Travel Europe on a student budget

Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you have to stay at home during the holidays. Traveling Europe is often on many a student’s bucket list and a great destination for your first overseas trip. If you're dreaming of travelling to far-off places, here’s how you can travel on a student budget.

21 Jun 2016

It’s been said that the world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page, but it’s also been said that to travel Europe you need to be a total baller making it rain with cash – or maybe not. What if we told you it’s possible to take a holiday and make five-star memories, without having to shell out five-star prices?

Here are six ways to travel Europe (and beyond) on a student budget.

1. Pack your student card

Eiffel tower
Dreaming of Paris?

From entry to museums and art galleries, day trips, surfboard hire, and even larger expenses such as plane fares, Eurorail tickets, and travel insurance; student discounts abound when you travel Europe. Some planning may be required so check online, call ahead, or ask when you book if you can get a student discount – and don’t forget to take your student card with you.

 

2. Accommodation on a budget

Sharing is caring – and a great way to save money on accommodation. Let’s face it, if you’re out exploring a new city or at the beach all day that fancy (read expensive) hotel room is wasted anyway. For a fraction of the cost of a hotel, hostels offer a bed in a dorm room with a locker to store your valuables and fun and free activities designed so you can make new friends while exploring the sights. Most hostels offer private rooms for a little extra too. Loads of young people and students stay in hostels so they are perfect places to stay if your friends decided to be boring and stay home and you’re holidaying solo.

young woman in florence
Getting away on a budget is easier than you think

Forget Airbnb, to score accommodation for free, communities like couchsurfing.com can connect you with people who will let you stay on their couch at no cost. As an added bonus, you’ll likely be away from the main tourist drag and by staying with a local, you’ll get the low-down on the best places to eat and things to do that everyone else doesn’t know about yet. Best local markets in Paris anyone?

Or, if you don’t mind caring for someone’s four legged fur baby while on holiday, a house sitting gig might be just the ticket.

 

Market food in Camden, UK
Camden Market stall, London, UK

3. Eating on a budget

Skip the fancy restaurants and eat where the locals eat, the internet is overflowing with travel bloggers who have been there, done that, and can provide recommendations on the best food carts, street food (that you won’t regret eating later) and advice on how to eat cheap while travelling – wherever you are in the world.

 

4. Getting around on a budget

Planes, trains, automobiles and buses – in Europe you’re spoilt for choice and with so many budget operators, the odds of scoring a bargain while you travel Europe are in your favour. Plus with so many countries in close proximity it’s possible to leave one country at breakfast and be in your next one just after lunch. To get the best deals, it’s best to book in advance, even if it’s only a week or a few days out, and remember point 1, pack your student card and ask for a student discount.

 

5. Get back to nature

view of the European Alps in summer
Champagne views on a beer budget

Gather If the city is not your style, camping might be just for you. Campgrounds are dotted across Europe both close to the city limits and off the beaten track. You can even rent a tent and a spot to pitch at a basic campsite for as little as 10 Euro a night. Many European campsites are well equipped and have facilities such as restaurants or cabins if you want to have a little splurge and try glamping for a night.  In addition, it’s possible to swap the car for a bicycle and cycle your way across Europe (Holland is small and flat enough to be cycled in a day) – allowing you to enjoy the champagne views on a beer budget.

 

6. Work your way around the world

If you’re aching to take an overseas trip but your bank balance isn’t coming to the party, it’s possible to earn money instead of spend it while seeing the world and ticking off all those experiences on your bucket list.

This one requires some study first but with an internationally-recognised Certificate or Diploma qualification in Travel and Tourism you could travel Europe or further afield while starting a career managing five star hotels and living the high life in Paris, Prague or Barcelona, soaking up the sun while working on a yacht in Greece or Croatia, sharing your favourite places and creating life-changing experiences for others as a tour guide, or working in a ski-resort

Sounds like fun? Find out how you can turn your itchy feet in the direction of a global career.

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