Bienvenidos to another installment from the travelling student. Are all of you as excited as me that we only have 1 month left of university this semester? How incredible is that… I just feel like dancing!
Ok, fine, I won’t dance…
Now is probably the time all of you intelligent and adventurous people are gearing up to travel on your summer breaks. When I talk about my life as a travelling student people often get confused and say ‘but students are poor, how could they possibly travel?’ Travelling doesn’t have to be as expensive as everyone thinks. Of course, you can pay the $4000+ premiums to get an all inclusive ‘Euro Trip’, but I don’t really consider that travelling. If you’re keen to do some real travelling on a student budget, then follow me!
Before a trip I break down my expenses into 3 categories to ensure I don’t go burning a hole in my bank account.
Flights are mostly standardised, but if you pick it right, spend time checking the dates and play the waiting game, you may be able to snag a $850 return ticket from BNE to CDG (Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris) like I did. However, this is very much a luck/timing/preparation thing. Also, don’t leave booking your tickets until you have only one week before your departure, as your flight could end up being double the standard price (depending on the distance you are travelling).
This depends a lot on when and where you are travelling to, but as a student you can find great rates for accommodation with youth hostels, couch surfing or even try your luck with a work away, where you do jobs in order to pay for bed and board. (Follow up story of mine in a Castle in South of France to come.)
3. Activities and living expenses (day-to-day)
Once again, if you are visiting a small town in western Ecuador you wont have much need for this, but if you are bopping about London town you will definitely need a larger wallet.
One way I have been able to slice my expenses down is by:
- Using my student card as much as possible (people understand what it’s like) and
- Cooking at home. This is a lot cheaper than going out to restaurants for every meal.
- By offering to wash dishes in a restaurant in exchange for cooking lessons or use of the kitchen, you can learn how to make a special delicacy from each place you visit. I have done this, and I now know how to make Pain au Chocolat, Baguette and marvelous patisserie products.
STA student travel
Finally, there is one service that really helped me on my journey as a student. I recently flew Paris to Brisbane for three quarters of the price on Emirates thanks to STA travel. www.statravel.com.au
Not only do they provide cheaper flights and great customer service, but you can get an ‘International Student Identity Card’ which has served as an ID for me all around the world.
Moreover, on a global scale it offers over 42,000 discounts in 125 countries and 40% off international airfares from their website. Locally, STA offers exclusive deals for their members, along with 20% off 2500 restaurants and cafes within Australia. With your STA discount, you can also get $11 movie tickets, discounts on software and a FREE ISIConnect travel sim card. The list goes on, but I’m sure we all have study to get back to…
I can already picture us sitting on the bouncy chair of an Emirates/Qantas flight to an exciting destination in a month’s time.
Adios for now, and happy studying!
We got this.