How to Travel on a Student Budget

travel

When you’re at college you usually have quite a bit to pay for. Socialising with friends is one of the biggest expenses when you’re studying, but one of the best ways to bond with your college mates is to get together and go on holiday.

The only thing standing between you and the beach is the cost. Flights are one of the most expensive elements of going abroad, but leaving the Emerald Isle doesn’t have to break the bank with our useful tips.

Be Flexible with Your Dates

You’re probably best not flying out when you’re supposed to be sat in an exam, but being flexible with your dates will help you find the cheaper flights. Flight prices fluctuate so frequently that as long as you keep your calendar open and monitor the changes in price, you’ll be able to find yourself a bargain.

Luckily for you, being a student has its benefits. With a long summer break and plenty of time off around the holidays, you can pretty much fly whenever the cheapest prices dictate. Keep in mind that flying through the working week is cheaper than flying on the weekend, because this is when all those nine-to-fivers are in work.

Be Open to Different Locations

If you’re set on flying to Zante in the summertime, then you’d be best off focusing on the flight prices and wait for them to drop. If you can keep an open mind to different locations, and if you don’t mind experiencing new cultures regardless of how random they may be, then you’re guaranteed to find a bargain sooner or later. Different locations are cheaper to fly to at different times, so choosing an obscure destination will almost definitely save you some money on travel.

The best part of this is that you are genuinely exploring a new destination. If you go to the likes of Benidorm, you’ll know what to expect, but the more obscure locations offer a genuine sense of adventure that you won’t find in the tourist traps.

If you’re flying long-distance, it might be worth using a more obscure location as a stopover. Spending a couple of days there will mean you get to explore two places in one trip.

Be Clever About the Costs

When you see a Ryanair flight for €20, you might be inclined to buy it instantly, but keep in mind that budget airlines typically have hidden costs. You will be charged for hold baggage, seat selection, and anything that you might buy on board. So before you enter your card details, work out what the genuine total will be – it might be worth choosing a more expensive airline that already includes the extras.

Be Careful of the Cookies

Airlines are sneaky with their pricing strategies, and in this digital age that we live in, our browsing history can be used against us. Websites collect little pieces of data about us called cookies, which they use to figure out how they can make us buy more.

When it comes to booking a flight, airlines will take a look at this data and see if you’ve visited the page before. This way, they know if you’re interested in booking the flight, and can automatically up the price. This will generally cause the user to panic-buy, thinking that the flight is only going to get more expensive, when in reality it probably isn’t.

The best way to avoid these added costs is to put your browser in incognito mode (if you use Google Chrome, you’ll see a little hat and glasses icon in the corner). This hides all of that data from the site, meaning they can’t make the assumption that you’ll book the flight if they up the price.

Find a Good Package Deal

Travel agents strike up deals with airlines and hotels to put together package deals, which typically cost more than doing it yourself – this is for the convenience of having a pre-arranged holiday. The problem for the travel agent is that those holidays have to be sold to meet the agreement, so when it gets closer to the time and there are still not enough bums on seats, the prices will drop to encourage buyers.

This is great if you’re a student with a super-flexible schedule, because you’re in prime position to grab yourself a pre-arranged holiday bargain. Websites like Holiday Pirates are always looking to shift packages from particular locations on particular dates, so keeping your options open can land your next getaway for next to nothing.

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Student life doesn’t have to be a financial drain; with our tips and tricks you’ll be able to make the most of your time at college. Read our blog for more.