The Student’s Guide to Finding the Best Travel Deals

Use these budget saving tips whether you’re traveling domestically or abroad.

Traveling when you are a student is practically a right of passage. The benefits of travel are numerous, but unless you have your tuition paid for and a part-time job to take care of everything else, it can seem out of reach. Thankfully, nearly every student can travel more often and to more exotic locations by following these easy budget travel tips.

Travel When Flights Are Cheapest

Air travel has changed dramatically, from being unbelievably expensive to unbelievably cheap in the few short decades. Of course, as the prices of flights have come down, so too have the benefits to passengers. Believe it or not, air travel was a luxurious experience “back in the day.” People would get dressed up to fly like they would if they were going to church. They also had more legroom, and complimentary in-flight meals. Today, travelers cut the frivolities in order to save with base airfares. You won’t be able to bring a bag, get a set or a meal included with your ticket, but you can travel more often and see more of the world than ever before.

Base airfare tickets are not the only way to get cheap flights. You can also use comparison apps to find the best days to travel. Travel on the Tuesday instead of the Monday, for example, and you could save hundreds of dollars. Flight ticket prices fluctuate massively, so use that to your advantage with a little flexibility built into your schedule.  Apps such as Flightradar24 are highly beneficial. While they do not save you money, such apps help you track your flight (or other flights) so that you can follow your route’s process in full detail.

Use Price Comparison Apps to Find Great Deals

Rather than rely on one site or booking directly through the hotel, always look at price comparison apps or websites first. Hotels frequently sell off their un-sold rooms to third parties at a discounted rate.. You can use sites like Priceline, Expedia, Hotels.com, Kayak.com and Hotwire to find the best price for the same room.

Reduce These Prices Further with Discounts

If you don’t already, you should get into the habit of searching for coupon codes before you check out anywhere online. These codes can be easily found with a simple search, and can add discounts that will, over time, add up. This applies to retail stores and to hotel rooms. Simply search for an Expedia coupon code before you check out, and you can reduce the price on your next hotel even further.

Find All the Free and Cheap Activities to Do Abroad

If you choose to travel abroad the options are numerous. Sightseeing by foot is always free! You could rent a bike on the cheap – especially if they are operated by the city. From there, research public transport and what the best options are to help you get to where you are going quickly and on a budget. The last resort: cabs, and to some extent car rentals (unless you are traveling through several cities).

It is worthwhile to read up on travel blogs to see what is free and what isn’t, and if there are special free days. Museums, for example, might be free on the last Sunday of the month. If you are on an especially tight budget, you can make use of this and book accordingly.

Stay Updated with the Events Going On

There are two reasons to keep up to date with what events will be going on. One, to improve the quality of your trip. If you are in New York City during the Thanksgiving Day parade, you are in for a real treat. It’s awesome to see and free to go. On the other hand, if you visit a city during a huge festival, you could be forced to pay a premium on everything from food to accommodations, even if you are not going to the festival.

You will probably never be freer than during your college years. Use this time to make friends, travel, study, and learn about the world and yourself. Do so within your budget, and you can comfortably fit in all the parts of student life that make it so great.