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Teaching Students How & Where to Travel on a Budget

Teaching Students How and Where
to Travel on a Budget

Top 10 Student Getaways and Tips on How to Save

With the summer holidays winding down, many college students are gearing up for the year ahead. Taking a break to shake off the stress that comes from all-nighters and dining hall “food” is not only essential but can be done within a student budget with tips from’s guide on How To Travel on a Student Budget. And, whether you’re in need of a weekend away to detox before exams or a spring break packed with parties - err, culture – we have suggestions. Our list features affordable getaway ideas for a long weekend break, spring break, winter break or the summer holidays. 

Below are four student getaways from our Top 10 College Student Destinations from each of the vacation categories.

  • Over a long weekend … Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - As a college student, it’s important to get your money’s worth without spending an arm and a leg. Niagara Falls can satisfy that for cash-strapped youth. Cheap hotels by the Falls abound, and you can move around town easily on foot, as many of the attractions are within walking distance of each other. Pack your weekend with visits to the Falls and Marineland Theme Park, where you’ll get your fix of seafaring animals like dolphins and killer whales – combined with the thrill of amusement park rides. The drinking age is 19, so a visit to the Fallsview Casino – and Dragonfly Nightclub after – is an absolute must. 

  • Over spring break… San Juan, Puerto Rico - No passport necessary for this trip. Sizzling Puerto Rico offers more for your money and is generally less crowded than your typical spring break destination. You’ll understand why it’s called the Island of Enchantment after just a day enjoying the island’s perfect weather and amazing local food. For college students on a budget, it combines water fun with non-stop nightlife, as well as the opportunity for cheap accommodations and flights. Note before you go: Spanish is Puerto Rico’s dominant language, so brush up on your linguistics (otra cerveza, por favor) before you go.

  • Over winter break…Thailand -Make your vacation count for something a little extra by volunteering over winter break in Thailand. You can experience more than the average visitor and get involved in the religious and cultural life of Thai people by providing childcare or building houses. For adventure lovers, combination packages are available that fuse volunteerism with outdoor excursions like kayaking, bamboo rafting and elephant riding. And an extra perk: you’ll get some sun and heat in the midst of cold winter months.

  • Over summer vacation… Australia - If you’re looking to spend the bulk of your summer in one place, but you don’t necessarily want that place to be at home, consider Australia. During your summer vacation, it’ll be winter in Australia, so pack accordingly. Explore Australia’s mesmerizing beaches, deserts, and outback in the warmer northern territory and take in its wildlife, like kangaroos, koalas and wallabies that live in forests and national parks. To really save, find a hostel in Melbourne to stay, buy groceries, and master Sydney’s public transit system.

For more ideas on great and affordable student getaways, check out the complete list of Top 10 College Student Destinations.

When your primary source of income is student loans or savings from your summer job bagging groceries, budgeting for student travel can seem impossible. But with a little know-how and help from, it’s possible to travel even abroad on a student budget. Here are some of essential tips on how to save for your student getaway:

  • Pack smartly – Baggage fees are the worst, especially if you’re not expecting them. If you can, plan your wardrobe ahead of time and pack only a carry-on to avoid baggage fees or consider flying domestically with a low-cost airline like Southwest, which allows two checked pieces free of charge, or JetBlue, which permits one.

  • Load up a currency card – Unlike on a credit card, you can only spend the amount loaded onto a pre-paid currency card, plus your family can add to travel budget as needed. Select those that don’t charge for usage or cash withdrawal, and are protected by a PIN – like Mastercard, MyTravelCash, and Travelex.

  • Invest in an International Student ID Card – Your student status can get you discounts on flights, hotels, transportation, and admission to museums, concerts and other attractions. If you’re staying stateside, your college ID should work. But for travel overseas, consider an International Student ID Card, available through STA Travel.

To read additional details on the above tips and for more essential advice, read our complete guide on How to Travel on a Student Budget.