You may or may not know that, for the past three years I have been studying full time at University in Sydney. I moved here from Oxford, England three years ago as an international student. Arriving in Australia without any family or friends was daunting and probably the scariest thing I have done. Now with only 2 weeks left of University and one exam until I graduate, looking back it was the best decision I ever made. It changed me as a person, I’ve seen parts of the world I never thought I would be able to due as I travel the world as a student and because of this I’ve made a full career out of travelling the world and blogging!
So I’m guessing you’re reading this because you’re wanting to know how to travel the world as a student too? You’re probably wondering how I’ve managed to visit 43 countries before turning 21 whilst being a full time student?
If I saw another student doing this too, I’d be very curious and probably assume their parents were either very rich or they missed a whole lot of classes and ended up failing University. Thankfully none this is not the case, (fingers crossed) I’ll be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts & Business from one of the highest ranked Universities in the world and having financed all my travels independently without ‘mummy and daddy’.
So here it is, I’m going to spill the beans on how I travel the world as a student and how you can too!
How To Travel The World As A Student
Choose Your Destination Wisely
No matter where in the world you are studying, location is so important.
If you’re an Australian student consider travelling to Asia for mid-semester break. I’ve been to Bali, Boracay, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Siem Reap and Phuket all for cheaper than some destinations within Australia! Plus, once you’re there money will stretch a lot further! Check airlines like AirAsia, Jetstar and Cebu Pacific.
If you’re an American/Canadian student consider travelling to either Central America/Caribbean or Asia. Although you can grab a great deal to Europe, once you’re there cost of living is quite high compared to Central America or Asia.
If you’re a European student I’d highly recommend exploring more of this amazing continent! Flights are so cheap on airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet! However, some countries are cheaper than other for example you’ll get a lot more for your money in Budapest or Prague compared to London or Paris.
Make sure to consider all costs before you decide on what’s the most affordable destination.
Be Frugal On Nights Out
Sorry! I know, I know the definition of a student is going out and having fun, but honestly the biggest expense in my first year at University was going on a night out. Especially in Sydney, drinks and entry into clubs are ridiculously expensive and certainly drain away your income as a student, however it doesn’t mean you can never go out and have fun again.
Here are a few tips on how to cut down your expenses:
- Pre drink at home first and not buy drinks when you’re out,
- Use public transport instead of a taxi (if you can),
- Go to clubs or bars with free entry,
- Arrive in time for happy hour or student nights
- Only take cash with you
Get A Part Time Job
I know many of you are thinking that a job is the last thing you want when studying at University but hear me out. By job I don’t mean a 9-5 working in an office, serving people at a restaurant or being a cashier at the supermarket, instead get a job where you can work from home.
For example, this right here is my job! It’s all online and I even get paid to travel the world as a student. Even if you haven’t travelled much don’t be afraid to start a blog. Before flying out to Australia I had no idea that you could blog about your travels or even get paid to do it. I first started on Instagram documenting my travels and it grew from there!
I’ve even made an Instagram Success Course showing you how I made $25,000 in my first year of blogging!! Trust me when I say you can too <3
Check out these posts for a little inspiration and how you can do this too:
- How To Start A Travel Blog From Scratch
- How To Gain More Followers On Instagram
- Building A Successful Instagram – All You Need To Know
- Get Paid To Travel The World As A Blogger
- 10 Ways To Make Money From Travel Blogging & Social Media
I was lucky enough to complete my University degree in another country half way around the world, opening a whole new area to explore that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I stayed in England. Countries like Vanuatu, Fiji, the Cook Islands and New Zealand definitely wouldn’t have been possible during semester time.
However, most Universities around the world offer an option to either work or study abroad for either a semester or whole year as part of your degree.
This is an incredible opportunity to improve your language skills, make international friends and explore a new country. Studying abroad is also an amazing way to help self-confidence within a structured study environment, and you may even be sponsored or given a grant to study abroad.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to convince your parents to let you travel the world as a student. Yes you’re travelling, but you’re also using it towards your degree! How can they say no to furthering your education with international experience?!
Make International Friends
Whether you’re study abroad, an international student or studying down the road from home, there will be students from all over the world at your University. Everyone is wanting to make friends when they first start, so don’t be afraid to make the first move and introduce yourself.
As I’m a Brit studying in Australia, I’ve made tonnes of Australian, American and other European friends that will last a lifetime, and I know if I travel near them in the future I’ll have somewhere to stay! It’s also a great excuse to travel 🙂
Meeting friends from different countries may mean you can visit them during the holiday time. I’m sure no one would say no to a free bed and tour of their home city/area.
Find Student Discounts
When you start University, you’ll be given a student card. This isn’t only for University reference but will also give you huge discounts to many landmarks, shops, museums and much more around the world! I’ve used it in so many places including wildlife parks, outdoor retailers for packing essentials and even on flights!
You can also get great discounts with an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), including money off guided tours and lots of hotel and hostel accommodation. It’s the only internationally-recognised student discount card which makes it perfect for travellers.
If you’re a student in the UK, consider getting a National Union of Students (NUS) extra card which offers handy discounts like 25% off National Express bus journeys. The card costs £12 or £14.99 in conjunction with ISIC.
In the US, you can also get the Student Advantage Card for access to thousands of discounts on everyday things like clothes and food, as well as Greyhound buses.
Make Use Of FREE Stopovers
Many airline tickets that are issued include stopovers free of charge. If there is an option to do this, jump at that chance! They’re basically giving you a free flight to this country which you wouldn’t have seen previously.
Instead of rushing through the airport to catch your next flight or missing it due to delays, get outside and see the city! There are many airlines that will get you a free stopover in their hub city.
See Reykjavik with Iceland Air, Abu Dhabi with Etihad, Tokyo with Japan Airlines, Kuala Lumpur with AirAsia, Bangkok with Thai Airways, or countless other options!
I’ve visited Johannesburg, New York, Geneva, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manilla, Abu Dhabi, Belgrade, and Berlin in the past 3 years all because of stopovers! That’s a lot of new places to tick off!
Volunteering is such a rewarding experience whether you’re teaching at a school or working at an animal conservation it’s a great way to make a difference as well as travelling to a new area of the world.
There are literally thousands of places around the world where you can volunteer. Many are willing to provide you with food and accommodation in exchange for your services, although often you’ll have to pay for your flights there and back.
If you’re thinking of volunteering abroad please do be aware of scams that are out to steal your money. Many are not doing good work, and are purely there to do more harm that good, so make sure to research carefully where you want to go and previous reviews of people who have volunteered previously.
Flight prices vary greatly throughout the year. Booking in peak season will most definitely guarantee a premium of prices, if you can book during off season to that destination and make sure not to book last minute either.
I won’t go into too much detail on how to find the cheapest flights possible to anywhere in the world as I’ve written a comprehensive and in-depth guide on this. Check it out here!
Top Tips For Saving Money Whilst Travelling
- Travel in off-season and avoid peak season
- Keep eating out and going out to a minimum
- Check out Airbnb instead of Hotels (Click here for £30 off your first Airbnb stay!)
- Travel with carry-on only to avoid check in baggage fees
- Walk around the city instead of public transport
- Use your student discount card
- Sign up for hotel/airline loyalty programs
- Travel with a friend or partner to split costs of hotels etc.
Travel Insurance – Never Leave Without It!
This is a simple quote that sums it up pretty well: “If you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel.” It’s really that simple. You may be thinking, nothing ever happens to me, I’ll be fine. Please don’t take the risk. Accidents happen all the time which may not always be your fault.
The price you’ll pay for insurance is a hell of a lot less than a hospital bill or the purchase of a new laptop/camera that was stolen.
We always travel without insurance, and quite frankly we’d feel nervous and anxious if we didn’t. The insurance provider we always use is World Nomads.
Read our review on why you need travel insurance with a more in-depth explanation about why we use this awesome company!
So there you have it! Did I answer all your questions on how to travel the world as a student? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know in the comments below. Do you have any other tips to add?
Do you have Pinterest? Save it for later!
Great ideas! I always look for the cheapest flights wherever I am going.
Thanks, me too 😛
Really great tips!
I wish I had read an article like that when I was a student:)) Awesome text for people staring their journey, but also for those wanting to do it more on a budget.
Aww sorry this wasn’t posted earlier 😛
Really good ideas. Thanks for sharing. I moved abroad as well and started volunteering in a hostel. That is a really nice way of keep on traveling as you can use the contacts and links of the hostel.
Thanks, glad it’s helped! It really is, and you get to meet so many amazing people!
Great tips! I think as students it’s always best to take advantage of the short flights around you — and when searching for a place to travel to, don’t be picky! Whatever pops up the cheapest, go for it 🙂
That’s very true, especially for Europeans as there are so many destinations within a short flight!
Awesome tips! I love how realistic and practical these tips are! Traveling is indeed possible and need not be very expensive for as long as it is planned wisely. Keep it up! 🙂
Thanks so much! Very wise words 😛
Wow! An awesome article. Im currently planning a long journey through Europe and this article is helping me a lot for sure. Especially the aspect of a travel insurance was not clear to me beforehand, and i will definitely take into consideration getting one and putting it into my budget calculation.
Thanks so much and so glad to have helped in your planning around Europe! 🙂 Yes please make sure you buy travel insurance!