Traveling on a student budget

I haven’t written anything about travel tips, but I figured out I can probably help someone plan a new adventure. Honestly, last year was exhausting for me. I knew my life would change mid-September, but I had to financially prepare for it. While I was finishing my last semester of undergrad, I used to work 30 hours to save some money. As soon as I graduated, I started working over 50 hours weekly. I never thought I would be able to say that the trips I’ve taken -except my London trip- have been fully financed by me.

Since my savings balance keeps decreasing every week, I need to carefully plan the way I spend my money. Therefore, I’ll share with you some of my tips to travel while staying on a student budget.

1. Only purchase low-fare tickets

I check many websites prior booking a flight, if you have enough patience you can score really cheap tickets. For departing from the U.S, I like to purchase my tickets through student-universe. However, flights within Europe are pretty cheap. Ryanair would be your best saving option. I literally paid £25 for a roundtrip flight to Dublin.

2. Walk and use public transportation

Public transportation might be pricey if you’re in a student budget, so I try to walk as much as I can. If I have to walk over an hour, I just purchase a ticket for the bus. Metros and trains tend to be more expensive, but they’re cheaper than Uber or taxis if you’re in Europe. However, if you’re in the U.S., uber is your best option.

3. Treat yourself 

Try your best to at least have a really good meal. Some restaurants have discounts for students or lunch deals, but treating yourself occasionally is alright.

4. Forget about hotels just try Airbnb

You have a safe place to stay while traveling. The hosts are usually friendly, but as a friend suggested me always make sure they have lots of reviews and stars. Below is the room I stayed in Dublin, I only paid £49 for two nights. I got lucky my host left some food for me, which helped me save money on breakfasts.

5. Travel light 

This is a hard one for me. I always need to carry my whole house while traveling, but I’ve been getting better lately. Now I’m just traveling with the pink backpack you see below.

Malahide Castle

6. Prioritize your expenses

Don’t even ask me about my Sephora expenses, I love that store so much. Thankfully I haven’t seen one in London and if there’s one, I don’t even want to find it. This has been the hardest thing to do, I haven’t purchase any naked palettes or makeup forever powder or Kylie lipkits. I probably cheated last year and restocked all my makeup, I have more than I need so that expense has been reduced. Regarding clothes, I try to limit myself and only buy sweatshirts if I really need them. I also cook at home, so I can save money on food. I set aside some money to go out, but it’s not a lot.

7. Currency exchange

Try to avoid exchanging currency at the airport. It’s better to go to a local exchange currency house or your bank. You can save fees and obtain an ideal exchange rate.

Those are the things I’ve been doing to make trips happen. The result… I get to see firsthand all the places I reviewed in my history class. Is it worth it? Yes, it’s totally worth it. I’d rather be seeing the Irish Sea or walking in the streets of Malahide, instead of updating my wardrobe.

Hope my tips are useful for you. Thanks for reading – Ingrid.


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