Traveling as a student seems impossible— I mean how could you ever afford the luxury of travel while you are sitting in a dingy dorm room eating Ramen? (Not gonna lie, I really enjoy Ramen). This past summer, I backpacked around Europe for an entire month on a budget. I found traveling on a budget not only feasible, but extremely easy as a student. There are so many unknown and hidden discounts out there students do not know about. Until now. I took advantage of my travel-saving privileges while traveling and wanna help you struggling college students out by sharing my secrets. Here are my tips and tricks on how to score travel discounts as a student.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT IDENTITY CARD (ISIC)
This bad boy is a universal recognized student identification card. I have purchased this handy dandy little discount card twice already as a student— and it lasts for AN ENTIRE YEAR. Unfortunately, I find that some countries are particular with student cards. Some places may reject your student I.D if you are not from the country you are visiting. I found this especially true in Ireland, a lot of restaurants and museums only accepted Irish student cards. HOWEVER, this card recognizes you as an international student. And I personally found that it is sometimes a bit easier to persuade places to give you that well deserved discount with this card. Not to mention, you can download their app and check out all of the already available discounts for the city you are visiting. MOST importantly, it covers some basic medical expenses in case of an emergency (you are welcome parents, you may breathe). I highly recommend purchasing this affordable card, they even have an app so you can forage through the discounts. Click here to get $5 off your ISIC card!
START THE ADVENTURE
STA or Start the Adventure helps students find bomb discounts on flights all while having the benefits of going through an agency. I bought a $400 ticket to Barcelona, Spain from Houston, Texas. Check out the flight discounts here.
Looking for budget accommodations is also a little tricky. But, You can also book student-discounted accommodations through STA. This makes the process a little more simple. Click here for booking accommodation.
I even bought my ISIC card through STA. I received my travel insurance by booking through STA, giving me a peace of mind if anything went wrong that I would be covered such as lost luggage or delayed flights. Click here for insurance plans.
So you have probably heard of SkyScanner. Well, Student Universe is a sky scanner targeted to students, so if any airlines are giving special discounts to students you can purchase it through them. All you have to do is provide proof of enrollment and VIOLA! I am constantly finding really cheap and good deals, especially useful if you have a flexible schedule. Check out some amaaazing flight deals that will blow your mind!
This one is a little tricky, CISI is a cultural exchange health insurance that is DIRT CHEAP for students. HOWEVER, you have to have a sponsor for this insurance. I got lucky because my backpacking trip is right before my internship, therefore I was able to extend my health insurance out to cover my entire trip. This was A HUGE RELIEF, because as we know, unexpected events do happen and having the peace of mind that you’re covered is a blessing. Especially if you are traveling alone. Thankfully, I have never had to use it. But I would rather be safe than sorry. Click here to see if you qualify for CISI insurance.
Simply stated: just ask. No matter if I am home or abroad, I always ask at the checkout counter If they have a student discount. I have been pleasantly surprised about how many stores and resturaunts actually offer discounts. You never know until you ask.
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Watch my video on how to travel Europe cheap!