Whether it’s flights, train tickets or car hire student discounts on travel will always come in handy. That includes discounts on hotels and hostels.
Well, no fear, the Squirrel is here to help with a comprehensive list of all the travel discounts we’ve found in January 2021 from the top merchant below:
- Booking.com Student Discount
- Easyjet Student Discount
- Emirates Student Discount
- Groupon Student Discount
- Jet2 Student Discount
- National Express Student Discount
- Premier Inn Student Discount
- Travelodge Student Discount
- Wowcher Student Discount
Student Travel Tips
It seems unfair somehow that during the exact age you start to desire exploring abroad and visiting new places to have new life experiences, you’re also saddled with student debt and your bank account hits its lowest possible budget point; essentially rendering any travel a pipe dream until you can either afford to take a gap year or conceivably manage to fit in a decent paying job. Fear not though: there are ways to travel on a budget – you just need to be smart and extra savvy with your travel bookings and purchases. Who better to divulge budget and discounting tips than Student Discount Squirrel? Read on…
The Importance Of Student Travel
Student travel broadens your horizons in more ways than just geographic ones. It gives new experiences, new perspectives and new learning to a world that can so often just feel routine as you slog to and from uni, the SU bar and the occasional work placement.
The UK is one of the most expensive places to live on the planet, so it’s no surprise that our travel fares are often high. Yet the rest of the world is often cheaper, so if you can navigate initial travel costs correctly, there’s no reason that you can’t enjoy incredible travel adventures even on a shoe-string.
Cheap Places To Visit Across Europe and the World
Here in the UK, we’re lucky enough to have quick and easy (and often cheap!) access to Europe – and there are some destinations on the continent that are cheap to stay, eat, drink and travel within. Budapest (Hungary) frequently tops cheap travel lists for Europe, followed by Cesky Krmlov (Czech Republic), and Istanbul (Turkey). Other destinations with budget living costs (compared to the UK) include Bulgaria, Slovenia and Spain.
It’s important to remember that flying somewhere cheaply doesn’t necessarily mean that everyday items and holiday travel will be low-cost once there. Research first – there’s plenty of sites online listing grocery and basic prices in different countries, which help give a good indication of changing costs of living.
Cheap Ways To Travel Abroad Safely
When you think of ‘budget travel’, images of easyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair airplane branding probably come to mind. Indeed budget airlines are a great way of getting around cheaply (usually for short-haul trips, but some longer-haul trips too), but there’s some ‘tricks of the trade’ that can help you travel even cheaper than they advertise.
When looking for flights online, do so in a private browser and if you need to, use a VPN to bypass any country preferences – the UK often has raised rates compared to other countries. Sign up to mailing lists, so that you’re first to know about sale and discount offers, and pack light – there’s often a surcharge to pay for checked baggage, but you can easily manage up to a week with a cabin-sized case worth of essentials.
Consider flying into one airport and out of another to take advantage of cheap single fares, and when elsewhere in the world, use public transport! For travel around the UK, you’ll often find that coaches (such as National Express bus routes and Megabus lines) are considerably cheaper than trains and although it takes longer, you can use the time to actually enjoy some sights en-route and get through that book you really should have started last semester.
Budget Travel Do’s and Don’ts – Top Tips From The Squirrel
- DO travel off-peak if you can – but DON’T assume that off-peak means the same thing everywhere! What makes a national holiday or school break in one country doesn’t necessarily in another, and with time-zones varying between destinations, off-peak timings and term time are often different in different places.
- DO change your expectations of accommodation. DON’T immediately default to a hotel, but instead consider other options such as hostels, homestays, couch surfing and Airbnb’s. Accommodation standards vary from country to country, so you may well find that what constitutes a private room in a hostel elsewhere is easily comparable to a budget chain hotel here in the UK! Booking.com is always worth checking late in the day as well.
- DO stock up on free eats! If your accommodation booking includes breakfast, be sure to fill yourself up for the day, every day… and maybe grab a muffin to take with you for later.
- DON’T pay for tours without researching free options. It’s not the norm in the UK, but most major cities have locals who offer free walking tours in exchange for a tip. This works out considerably cheaper than a standard tour group and is nicely informal for you to pick the brains of a local, too!
- DO learn a little of the lingo. OK, so if you’re somewhere really unusual you may struggle with pronunciation, but at least learning ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Locals will always respect someone who greets them into and out of an establishment and it’s much more likely to get you good service than a casual British ‘alright?’ is.
- DON’T eat and drink on the ‘main strip’. Just walk one street back! A main shopping or food and drink destination will be the one named in tourist guides and frequented by the masses and boy, do the retailers there know it. Often visiting somewhere just a road or so away will see prices drop as businesses there look to compete.
- DO chat with other travellers to suss out the best spots. Those who have been in the area longer than you will be able to give you ideas of what’s worth visiting and what isn’t.
- DON’T be afraid to haggle. It can feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s the ‘done thing’ in many places and the locals won’t think twice about you doing it.
- DO visit free attractions. Museums and galleries in big cities are often completely free to visit and often house some of a country’s national treasures. Soaking up some culture is a great way to spend a spare few hours… especially if it’s raining out.
- DO use pay as you go if possible on London Underground as this can often assure the cheapest prices, for younger travellers remember your 18 student oyster photocard.
Student Oyster Cards and Pay As You Go
We often get asked if there is a student oyster card in London. We’ve done some research of Transport For London website and we’re delighted to confirm that there is a Student Oyster card and you can get 30% off monthly travel and bus and tram passes too.
You won’t get a discount for pay as you go, but if you only have a few journeys a week it might actually end up cheaper for you.
Also, if you just use overland trains you should get the 16-25 railcard. You get 34% off and you can add it to your student oyster card.
There are some great travel services that are tailored to students and their requirements:
- STA Travel
- Student Universe
- Real Gap
Summary of Student Travel
Finally, enjoy your travels, stay safe and make happy memories – and take lots of photos.