96 Travel Tips for a Student Budget

For most students travelling abroad can get expensive. Here is a list of tips by Kyle Owens who has traveled extensively as a student. Hopefully these frugal tips will help you to budget for your trip.

  1. Plan ahead!
  2. Budget your money in advance; don't try to do it on the go.
  3. Create your own version of a first aid kit.
  4. Wrap duct tape around a pen in your backpack - you'll be able to write and fix almost anything!
  5. Small pocket knives are handier than you think.
  6. Train passes in Europe are cheaper than flights!
  7. Beers cost less at fast food joints.
  8. Earplugs can be the cheapest/best tool in your bag in a noisy city.
  9. Expensive suitcases are unnecessary; just grab a backpack.
  10. There is nothing more satisfying than a packed lunch on top of a mountain. The climb will probably be free too!
  11. Touring a city = burning a whole lot of calories.
  12. Don't carry much cash on you; you'll be in bad shape if you get mugged.
  13. Check local tipping laws before handing extra money to your bartender or server.
  14. Feeling brave and ultra-cheap? Hit up local outdoor markets.
  15. WWOOFing allows you to earn your keep by working on a farm. A unique way to explore the world!
  16. Why not give bartending a chance!? Make some extra cash while traveling and often times the bar will feed you during your shift.
  17. Sign up for rewards credit cards useable worldwide and immediately begin reaping the benefits!
  18. Fruit stands and fruit shakes. Healthy, filling, and typically inexpensive.
  19. Hotels can be expensive; you'll be amazed at how much you can learn and save with a home stay.
  20. If wanting to see a new city while travelling, sometimes staying on the outskirts might be more cost-effective.
  21. Nothing turns a destination into a home like exploring on your budget-friendly feet.
  22. Buy good sneakers upfront that will last you. Better to fork out money once than replacing a pair somewhere down the road.
  23. For longer treks, bus tickets, instead of taxis, can save you big bucks.
  24. Buy food in bulk and cook your own food when possible.
  25. Don't waste anything on your plate, you'll regret it.
  26. If you have an iPhone, use your Facetime to talk instead of paying for minutes abroad; these costs vary, but all countries are expensive.
  27. Talk to local people, they might have cool ideas for smaller, inexpensive restaurants.
  28. Try to find local work if you are abroad for an extended period of time to help immerse yourself in the culture and earn some extra money.
  29. Some museums offer free tours - just ask!
  30. Don't leave home without your student card as many establishments will give students discounts.
  31. Couchsurfing is a great way to travel and meet people. If you haven't couchsurfed yet, get on it!
  32. If you're friendly and chatty, you'll be amazed at what you'll learn about the new culture.
  33. A little goes a long way with bartering but be prepared 'to walk' if you want a great deal.
  34. Being organized will save you money!
  35. Swimming in the ocean is a cheap and relaxing way to spend your day.
  36. On that note: reading on the beach is free.
  37. All inclusive prices for weekend escapes are often worthwhile.
  38. Pack sunscreen and put it on even when it's cloudy. Prices for sunscreen are highest near tourist-filled beaches.
  39. Dropbox is a free and easy way to share photos while on the go.
  40. Bring a phone that can double as a great camera!
  41. Around Me is a helpful (and free) app to show you where the best places are to go.
  42. Bring your own laptop/tablet because some places charge for your time spent on theirs.
  43. Volunteering while abroad is a productive way to spend your time. It also helps you meet peopleā€¦.and build your resume.
  44. Learn the national or typical drinks as they may be cheaper than others.
  45. Hostelworld is perfect for securing accommodations; planning ahead will often allow you to save money!
  46. Nothing is cooler than touring a National Park. Beat the paid entrance by starting your hike early.
  47. Talk with local people to get a free vocabulary lesson in a new language.
  48. Take advantage of any cooking/kitchen spaces in your accommodations.
  49. Photo collages are a great way to document your trip - check out this free online scrapbook builder.
  50. Be nice to hospitality staff and they'll likely be nice to you too!
  51. Renting a bicycle for a day is much cheaper than joining a tour.
  52. Be flexible.
  53. Expect to be late when travelling so find out alternatives ahead of time.
  54. Use travel search engines like Gogobot to find cheap accommodations for weekend escapes.
  55. Make a list for everything you need at stores and stick to it.
  56. Use exchange rates to your advantage.
  57. Bigger cities will ALWAYS be more expensive. Leave the beaten path in search of a wallet-friendly adventure and a real experience.
  58. Overpacking = baggage fees. Most airlines charge for a small carry-on.
  59. Never underestimate a relaxing walk through a beautiful park.
  60. Student credit cards can be very helpful if you don't have the money for a vacation up front.
  61. Bring your own padlock in case you are given a locker.
  62. Get more bang for your (time) buck: start a blog to keep in touch with multiple friends and family members at once.
  63. Chamois cloths are cheap, compact and much cheaper than buying a towel.
  64. Large group dorm-style rooms are cheaper than private rooms.
  65. Try to fly on "standby" and you can hop on a flight for less!
  66. Free handouts can be given away to those less fortunate if you don't use them yourself.
  67. Booking your exciting trip well in advance could save you hundreds!
  68. The Eurail Pass is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to travel through Europe; they also offer special passes for travel within a limited number of countries that you may choose.
  69. Check with the hostel manager before using hostel Wi-Fi; if it is not free, then seek out free coffeeshop Wi-Fi.
  70. Sometimes countries experiencing economic struggle can be cheaper than others.
  71. Avoid high season travel in order to save money.
  72. Fridays and Sundays are very expensive days to travel.
  73. Try to find package deals for you and your travel buddies - they do exist!
  74. Vegetarian meals are always the cheapest on the menu.
  75. Skype allows you to call home for low, monthly payments and typically has better quality calls than other services.
  76. Flying with reward miles is much cheaper than regular flights; go ahead, use them!
  77. The Trip It travel app is a free tool that helps plan out your entire travel itinerary.
  78. Joining loyalty clubs will save you money in the long run.
  79. News apps are sometimes free (like USA Today). Don't bother buying a local paper.
  80. Be willing to get up suuuuper early for cheaper flights.
  81. Don't buy a language/translation book because you can get by with just a few words here and there.
  82. Convert currencies at a bank, not a teller in the airport.
  83. Souvenirs collect dusk once you're home so do not waste your money. Buy something you might need that is unique of that location.
  84. Bring a reusable water bottle and fill up as often as possible from safe faucets.
  85. Share a meal with a travel buddy.
  86. Take out large sums of money at the ATM at a time to avoid repeated transaction costs. Just keep it safe!
  87. Carpooling can be very convenient and cost-effective for traveling in groups!
  88. Plan out a to-do list. Don't skimp on the "must-see" expensive activities, just counter-balance them.
  89. Take advice from student bloggers; you aren't the first student to travel so why not learn from others' mistakes?
  90. Try new things, the whole point of traveling is to experience the world.
  91. Buy travel insurance. If your trip is interrupted, you'll be glad you bought it.
  92. Seatguru helps you choose the cheapest seat on the plane.
  93. Bring your own food on your flights. Liquids may not be permitted, but foods are!
  94. If you're flying within the European Union, flights delayed more than a few hours can permit you to compensation for your time.
  95. Make your own travel-sized toiletries, don't buy them.
  96. Just do it. Every penny spent today can be earned tomorrow. You will have the experience of a lifetime and that will be priceless!!