Being responsible for a large sum of money, that has to cover the cost of living while travelling as well as the non-essential treats and experiences, can be daunting. That’s why the travel experts at StudentUniverse have rounded up their top tips for budgeting while abroad.
From planning in advance, heading off the beaten track and being savvy with each purchase, there are a number of ways student and youth travellers can make their money last, and reduce the risk of credit card spending, or calling on the bank of mum and dad.
- Download those savvy banking apps
Mobile-based current accounts such as Revolut and Monzo, allow you to hold, exchange and transfer money into dozens of different currencies without fees. The app not only enables you to track how much you’ve spent but allows you to transfer and exchange money in small, frequent amounts. Gone are the days of having to exchange and hold onto hundreds of pounds, stuffed into socks, soap boxes and shoes.
- Hostels over hotels
There’s no need for glitz and glam when the aim of the game is to see as much of the world as possible. If the plan is to explore, meet new people and have fun, there’s no time to worry about the tog level on the duvet or the views of a dingy back ally. Why spend money hiding away in a luxurious hotel room on your own, when you could spend a fraction of the price on a hostel room and meet new people and make lifelong friends.
- Don’t be fancy, eat smart
Food is a big part of travel, and trying local cuisine is a must, but often tourist restaurants come with a few too many zeros at the end of the bill. By eating local, down quaint side streets and at markets, you’ll not only save money but also get a real flavour for a destination. Live by this rule: If the locals eat there, it must be good.
- Have a plan and don’t stray (too far)
Travelling is all about having fun and being spontaneous, but by planning a trip in advance you’ll be able to budget better and reduce the risk of being caught out with high room rates or expensive transport. Booking flights ahead of time, as well flying into smaller nearby airports, will reduce the amount spent before your adventure really begins.
- Travel like a local
Utilising public transport in any destination is a great way to reduce costs while enjoying the scenic route of getting from A to B. Yes, a taxi may be quick, or a tuctuc fun, but it can be a challenge to barter to a reasonable ‘non-tourist’ rate. However, if a taxi is a must, it’s worth seeing whether Uber operates in the destination you’re in – link the Uber app to your Revolut or Monzo account and you’re good to go.
- Head off the beaten track
Tourist hotspots are not only crowded but expensive too. By exploring towns and villages off the beaten track, you’ll be rewarded with cheaper, local prices and you’ll feel better too by giving back to communities who don’t reap the benefits of mass-tourism.
- Is that fridge magnet for life?
Your mum, nan or best friend may be grateful to receive a fridge magnet, but when every penny counts, there are ‘souvenirs’ you can get for free. Photos are priceless, so make a home video or a DIY postcard – it’s the thought that counts, right? And for yourself, keep a travel journal, you’ll be able to remember every meal, breath-taking site and the wonderful people met along the way.
- Factor in free fun
Big city museums are often free and are a great way to discover the history and culture of a country. As well as museums, keep your eye out for local festivals, these are usually free to watch and a great way to immerse yourself in the local way of life.
- Earn as you go
Sometimes, it’s not possible to start a holiday with enough money to sustain an adventure, which is where Working Holiday Visas come in handy. Earning money as you go will enable you to travel for longer, meet a range of people and build your CV as you go.
- Seek out free Wi-Fi
Although travelling is a great way to enjoy a digital detox, there are times when you’ll need to log on, whether it’s checking a map or touching base with home. Finding places with free Wi-Fi is a way to avoid draining your data and raking up big charges.
For affordable budget-friendly tours and flights, visit www.studentuniverse.co.uk
StudentUniverse is the world’s leading travel booking site for students and youth. Through negotiations with a network of global partners, StudentUniverse offers discounted pricing and terms on flights, hotels and tours. StudentUniverse also operates Journeys are Made @ GapYear.com, the world’s largest gap year inspiration travel platform.
StudentUniverse launched in the UK in 2013 and was acquired by Flight Centre Travel Group in 2015. StudentUniverse is headquartered in Boston with offices in London, Toronto, New York and the Philippines. StudentUniverse believes that travel is essential to a modern education. Millions of students use the service every year.
For more information go to www.studentuniverse.co.uk.