Keep reading for 10 helpful tips that all students traveling abroad should know beforehand!
1. Book all your tickets well in advance.
Try to book any tickets well in advance, this allows you time to plan the trip to fit your needs and allows you to pick the most affordable tickets available. However, for domestic flights sometimes you can find incredibly cheap tickets, very last minute. Some options for discounted student flights can be found here!
2. Youth hostels are your friend.
As students youth hostels will allow you to get relatively cheap temporary housing without much prior notice or expensive rates. Most times you can just walk in and find a room to crash in but in more popular cities like Rome, London, Paris, etc. you may have a harder time finding housing once you arrive as they draw more touristy travel and study abroad travelers. Always be sure to research online first. This article is an amazing resource for the best hostels around the world, and this website has discounted hotel rates.
3. Stay with family and friends if possible when traveling.
If you know of any friends who are also living abroad in a different country or know of any relatives who live in another country, no shame in contacting them! Staying with friends or family makes your trip cheaper and they also probably have a good idea of the locations you may want to see during your trip. Along with housing and sightseeing, they may even join you on your adventures. Either way this will offer you security and likely save you some money.
4. Know your embassy information.
You never know when you may need help from your particular embassy so having their information written down is a good idea. With politics and warring regions in certain areas of present-day countries it can make a world of a difference (pun intended) to know this information.
5. Travel with cash, and debit/credit as back up.
The cash can be converted upon arrival and ATMs are everywhere- so taking out more cash once you land is not difficult by any means. Some places are also cash only, so keeping a bit of extra cash on you is not so bad. Also, don’t keep all your cash in one place. You don’t want something like a robbery to ruin your entire trip.
6. Alert your card companies about where you are (and are NOT) traveling to!
Most banks or credit card companies will put in a travel note preventing your accounts from being frozen while you are abroad if you use them in a different country. They will sometimes freeze your card if they see it is being used in a different country than usual because they assume the charges are fraudulent. That being said, let them know that you are planning on ONLY traveling to certain countries and provide them with specific traveling dates so they don’t overlook a possible actual foreign charge while you are away. It happens. *Sigh…*
7. Show your University or College ID.
If you are traveling to European Countries especially make sure you show your university ID because there are various discounted opportunities for students. You can also get and ISIC (Internationally – Recognized Student ID) which has up to 42,000 discounts worldwide. If you are into saving money and spotting out certain student discounts, again, this website is really useful.
8. Pack lightly.
You may think you need your entire wardrobe but don’t forget that you may want to buy some clothing, especially if you are traveling to Asia or Europe. Not to mention all of the goodies you might want to bring back from your travels.
9. Invest in a SIM Card.
Find out before your trip if your mobile carrier has an affordable package for traveling abroad. If you plan on buying a SIM card then be sure to check that your phone is unlocked, or that you are able to take out your SIM and use another. If you have family or close friends who live where you are traveling, then sometimes joining their plan during the length of your stay is most affordable.
10. Keep a sharp, open mind.
Last but not least, keep an open mind. You are bound to see, hear, and generally experience things that you wouldn’t otherwise. Instead of judging whatever is going on, try to be in the moment and enjoy what’s happening. But also stay alert and focused. Be smart and act accordingly so as to stay safe in every situation.