As a uni student, or someone who has just graduated from high school, your budget is probably pretty tight. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get a chance to see the world, and immerse yourself into a brand new culture over your summer break. Here are ten tips how to plan a trip overseas on a student budget.
1. Consider travelling to nearby countries
I know most Australians dream of a European summer, but if what you are looking for is to dive head-first into a totally new culture, then look no further than Asia. Not only are flights super cheap from Australia, in many Asian countries you can get a meal for around $2. Plus, the shopping is amazing, with so many market stalls selling all sorts of bright and bold prints. Asian countries are also incredibly diverse. If you want a beach getaway, you could go island hopping in the Philippines. If you are after desert or mountains, why not visit India? With so many diverse landscapes across Asia, your options are endless.
2. Check out budget airlines
When you are on a student budget, the best way to travel is with budget airlines. Check out Scoot, Airasia, and Jetstar, all of which cost far less than the average airline. It also usually works cheaper to check out deals yourself, rather than going to a travel agent.
3. Subscribe to sites which email you the latest travel deals
I use I Know The Pilot which emails me regularly, letting me know about the latest airline sales, as well as accomodation on sale. Kiwi is also great if you want to check out budget flights, basically anywhere.
4. Consider catching busses or trains during your travels, rather than just flying
It is definitely worth checking out all modes of transport when travelling. While time domestic flights can be very cheap, busses and trains are usually the best budget option. Catch a sleeper train to avoid spending extra money on accommodation for the night. Not only will you save money, you will also get an incredible view of the landscape, which you could not ordinarily get from flying.
5. Only take carry on
If you are flying with a budget airline, you will most likely get the chance to opt for carry-on luggage only, which is usually 7kg. While this might seem insane to some people, it is definitely doable if you are going to a hot country, where you will only need to pack light-weight clothes. You can easily wash your clothes when you get there. Pack light, with dresses and loose pants that can easily be rolled into a corner of your backpack. You might want to bring very little on your flight there, as you are going to want to do a lot of shopping overseas.
6. Try out Airbnb or hostels
Airbnb is amazing if you want to stay with locals, who will tell you all the best places to see while you are in the area. They might even cook some traditional food for you! You can opt for your own house/apartment, or choose a private room in a shared house. Not only is it usually pretty cheap, you also get a chance to really explore the culture by living with locals, usually away from the heavily-populated, tourist areas.
Hostels are a cheap and great way to meet other travellers, especially if you are travelling alone. No matter where you go, you will surely meet a few friendly people hanging out on the roof of your hostel. Hostel World is great for browsing different hostels, with budget or nicer options.
7. Make a clear budget before you leave, and stick to it!
Budgeting will ensure that you know how much money you have to spend each day. Make sure you factor everything in, for example, if you travel to some countries without drinkable tap water, you will need to add in a few dollars a day for water. If you are wondering how to plan a trip, this is one of the most important travel tips!
8. Book your flights in advance
You might be the sort of traveller who wants to be spontaneous, and book everything once you are already there, but it is so much cheaper to book flights well in advance. If you really do want the experience of a spontaneous trip, use busses for transport across borders, or have a rough idea about when you want to go where, so you can book your major flights in advance.
9. Split transport costs with friends
If you are travelling alone, try to make a group of friends at your hostel to sight-see with. That way, you can all split the cost of taxis, in order to save money for little things like food, shopping, and entry fees. This is a great tip on how to plan a trip on a budget.
10. Know what sort of trip you want to go on
You can either go for a week or two, stay in nice hostels, catch flights and eat at nice restaurants. Or, alternately, you could stay for a month in hostels, travelling in sleeper trains and eating street food or cooking in your hostel kitchen. The choice is yours, but make sure that you budget accordingly, and do your research about prices. These tips on how to plan a trip are lifesavers.