Source: [Unsplash]

A Trip on a Shoestring: Travel Hacks for a Student Budget

T ravelling is more than likely on many of our bucket lists. However, as a student, juggling rent, the cost of snacks from Rootes, and the extortionately priced bus pass does not always make this possible. This doesn’t mean that traversing the globe has to be off the cards for 2024 though. As I’m sure many of us are hoping to travel more this year, sometimes we just need a few top tips for when Student Finance doesn’t quite cut it.


1. There’s more to the world than Paris:

So, you’ve decided you want to travel? but the first obstacle is deciding where to go. When travelling on a budget don’t always go for the most well-known and touristy areas. Not only will you be avoiding tourist traps and overpriced ‘local delicacies’, but a less tourist-focused area means a more authentic experience, cheaper prices, and a chance to live like the locals.


2. See the world in the off season:

This is perhaps a more obvious tip, but if you’re travelling on a budget then off season is your new best friend. You’ll avoid the overcrowded streets, the long queues, and the holiday season prices. It seems that reading week has more than one use!


Source: [James Watson]


3. Skip the planning and the costs:

Planning a trip on a budget is not easy. You have to consider the flights, the accommodation, how you’ll spend your time, where you’ll eat… the list goes on and on. Apps like Lucky Trip are perfect for this. You can set your preferences and it will find you a destination, flights, and activities all for an extremely reasonable price. In my first year at university, my friend and I booked an impulse trip using the app and found ourselves in the most wonderful town, in the East of Spain, a few days later.


4. Yes, 10 pairs of socks is enough for a weekend trip:

Your trip is booked. Your accommodation is sorted. All that remains is the dreaded packing. This is the thing I hate most about travelling. If you’re flying abroad for a short trip, then don’t break the bank for a large suitcase. A cabin bag will, more times than not, be enough space. Also, if you’re travelling with friends, then who doesn’t love to share outfits! Rolling clothes rather than folding is a great way to save on space too. Packing lightly is something that I’ve learned to do after I took a full-sized suitcase on a weekend trip… twice.



5. An inexpensive itinerary:

You’ve planned your holiday and made it to your destination. Now you may find yourself asking ‘what is there to do?’. A lot of places will have a vast variety of free activities available. This can vary from museums and galleries to viewpoints up in the clouds and ancient ruins. Make sure you do your research before arriving, so you don’t miss out. It will make it much easier to find these hidden gems without having to pay a fortune. TikTok, and my (controversial) personal preference, Instagram reels are great means to find inspiration for an inexpensive itinerary.


6. The perks of being a Warwick student:

Whilst some activities may be free, others will have a fee. Fear not though, as our student cards were made expressly for this purpose! You can often get discounts or even go to places for free if you show your student ID. So, make sure to add your Warwick Student Card to your list of things to pack. Who knew that the greatest thing about being a Warwick student would be the student ID?


7. Travel in style (somewhat):

When choosing a destination, it’s good to consider the distance of places like the airport, accommodation, and town centre. This way you won’t have to spend masses on transport (which can often be the priciest part of a holiday) and can make sure your time is spent exploring, not commuting. However, if you will be needing to use transport then look out for travel deals like 24-hour/ 72-hour travel cards. This can work out cheaper and make sure that you don’t miss a thing.


ThePixelman / Pixabay


8. Glass or Pitcher:

Finally, for those that like to enjoy a cold drink whilst away, this tip is for you! Buying drinks at a restaurant or bar can be expensive, so why not buy a bottle of the local speciality and enjoy it with a nice view and some friends. One of my favourite moments from my trip to Barcelona was splitting a bottle of sangria outside of the hostel with friends. However, when in doubt, a pitcher is always better than a glass!


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