How to travel on a student budget

Travelling can be quite expensive for a student, but worry not! We have some tips that will help you have more for less!

Maud Webster
16th November 2021
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If you’re considering travelling as a student, both within the UK and abroad, budget will likely be a big concern. And if you are a bit nifty with it, travelling doesn’t have to take a big bite out of your precious student loan...


Before you can even think about where you stay, and what you’ll do, deciding where you’ll set off to and (importantly!) how you’ll get there will be on your mind. Sadly, often the most environmental options (i.e. not flying) tend to also be the most expensive. However, by looking out for good deals and booking way in advance you can get the price of train and seafare relatively comparable.

Where should you go? Staying in the UK can often be a very economical choice - we’re spoilt for scenic options for whatever type of holiday you want to go on - beautiful beaches, great natural hiking spots, wonderful city breaks in places like London and Manchester - and you don’t have to faff about paying for the fees which go along with flights, or tricky COVID-related costs. 

Staying in the UK can be a very economical choice

If you’re wanting to go abroad, think carefully about how much you’ll be spending both to get there, and to stay there. Taking Europe as an example, there are places which are notoriously expensive to visit, be it pricey accommodation options or meals and activities coming with a hefty price tag - such as Scandinavia or Switzerland. Though flights to these places can seem very appealing (Ryanair often offer insanely cheap £4.99 singles from London airports), the holiday as a whole will often end up costing you waaaay more than choosing somewhere where it’s cheaper to stay, eat and do. 

For a more environmental option, consider travelling into mainland Europe by Eurostar (who often have deals on, check out their website) or even by coach.

Also consider where you can get to from Newcastle itself! We host an airport which flies to lots of places in Europe, including Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Belfast. A few miles East, you can also catch a cheap overnight ferry to Amsterdam - perfect for a weekend away. This saves the hassle of travelling elsewhere in the country to catch a flight or get a ferry. 



There are youth hostels all over the world, in some really amazing locations, and it’s a cheap way to stay in cities and more remote locations in a very social way. If you’re staying in a shared dorm, you can often make friends with like minded travellers as well as get great value for money, especially in cities. Most youth hostels also offer a discount for travellers under 25, so be sure to check that out. 

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Airbnb caters for travellers spanning a myriad of price points, and handy filters means you can navigate wherever your destination is to see places which fit within your budget. The cheapest places tend to get booked up fast, so be sure to get the best deal by scouting out somewhere to stay well in advance. 


Couchsurfing is an app where you can find free places to stay across the world, or offer up your own home as a place for travellers to stay. I recommend couchsurfing heavily - many of my pals have had great experiences with it - and it is a very very cheap way to stay in places worldwide. However, this comes with a caveat - you need to be very aware of your safety, and take extra precautions when staying with strangers. Head over here to see Couchsurfing’s tips on how to be safe whilst using their website.

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There’s plenty of ways to explore wherever you’re travelling to without spending loads on organised activities. If you’re heading to a city, exploring it by yourself or hopping on a free walking tour can be a great way to familiarise yourself in a new place. Just googling “free / cheap activities in X” can bring up a huge list of things you can do cheaply in different cities. If you’re somewhere more remote, exploring local parks, beaches and other natural landscapes is normally free and again, Google is your friend - see what you can do locally on a budget.

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AUTHOR: Maud Webster
she/they | third year architecture & urban planning student @ newcastle | co-head of culture for the 21/22 academic year

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