Travel On A Budget

For college students, finding cheap travel can be a challenge. With rising fuel prices, both car and plane travel are more expensive than ever, especially during the premium summer months. In addition, summer is a busy travel time for everybody, so student travellers have to compete with families and everyone else who’s looking for a summer getaway.

With a little creativity, though, students can still find cheap summer travel. Student discounts, travel packages and other deals designed for the young traveller are working in your favour, if you’re willing to do a little research. Here are some ideas for finding cheap student summer travel.

J-1 Visa 
The J-1 Summer Work and Travel Programme allows full-time third level students to enter the US on a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. It allows you to travel to the USA and work there legally for up to four months.

Go East 
While the headline-writers have been scaring us all to death with tales of how expensive Europe is, salvation lies in Eastern Europe. Both Eurozone countries like Slovenia and Slovakia, and places with their own currency such as Bulgaria and Romania, still offer the cheap food and drink and excellent-value accommodation travellers have long associated with the east corner of Europe. Your spending money will go further here than anywhere else on the continent.

Backpacking in India 
Backpacking in India during the summer months means clashing with the monsoon season. This needn’t stop you – sure, it’s going to rain a lot but we’re used to that, and crowds and cost are low at this time of the year. Provided you don’t mind humid conditions it can be a great time to be there – plus, this is prime trekking season in the Himalayas.

South-East Asian Odyssey 
Still the world’s best region for budget travel, south-east Asia has enough for a whole summer of fun. From diving in the Andaman Sea off Thailand to temple hopping in Laos you’ll find plenty of opportunities for adventure. Street food is cheap and budget lodging is plentiful.

Cycling in Ireland and the UK 
Life on two wheels is cheap and wildly cheerful. You are your own transport and can wander the Irish coastline, the UK or Europe at will, stopping at campsites, hostels or cheap B&Bs. The National Cycle Network ids a good place to find everything from day rides to week-long routes. Touring on a bike will get you fit and help you discover those hidden gems on your doorstep.

South Africa 
Coming soon as the hottest destination around, South Africa is a superb introduction to the rest of the continent. The Rand is excellent value against the Euro meaning that a summer exploring Cape Town and the surrounding wine lands or the wildlife of Kruger National Park and points in between can be easily done on a student budget. Consider popping into Nambia if time allows.

Working holiday 
Whether you make those funds go a little further by working in a few different places or make an internship or placement the focus of your trip, there are several different ways to work while overseas.

Irish citizens can work legally anywhere in the EU, and while holiday resorts tend to be happy hunting grounds, any city where you’ve got language skills to make yourself heard could yield gainful employment. Student work visas for North America and Australia, and New Zealand Working Holidaymaker visas also offer the promise of earning while you travel.

Cool camping 
Camping is in like never before. You don’t have to be at a festival to love a tent-shaped holiday – just grab some mates, head to the coast, the mountains or the woods and you’ll have a cheap and fun holiday while exploring Ireland.

Inter Rail 
Still the ultimate summer jaunt, an InterRail pass opens up a month of unlimited rail travel in Europe.

Fusion Magazine
Written by Fusion Magazine