Cheap Travel: Best Ideas for Students on a Tight Budget

There is a common idea that traveling is also for those who have lots of money and that you should wait till you get rich and only then embark on sone journey. However, if you really want to see the world, you will find the way and prioritize your desire. And we are not talking about denying yourself some basic expenses or starving to afford the trip to Paris, for instance. There are options to spend little during your future trips and we will share cheap travel tips with you.

cheap travel

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Think of your priorities – things that are important for you despite the price

As a student who lives independently, you are probably already learning how to live on a budget and how to prioritize expenses. For example, you prefer quality over quantity, so you buy clothes made from natural materials, but only a couple of items per year. Similarly to this, decide for yourself if it is really important for you to live alone while you are traveling or you can stay in a hostel as you anyway are going to spend the whole day outside walking, visiting museums, and eating out, and you simply need a space to spend the night. Maybe you need to have a kitchen in your apartment as you follow sime diet and prefer meals cooked by yourself (which is cheaper). So when it comes to traveling, think of the things which you can compromise and which you cannot. 

Look for the cheapest tickets

Traveling by plane is generally a similar experience no matter what airline you use unless it is a first-class category (which is not our case). 

Be sure to check cheap ticket options on ticket aggregators like Google Flights, Aviasales, Expedia, etc. These services will show the cheapest tickets and connections according to your budget, dates, and routes. We recommend also searching for low-cost airlines separately as these aggregators may not include some options. Plus, even if you find something good with the help of the aggregator, buy tickets on the official airlines’ websites, thus in case of delays or cancellations, you will have more chances to have your money refunded. 

Save some money by taking only a carry-on bag with you and avoiding luggage fees. Thus, you will travel carrying a light bag and easily go from one city to another. Take only basic clothes with you as you can always hand wash them or use a washing machine in your hostel. Just be sure to take weather-appropriate clothes.

Another advantage of going light is that you won’t buy souvenirs or any other memorable stuff as you simply won’t have any space for them in your bag. 

Save up on cooking home

Most probably in the place, in which you are going to stay during your journey there will be a kitchen and that is a big plus for you. You can cook breakfasts or snacks for the whole day and save a significant amount of money for eating out some specialties. Still, do not exaggerate and do not cook all the time at your place. Try to enjoy your meals, explore the local cuisine by getting some processed food in supermarkets or get lunch at reduced prices in restaurants. As for the drinks – try to find happy hour offers at the local pubs and bars.

Do not travel alone

Despite the simple fact that you have a company to share your experience, you have people to split the expenses. Accommodation will be cheaper if you rent a place for at least 4-5 people. The same applies to food, car rentals, and other activities.

Change money in advance

Using your card to pay in a foreign country could be disadvantageous as you might lose some money on transaction fees. So basically it would be better to bring local currency with you or have a special credit card in the needed currency.

Consider all-inclusive options

One might think that going on all-inclusive trips is for older people and not very student-ish. But this option will let you save money and enjoy one place to the fullest. There won’t be any need to travel from one place to another, change flights, accommodation, buses, etc., so you will really rest and relax. 

Look for cheap accommodation.

Be sure to become a regular visitor of such websites as Booking and Airbnb if you want to spend the minimum on your accommodation abroad. Hostels and guest houses are considered the cheapest options for students. However, sometimes to rent the whole apartment on Airbnb can be way cheaper, especially if you split the costs with your fellow travelers. 

Another option could be to try to find some completely free place on Couchsurfing. If you are lucky enough, your hosts could share tips on where to go and what to see in the city, give you some money-saving suggestions, and generally could talk with you about their life in the country. Thus, you will experience life as a local and have new acquaintances. However, it can take some time to find available lodging, so if you have limited time, renting an apartment or a room would be a better option.

In case you always dreamt to live a month or two in Paris, for instance, while working or studying remotely, consider long-term renting. But, of course, keep in mind that such a “workation” would cost a lot and you would need to prepare for it money-wise.


Getting a last-minute deal could be even cheaper than booking flight tickets or an apartment beforehand. You just need to be flexible with your departure time and destination. Yet, we recommend also checking current COVID-19 regulations before booking anything.

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