5 Travel Tips to Save Money While Studying Abroad

February 22, 2019

1. Fly on budget airlines.

Budget airlines are a gift. These are airlines that are less luxurious than your normal airline but offer way cheaper and discounted tickets. They also almost always have a sale going on. Just the other week Hong Kong Express was having a sale and I found a ticket to Phuket, Thailand for just about 150 HKD (19 USD)! Additionally, if you plan on country hopping on the weekends like me, use Skyscanner. Skyscanner is an app that will analyze plane ticket prices and let you know about the cheapest prices for any particular date and locations!

2. Stay in a hostel or Airbnb.

Hostels are usually the cheapest option for people who are traveling and just looking for a place to store their things and sleep for the night. They usually come with lockers so you can keep your things secure. Sometimes you can find an Airbnb for the same price as a hostel. Airbnb offers you privacy, however, a hostel offers you personnel with local know-how and resources to help you explore and make the most out of your experience.

3. Get a travel rewards card.

You might be able to get a travel rewards credit card through your bank. It allows you transactions without paying for international fees. Plus, you get rewards points on your purchases that you can trade in for some rewards on your next trip! I mostly use this for emergencies or bigger purchases like plane tickets and hostels to rack up some easy points.

4. Get local currency from an ATM instead of an exchange kiosk.

I’ve made this mistake so many times, but getting money from the currency exchange kiosk at the airport is a high-key scam! You are paying for an exchange fee and exchanging your money with poor exchange rates. If you can find your bank’s ATM or a trusted local bank ATM, you should take out money from there. You’ll have to pay an access fee, but this will usually be less than how much you lose from the poor exchange rate and exchange fees at the currency kiosk. Just be sure to get enough for the entire trip so you aren’t going to an ATM every 2 hours! I am still trying to get the hang of this, so if you have better advice or corrections please let me know in the comments below!

5. Bring your Student ID card!

Tons of tourist and sightseeing places around the world offer student discounts! And clearly, if you are studying abroad you are going to have a student ID from your home or your host university so break that baby out and get ready for some yummy discounts!

Aaron studied abroad with ISEP at Chinese University of Hong Kong from Chapman University in the U.S.

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