Surviving Europe on a Student Budget
We believe some of the best things in life are free (or very cheap) when it comes to travel and experiencing a new destination. If you know where to look, what to book and a few budgeting tricks, being prepared with some key tips can afford you the chance to find free things to do, and soak up local culture at extremely affordable prices.
Travelling for students represents a conflict between desire and financial capabilities. On the one hand, students generally have a lot of free time between semesters; on the other hand, travel can be expensive. European travel can be a particularly expensive prospect, all be it a very desirable one.
For budget conscious students, there are a number of different strategies that can be used to reduce the cost of travel to Europe. Simple steps that any student can take can really add up over the course of a European trip. By employing these strategies, even the most cash-strapped student can enjoy everything that Europe has to offer.
Getting to Europe is typically the greatest travel expense. Flights leaving for Europe from the United States can cost many thousands of dollars. The best way to avoid exorbitant travel fees is to plan to travel at the times when ticket prices are at their lowest..
Certain times of the year see a significant reduction in the number of people travelling to Europe. In order to drum up business during these low volume periods, many airlines offer special off-peak ticket pricing. From November until March, student travellers can reduce their ticket prices by as much as 50%. Students willing to travel on a moment’s notice can reduce their travel costs even further by purchasing standby tickets.
Lodging is the second most expensive cost students will face but cheap rooms can be found in youth hostels. These places generally offer few frills, but they do have the advantage of costing a fraction of the price of a hotel room. Considering the fact that student travellers do not generally spend much time in their rooms, these places can be a perfect temporary base of operations from which to explore European life.
A great start to the planning process is visiting hihostels.com where you can select from over 1,200 hostels across Europe. In addition, one could save even more by purchasing HI membership which allows the travellers to enjoy at least a 10% saving on accommodation compared to non-members. Further local and regional discounts apply to this membership, therefore you may end up saving during various activities.
Travelling between European countries can quickly get expensive. Fortunately, Europe has one of the best rail transportation systems in the world. For a small price, student travellers can purchase a rail pass that allows them to travel between countries at a discounted rate. Depending on the age of the traveller, discount youth passes can be purchased with even greater savings.
Haste is the enemy of the budget conscious traveller. Spending impulsively breaks budgets and reduces finances like nothing else. On the other hand, student travellers who do a little investigating can save substantial amounts of money. Everything from theatre tickets to food and clothing can be purchased at a discounted rate if travellers are willing to seek out these bargains.