5 Tips to Save Money Travelling Abroad

One of the best parts of studying abroad in college is the opportunity to travel whilst you’re there, whether it be city-hopping across Europe or adventuring in South America. But as poor college students, it can be hard to do and see everything you want given the high price of travel. Now that we're almost half way through the spring semester, many students are beginning to make their summer plans. That’s why Her Campus has put together a handy list of tips that are guaranteed to help you save money on your travels, so you can go farther and do more!

1. Pick Your Timing Well

We all know that travel is most expensive during the holidays, particularly summer and Christmas. If you’re studying abroad chance are you’ll have a bit more free time than the average person, most universities have reading weeks, breaks or long weekends and taking advantage of these can be very advantageous as companies lower prices during these quieter periods. You’ll have the time free anyway so you might as well make the most of it! I can’t help but add that though it is very important to actually study on your year abroad, the experience of skipping a few classes to take a trip to Dublin will probably be more worthwhile and memorable in the long run. The same logic applies to regions typically associated with a specific season; many coastal locations for example are far cheaper in late autumn and winter than they are in summer.

 

2. Choose Your Destination Wisely

So maybe it’s always been your dream to visit Paris or London and by all means go for it (and can still definitely be done on a budget), but there are some places that are just far cheaper to have a fun time in that can be just as exciting to visit. In Europe for example travelling a little further east can be immensely rewarding, as you can get far better service and accommodation for your money in cities such as Prague. In South America. Bolivia and Colombia are good examples, and South-East Asian countries such as Cambodia and Nepal are all destinations where your money will stretch a lot further.

3. Book Early... and Late

A general rule of thumb is book early for flights (as late bookers tend to be business people with cash to spare) and late for hotels (who want to fill up those rooms). This does not always hold true as there are often last minute flight sales or early accommodation ones, but it is a fairly easy rule to go by. With flights it’s always good to check how full the flight is (by going through the booking process) as a good way to tell if the price will go up or down, a fuller flight is less likely to drop in price.

 

4. Go Off the Beaten Path

This is the tip I most highly recommend! Of course it’s great to see the major ‘bucket list’ monuments, cities and sights but by doing something a bit different you’ll have a completely unique experience and  save yourself a lot of money. One of the best and simplest ways to do this is to ask locals for their suggestions, asking about a good place to eat is always a great start and taxi drivers always give excellent recommendations. I’ve found that the place recommended in all the guidebooks is often over-priced over-crowded and often disappointing; instead a native will be able to tell you where to get authentic local food and it’s a great way to meet people too. The same of course goes for places to stay, locations to visit and things to do.

5. Do Your Research

This last one is fairly obvious but it is oh-so important. The Internet has made travelling so much easier, and when it comes to keeping things cheap it is invaluable. Websites such as skyscanner.net and Bing Travel let you put in destinations and dates (which you can make flexible for bigger savings) to compare the top flight providers to find the best price of your plane trip. You can also set up alerts which will send you an email if the price of that trip goes up or down. Similar sites exist for accommodation but you can also use pages such as couchsurfing.org to find people who’ll put you up for next to nothing or even for free.  

Hopefully by using some of these tips you can travel farther and see more on your next trip. Bon voyage!