Looking to travel abroad for the summer break? What a great time to experience the world! It just comes at a bit of a higher price this time of year—you’re now into high season for flights, accommodations and attractions. But if you’re a student, you’ll have a bit of an advantage! You probably know that there are some pretty good deals here at home, if you have a valid student card. And the same goes for your travels abroad! Plan ahead and you could really save yourself some cash.
4 budget travel tips – make the most of your hard-earned cash
Get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
The ISIC card is internationally recognized and helps you vacation on a budget, with travel, accommodation, entertainment, food, tourist attractions and more.
And don’t forget to check if your Canadian Passport is valid in the country or countries you’re planning to visit… otherwise, you won’t be catching that discounted flight or visiting that exhibit, without the right documentation!
Check out flights and tours in person, if possible.
While we all spend time looking for the top budget travel websites, it’s good to shop around in person too. I once went in to ask some questions about a tour I was interested in, because I couldn’t get all the details online. I ended up walking out with a 5% discount on the tour package, simply for joining their meet-up group. Not only did I get a discount, but I also joined a group of travellers who love to share their experiences. Win-win!
Do your research on student offers
Transportation companies like Greyhound, Eurail and VIA Rail, as well as many tourist attractions offer special rates for students with their ID card. Check them out online beforehand and/or download their apps, since many places not only have daily student discounts, but also additional discounts for certain times of the day. Even better, some attractions have free admission days that you can plan around, like the Louvre in Paris; it has free admission on the first Sunday of every month.
Speaking of France… if you’re planning to visit, don’t miss the 16 best towns & villages to explore in the French Countryside.
Invest in your health and wellness
As soon as you secure your flights (and travel visa, if needed), be sure to visit your local travel clinic. You’ll want to set aside some cash for vaccinations, depending on what’s recommended.
You’ll also want to plan ahead by looking at ways to travel safely with the help of technology. Have your devices good-to-go with apps that manage your travel documents, send instant travel alerts and more!
Another important thing you don’t want to do is scrimp on travel insurance. I often hear “I don’t need travel insurance, my provincial healthcare covers me,” but that’s only partly true; provincial health plans cover than less than 10% of the medical bill if something happens to you out-of-province. The good news is that you won’t have to save much to get it, since travel medical insurance costs as little as $3 a day. That’s a small price to pay, to know you’re covered in the event of an emergency.
Read Travel outside Canada: How Provincial health plans cover you abroad for more details on how provincial coverage works.
Like always, feel free to post any questions or comments below.