I traveled a lot in my early twenties. It was one of the few decisions I look back upon with pride. The savings students receive is really incredible, and not just for airfare: you can see shows on Broadway, operas in Sydney, and fly around the world for half what everyone else is paying.
That isn’t a typo.
Let’s face it: students tend to be as flush with dreams and broke with funds. Here’s how you can enjoy some really great student discounts:
Get and ISIC card. If you are planning a semester/year/lifetime abroad, do yourself a favor and get one of these before you do anything else. This card is your gateway to student discounts around the world, and only costs $35 (which will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars). You can learn more about an ISIC card at their website.
Work with student specialists. There are travel agencies that deal almost exclusively with student travelers. They will understand the pitfalls other travelers have run into, and have the most up to date information. Here are four great resources to check out:
- STA Travel
Note that is not a travel agent’s responsibility to advise you of visa requirements (though the good ones do). Do your homework before departing.
Attempt off season travel where possible. Most students travel when their not in school, which just so happens to be the most expensive times to fly (funny how that happens). In order to cut the costs, try to book flights a week or two earlier/later, which may land you in the a lower season. Red eyes also tend to be cheaper. Visit farecast.com to determine the best time to buy your tickets.
Flexibility is key. Spring Break is a brutal time for travel. Turn the table on the airlines by selecting locations that aren’t classic college destinations (think Canada instead of Cancun, Puerto Rico instead of Hawaii, etc.)
Work for travel. Get an internship with one of the companies mentioned above. They often provide bargain basement discounts for travel, and are very open to letting you take off for awhile (after all, they want their employees to have travel experience in order to help sell travel!).
Now that you’re fully schooled on how to score student discounts, go out and make it happen! An extra semester or two at university can save you a ton on travel!
Adam Costa began his travel adventures at the age of 19 with a round the world trip across thirteen countries. He has worked as a North American tour guide, running tours in Canada, Mexico and all over the United States, from San Francisco to Boston to Key West, Florida. Currently, he works as a travel agent, and continues to dream of hitting the road.