moving to Hamburg, Germany for one year to finish her MA in Journalism and Political Science.

Website: kaitbolongaro.com/

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