Package trips/holidays through travel agents can be really expensive, but don’t let that put you off travelling! It can be so much cheaper to make the arrangements yourself. Although this requires a little bit more effort, there’s really not much to it. However, there are a few things you’ll need to know before jet-setting. Here are some tips for travelling as a student:
Let’s start with flights
If you’re not too fussed about where you want to travel to then European airline, Ryanair’s fayre finder is perfect for making your mind up and they generally have the cheapest fayres in Europe! You simply enter the dates you want to fly between, the airport you wish to travel from and your budget (optional). You’ll be presented with a list of flights and prices in ascending order, with some as cheap as £5!
If you want to go beyond Europe or your desired location isn’t an option with Ryanair then you can use Skyscanner to compare deals, think of Skyscanner like a comparison site for flight fayres. Tip: you can now search for ‘everywhere’ on Skyscanner if you’re not sure on where you want to travel to, just type in your dates and your options will be displayed.
Booking.com is a great place to start when you’re looking for accommodation. Some of the property types that are listed on Booking.com are hotels, apartments and hostels so there are plenty of options for all sorts of budgets. It allows you to set a budget for your chosen dates and add various filters so you can tailor your search to suit your needs. There are plenty of free cancellation options which you’ll be thankful for if your trip can no longer go ahead.
You might want to try out Airbnb for quirky places to stay – believe it or not but you can actually find some really good deals on there so don’t rule it out! From stays in a retired aircraft to whole private islands, you won’t be short of a unique place to stay.
Travel and Transfers
Let’s talk public transport… this is often the most economical way to travel. Check out your destination country’s public transport page to see how accessible it is before you jet off anywhere. In bigger cities, there’s often day or weekend passes at a discounted rate so it’s worth checking that out too.
Trains and buses won’t always be a viable option and if that’s the case then you can always try Uber or other similar taxi apps to make your way around. TripAdvisor forums are a great way to see the best transport options in your chosen destination. A lot of people often ask the same questions you’ve been wondering.
Travel insurance is an absolute MUST. For most people travelling on a budget, travel insurance will come in at less than around £10 per trip (there are also annual options available if you travel a lot). Use comparison sites such as Compare the Market to compare your travel insurance quotes so that you can select the insurance you’re wanting to take out. Remember to read the fine print, there are lots of different levels of cover!
Before you hop in that plane, train or automobile, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to be using a credit/debit card whilst you’re away or if you’d prefer to use cash (or maybe a bit of both). Be aware that some banks will charge you a lot of money for making transactions abroad. It might be worth contacting your bank before you leave just to check. With that being said, not all countries will accept card payments as widely as others. You’ll need to find this out before you leave – a quick Google search should do the job.
As much as you’re wanting to ignore the term ‘Covid-19’, it’s unavoidable in the world of travel at the moment. You’ll need to check on the government website what entry requirements are in place for your destination country. A lot of places require you to be fully vaccinated, fill in a passenger locator form and present a negative PCR or lateral flow test result (which will need to be paid for privately). This will vary from country to country – make sure to check out the return to the UK guidance too! Entry requirements are constantly changing so you’ll need to keep a close eye on this one. Slightly annoying – we know!
- Make sure your passport is in date and isn’t expiring within the next 6 months.
- Make sure you check in online before your flight if you can and avoid any (potential) extra fees when you arrive at the airport.
- Check what baggage allowance is included in your flight to avoid last minute fees.
- Ensure that you check your destination’s entry requirements prior to arrival. For example if you’re required to have a visa before you enter.
- Make sure that your mobile phone network provider allows you to make calls from your chosen destination and receive texts too. Consider switching to WhatsApp while you’re away!
- Make note of your destination’s emergency services phone number.
- Tell family or friends where you are going and give them the address of your accommodation. You’re never too old for your parents to stop worrying about where you are or what you’re up to
- Make sure you’ve read our tips for travelling as a student!
Making travel arrangements yourself can give you much more flexibility and gives you loads of options for different budgets. If you have any more tips for travelling as a student then we’d love to know, happy travelling!