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How students can save money on transport

A few changes to your daily routine can go a long way towards saving money. Source: Shutterstock

There are so many expenses, besides tuition fees, that both international and resident college students have to deal with.

Food, toiletries, textbooks, utilities, rent, and transport are just some of the financial aspects they need to be mindful of.

Even with a scholarship, many students still need to fund their own living expenses. This includes travel and transport, which can be quite costly in certain cities.

Here are some tips to cut down on your transport expenses, so you can save yourself and/or your parents some money.

Carpool

Split the cost of transport with your friends. Source: Shutterstock

One good way to save money as a college student is to carpool or share the cost of rides with your friends.

This applies not only for trips to campus, but also for shopping and airport trips, groceries, errands, nights out, and other trips that you’ll need to take.

Plan in advance with your buddies for outings so you can either rent a car and share the cost, carpool with a friend and split the gas money, or split the taxi fare.

Live near campus

It may be tempting to live off campus with your friends, but sometimes, it’s just more convenient to stay on campus.

This is especially true if your campus is large and off-campus accommodation isn’t available nearby, making it difficult to get to class.

Consider living in the dorms so you don’t have to worry about transport expenses, and can use university transport or walk to class.

If you do have to live off campus, choose a place that doesn’t require you to pay a pretty penny in bus or taxi fare.

Get a bicycle or walk

In Europe, plenty of students use bicycles as their main mode of transportation. Source: Shutterstock

In bike-friendly cities like Amsterdam, students find that getting a bike helps them reduce their transport expenses, which can be high.

Consider getting a second-hand bike in good condition that you can use during your time as a student. You’ll also get fitter and it’s great for the environment!

If walking to class or to the supermarket is safe and feasible, try to do that more as it’s also good for your health, and you get to save money.

Don’t fly

Generally, travelling by bus or train is cheaper than flying in most countries. If you’re headed for a holiday or trip to a city that’s not too far, consider taking a bus or train.

Yes, it may take longer, but you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful scenery on your way to your destination, and save some money so you can splurge on other aspects of your trip.

Plus, you don’t need to worry about baggage fees, taxi fare to the airport, and long lines at the security counters!

Do your research

If you’re still in the applying process, check out the transport options for the university you’re applying for.

If it’s an expensive city and you’re going to be paying a lot more than you planned for transport, you may want to reconsider your choice.

If you’re already studying abroad, always do research and plan ahead if heading somewhere that’s not on your normal route, even if it’s just downtown.

Look up bus routes, fares, and schedules, and compare the costs of ride-hailing apps like Uber with taxi fares. A little bit of research can save you quite a bit of cash!

Take advantage of student discounts

Find out what discounts for public transport are available to you as a student. Source: Shutterstock

Many cities have student discounts for public transport. Find out if yours have them, and make sure you use them so you can get cheaper fare for buses, trains, and other eligible modes of transportation.

Student cards like the International Student Identity Card offer discounts on transport, so find out if the country you’re studying in accepts it.

In the US, Amtrak offers student discounts for their train fares, as well as both Eurail and Rail Europe for travelling in Europe. 

If you frequently travel by train or bus, ask for seasonal or long-term passes. Most cities will give you discounts if you pay in advance or buy a special pass.

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