As someone who tries to travel as much as I can, having a budget is integral. I also ignore it a lot, but that’s a separate issue.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a fairly transient household, so the idea of moving around is high on my list of priorities, but with the influx of assignments and school pressure it can be difficult. If anyone ever tells you that a graduate degree ( or really, any degree) is easy-peasy, lemon squeezy – I’m here to re-state that instagram meme for you, that it’s actually difficult difficult lemon difficult.
With school being what it is, it’s still really important that I try to see somewhere new at least once a month- and an awesome way to do that, especially if you need to save money is looking up the potential places around you that can be in walking distance, or even a short bus ride if you can swing it! Joining societies is another fantastic way to save some cash, while still being able to go on subsidized trips & being able to hang with your friends, plus make some new ones. And if part of any of the universities Facebook groups, you can hear about lots of fun get-togethers and little trips going on all over the place, and they’re usually only the price of a cheap train or bus ticket! Or free! Dundee Uni seems to be awesome like that.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have so far been to the Dundee Botanic Gardens (GO THERE), St. Andrews – which was like a movie set everywhere I looked, and last month I went to Edinburgh with the photography society! All of these trips cost less than £30-£35, and my budget tends to float aroun
d £50 for trips, but I did shell out £165 for an upcoming trip with the International Society- we’re going to Loch Ness, Isle of Skye, the Harry Potter Bridge, Lost Valley, Glencoe, Cuillin Mountains, Fairy Glen and the Old Man Of Storr. If you’re coming on this trip, I’ll see you there! And if you’re not and you’d love to go, there will be another Highlands trip next semester again!
As I enjoy flying new places alongside local, I use Expedia (religiously) to scope out cheaper plane ticket prices & deals. A way to take advantage is by opening an incognito window on your browser so it doesn’t collect cookies from your previous searches (a sneaky tactic airlines get you to pay the highest dollar is by collecting your search history and subtly raising their prices each time you go on for another look).
When staying in a new place, everyone knows about hostels – if you have an ISIC card (more about that after) there are some you can even get into for free! Another option that has been gaining traction in the last few years is couch surfing (personally have never tried, but have lots of wandering friends who have) and airbnb – which I am most definitely a fan of, if you do the right research. Airbnb is basically uber for people’s houses, the more reviews an airbnb has, the better it is likely to be, so do your research, and (try to) be realistic. Always check service fees, sometimes they’ll get you there if the rent price seems a little too good to be true. Check Groupon too, and let me know how that goes.
For those international students out there, if you haven’t heard of an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) I would suggest investing in one. It gives you discounts not only on travel, but through accommodation, shopping, and various other things that generally make life a little easier if you’re into living on the discounted side of things (http://www.myisic.co.uk/isic-card/). And if you don’t already know, for those of us that have Royal Bank of Scotland student accounts if you sign up for the paperless option, you will receive a 1/3 off coach travel card. And hopefully everyone knows you can get a student discount off of bus tickets as well, and if you didn’t – hope this helps your next trip! Finally, if you have a friend with a car, split gas + snacks and go for a road trip, they always end up being some of the most memorable trips, even before you reach your destination.
Obviously there are TONS of ways to save money for traveling, and some are better than others, but these are some of the things I have used to feed my hungry hungry caterpillar of a travel bug, I hope some of them have helped you out for your next adventure. Hopefully my next blog post will be about the Highlands trip, and all the adventures in the possible snow we may have. I’m hoping my next adventure will be to a beach. A warm one.