Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Travelling on a budget

Travelling on a budget: a blog by Modhurima, Student Money Assistant

Travelling as a student is, undoubtedly, an exciting experience and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. With the right planning and insights, you too can embark on inter-city or international adventures while staying within your budget. In this article, we'll share some tips and tricks to help you explore new destinations without the hefty price tag.

The key to travelling on a budget is planning well ahead of time. This will help you save on transportation costs, especially if you plan to travel by air. So, if you're looking for a summer trip, try to book your flights by March to lock in the best rates. Similarly, early planning will ensure you can reserve quality accommodation at great prices.

Cheap transport is a crucial factor when travelling on a tight budget. If you’re planning a plane journey, consider budget airlines like Ryanair, and easyJet, for cheap flights across Europe. Another useful way to save money on transport is to opt for travel passes. If you want to travel within Europe, look into getting a Eurail Pass (for non-EU residents) or Interrail Pass (for EU residents). These passes offer unlimited train travel within and across multiple European countries, making them cost-effective, but only if you use them extensively within that timeframe. Similarly for UK travel, you can get a 16-25 railcard for only 30 pounds a year which will save you a third of your train fares. If planes and trains are too expensive, catch coaches instead! Check out Megabus and National Express for affordable coach options. A bonus tip is to take overnight buses or trains while travelling longer distances so you can save the cost of a night's accommodation!

Speaking of accommodation, hostels offer an affordable option. Websites like Hostel World provide a variety of hostels for almost any destination. If hostels don’t fit your requirements, opt for Airbnb instead. These are often affordable if booked in advance and come with kitchens, which means you don’t have to spend your budget on expensive restaurants. You can also book University dorm rooms during holiday periods for a cheap stay.

Exploring new destinations is a major draw for travelling. In order to do so cost-effectively, use public transport whenever possible. Many cities offer bike rental services which is both eco-friendly and cheap! Also, a lot of UK and European cities take pride in their walkability so make use of that! In terms of activities to do, you can explore public parks, gardens, and landmarks which typically don’t charge entrance fees. Many museums and attractions across Europe and the UK have free entry as well!

If you are an international student from outside the EU, make sure to account for the cost of obtaining a Visa as well, which can be a considerable investment. Therefore, it is wise to time your Visa application strategically for a period when you can undertake extensive travel, such as during the summer holidays. This ensures you maximise the value of your Visa expense.

Lastly, you may be able to bag student discounts in various places like museums or restaurants, so don’t forget to carry your student ID anywhere you go!

For further money-related support, contact Student Funding Support by email (, phone (024 7615 0096), or come to the Wellbeing Reception in Senate House (10 am-3 pm Monday-Friday).