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The best way for students to travel on a budget

Students can still travel without overspending by keeping these tips in mind. Source: Shutterstock

Is your Instagram feed filled with travel photographers or bloggers who stir up some serious wanderlust?

Money can be a stumbling block for many – especially students – when planning a getaway, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego your travel goals.

It takes hard work and determination, but travelling doesn’t have to cost a bomb if you keep these tips in mind:

Plan ahead

Do plenty of research and travel off-season to save money. Source: Shutterstock

You’ll need to allocate enough time to research and plan how much money you will need to make your dream holiday a reality. Remember this all on the country you’re based in and its current exchange rate.

This will sound like a no-brainer, but planning will give you sufficient time to ensure you have enough money to travel comfortably while looking up off-peak seasons to visit your preferred destination will also help you save some serious moolah.

When it comes to travelling, you don’t want to wing it and travel on a whim – you may end up paying exorbitant fees for travelling during peak seasons, or pay through your nose for flights and accommodation due to a lack of research on cheaper options.  

Act like a local

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This means eating where they eat and shopping where they shop!

Check out blogs or Instagram for ideas of places to eat, including popular street food vendors or shopping locations the locals love.  

This allows you to soak up the sights, sounds and smells the locals are accustomed to, helping you avoid touristy traps.

Use cashback apps

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Look up reward or cashback apps when planning your travels.

For example, ShopBack gives you back a certain percentage when you book flights or accommodation through their website or app. There are also apps such as Groupon which allow you to purchase activities, travel, goods and services at a discounted price.

Pack smart

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If you’re flying, you may want to pack light to avoid checking your bag in and paying excess baggage fees at the airport.

You can do this by wearing your heaviest clothes and shoes on the plane, or by packing fewer clothes and bringing some detergent in a ziplock bag so you can wash your clothes (either by hand or machine) while travelling.

Bring clothes that can be easily mixed and matched – you don’t need a different outfit for each day – and pack travel-sized toiletries or share them with your friends if you’re travelling in a group.

Buy travel insurance

Buying travel insurance may be the last thing on your mind when planning a holiday, but it serves to protect you financially in the event of unforeseen incidents.

Depending on your policy, you may find that you can receive compensation when there is a delay to your flight, if your airline has lost your luggage, if you have a medical emergency while abroad or even if you have to rush home due to the death of a loved one.

Travel insurance is one of those things you buy with the hopes of never using.  

Focus on experiences over materialistic things

Focus on new experiences over shopping. Source: Shutterstock

Part of the fun of travelling is buying cool souvenirs you don’t necessarily need.

But if you can exercise some willpower, you may want to focus your time on soaking up new experiences over materialistic things. You’ll not only save yourself some money, but also space in your suitcase.

If you want to bring home souvenirs, avoid buying gifts for everyone – make a list of gifts for important people only. Your wallet will thank you for it.

Use free WiFi instead of buying a SIM card

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Whether it’s about keeping your loved ones at home updated or logging into social media to tag all the cool places you’ve been to while abroad, the internet serves as an important tool in daily life.

But depending on the country you’re visiting, tourist SIM cards can be pricey, so check with your accommodation provider about the availability of free WiFi, or look up places that offer free internet service before your departure so you can stop by from time to time.    

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