How I travel on a student budget

The end of the year is approaching and I can’t wait to get out of NI

belfast students italy money saving tips new york save student budget travel Travelling

We are on the final stretch now, a couple of essays and maybe an exam to go and then we're free for at least four months. A third of a year is a long time with nothing to do, and I don't know about you but I'd rather not spend all of that time waiting tables, working on a checkout or, dare I say, preparing for the year to come (does anybody actually do that?)

So, you log onto Instagram and are immediately bombarded with images of your class mates with their beautiful tanned bodies lounging on white sandy beaches, skiing on snowcapped mountains or exploring exotic sites that you dream of seeing one day.

unreal #sunset #ontheslope

A post shared by sian olwin katrina ✨ (@sianmcquillan) on

You're sat in your room trying to find the motivation to start that essay that is due in three days with a flat half empty two litre bottle of Fanta lying by your side wondering how they do it. How do these people you see in class everyday manage to find the money to travel the world while at university?

But do not despair, I am here with my top tips on how you two can become Instagram 'travel goals' and see the world all on a student budget!

Image may contain: Promontory, Water, Sea, Outdoors, Ocean, Nature, Coast

So Instagram worthy

Travel during off peak times

As already mentioned, as a student, you have the longest holidays ever! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS BLESSING! Travelling in September or at the beginning of June is much less expensive (and less busy!)

Use hostels and Airbnbs

You can often find rooms in great quality hostels and Airbnbs for a lot cheaper than you can find a hotel room, and unless you're staying in a luxury hotel, a hotel room isn't going to be much different from a room in a hostel or an Airbnb.

Image may contain: Spa, Villa, Housing, House, Building, Poster, Paper, Flyer, Brochure, Water, Pool

you could have this private villa in Bali for £12.50 per person per night, no biggie

Use referral schemes

Websites like and Airbnb offer referral schemes where you can share your unique link with a friend and they will receive money off their first trip while you'll receive a bonus for everyone who uses your link. It all adds up as money you can use towards your next trip.

Travel in groups

Travelling with a group of friends can work out a lot cheaper than travelling with only one or two other people. Often, rooms which accommodate 6+ people are only slightly more expensive than double or triple rooms and splitting this cost between more people helps you save money.

Image may contain: Person, People, Human

xoxo gossip girl here, tourists spotted on the met steps

Plan in advance

If you're going to a touristy destination like Rome or Paris, do your research before you go to find out the authentic and less expensive ways to travel, eat, drink and see the sights.. a little bit of online reading can go a long way.

Use comparison websites and check deals regularly

This is a pretty obvious one, but if there's somewhere you've got in mind you'd like to go spend a little time browsing through different comparison websites like TripAdvisor and Skyscanner. You'd be surprised by the savings you can make.

Image may contain: Pier, Dock, Room, Interior Design, Indoors, Dining Room, Bench, Table, Dining Table, Furniture, Chair

I know where i’d rather be having dinner

Use maps that don't need data

Google maps is great until you don't have any 3G. There are tonnes of map apps which don't require data to use (or go old school and use a paper map) and you'll easily find your way around.

Be flexible with the days you travel

Skyscanner is great for comparing the prices of flights on different days, especially when prices can very by over £100 by flying one day earlier or one day later.

Check for student offers

Sites like Unidays offer great discounts on lots of different things for students to take advantage of and being a student you can get discount throughout Europe on meals, tours and lots more by showing your student ID.

Hopefully these tips helped a bit and it won't be long before you're booking your next flights.