SAMU’s Ultimate Student Travel Guide

by on May 21st, 2019

Saving money to travel the world can be difficult for students, but it isn’t impossible. If you’re dreaming of far off destinations and wild adventures, try these tips and go see the world.

Lock it down.
Open a savings account dedicated to travel funds and do. Not. Touch. It! Limit or restrict access to your money through online banking. This way, you can only get at the money if you go directly to the bank. This will prevent you from spending it on anything but your vacation.

Curb your spending.
Let’s quickly break this down; an average drink from Starbucks or a local cafe is around $5. Buying one a day adds up to $800 a school year, or $1,300 a year. If you’re drinking Tim’s those numbers are still about $2 a day, $350 a school year and $520 a year. That’s only if you’re limiting yourself to one cup a day while on campus. Just cutting out coffee can fund a large portion of your vacation.

Learn how to cook.
Campus food is expensive and rarely taste as good as the price suggests. Learning to cook isn’t just a great way to impress your friends and family, it’s also a great way to save money. Try planning your meals out for the week so you know what you have to buy without overspending. Plus, leftovers make the best lunches.

Technology is your friend.
Don’t just hop on Air Canada’s website or Expedia – there are a ton of travel apps popping up all the time which are made to save you money on airfare. Apps and websites like HopperSkyscanner and Skiplagged will help you navigate the world of cheap flights and ensure you get the best price. If you’re not too picky on your destination, check out YEG Deals – a local blog that posts deals to locations all around the world!

Flexibility goes a long way.
Be flexible with your travel plans. If you have a dream destination but can’t afford to go during the peak season, consider going during the shoulder season. You’ll find that prices are reduced drastically, but the destination is still just as amazing (have you ever been to Austria during winter? The skiing is phenomenal!).

Free & cheap accommodation. 
Budget travelling all starts with accommodation, and the best way to save money is to forget about hotels. Hostels, Airbnb and Couchsurfing are the perfect alternatives for young travellers looking to save money and meet new people. These options, which range from affordable to free, give travellers the ability to meet new people, live like a local and stay in some pretty neat places.

Go on a free walking tour.
Free walking tours are the best. You see, free walking tours are tip operated and the guides know that in order to get a good tip, they need to give you a damn good tour. They try harder, have more interesting facts and are, in general, a lot more engaging and fun.

Always trust in, and abide by, the “6 Block Rule”.
The 6 Block Rule is a simple and easy to follow: don’t eat or drink at any establishment within 6 blocks of a major tourist attraction. Prices will drop and the quality will rise the further you get away from the tourist traps. These are the spots locals go to – trust in their expertise.

Be cautions of third-party vendors.
Third-party vendors aren’t here to save you money, chances are that it’s going to cost you less to buy straight from the source. That said, depending on your vendor, they may have a deal with the attraction that does allows them to pass their savings on to you. Be careful though, because you might find yourself paying out the nose in “fees” to make up for the price drop.

Live like a local and take public transport.
Getting around a new city can be daunting and you might be tempted to simply hail a cab to avoid the confusion of a new bus or train system. But public transport is often super easy to figure out, extremely effective to get around the city and will offer you great views of the city. Alternatively, Uber is in many countries around the world and is significantly cheaper than cabbing.

Safe Travels!