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Student Travel Tips

18/07/2023

Travelling during your studies can be a great way to boost confidence.

Of course, there are lots of things to consider. How much should I spend? How far should I go? How long should I go for? 

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These questions (and plenty more) are likely spinning around your head. We want to ease your stress of planning by offering these tips for student travellers.

Student Travel Tips 

A week in Lyon, a month in Peru or half a year travelling South Africa can be a life-changing experience. Regardless of where you go, make sure that you're prepared! For those going for gap years, UCAS has published great ideas to consider when going abroad!

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To ensure your travel plan goes smoothly, consider the 15 tips below. 

Find a student-friendly travel destination

A destination is deemed student-friendly when its activities, sports, accommodations and affordability are applicable to students. 

Places such as Manchester, Berlin, or Sydney fall under this category. Student-friendly accommodations are an ideal option too - commonly studios or 1-bed apartments! 

Prioritise education

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 If you're travelling during your studies, don't forget that your studies still take priority. 

This doesn't mean thoroughly studying while you're abroad (although that's still a choice!). But, it does mean that your studies for the year are completely done before you take a flight out elsewhere.

Book your hostel and plane early

Rates can change in many ways, so booking a hostel and plane early is a great way to gauge lower prices during your travel away. 

Take a look at things like Skyscanner and Airbnb to check out lower prices whenever they're available.

Have an option of travelling alone 

While it's fun to spend time travelling with people you know and love, it can be exhausting planning travel outings with others too. This is due to the many requirements that need to be met. 

At the very least, keep the prospect of travelling alone an option. It's easier to plan, and while it can be scary, the payoff is more worth it.

Check out any free walking tours 

A walking tour is a perfect way to explore the destination you're going to. And more often than not most of them are free for lots of cities. 

If you can, check out some of the free walking tours available for the city you're visiting.

Plan to stay longer (if you can) 

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It's likely you'll have settled into a routine once you're a few days into your destination. 

For students staying for longer (let's say, 6 months), its advisable that you 

Talk to your bank

Speak to your local bank about going to another country for long periods of time. 

They can often provide advice on local currency, what scams to look out for in terms of getting money from ATMs, and any fees you might need to pay.

Bring extra cash

Bring an extra hand of cash when you can. 

It's better to be prepared for emergencies than not, and if you go to another country, you'll feel much better having that extra pair of security on your person.

Pack light

When you're packing, try and pack light! This is specific for students going to places for more extended periods. 

You'll likely buy clothes, souvenirs and other items while you're away (that you might want to bring home). So if you're bringing them back home, it's best to keep some space in your bag.

Plan before you go 

While there's fun to be had in exploring the destination you want to go to, you can also opt for finding any nearby events where you're going to. 

Not only can you fill up days where you might have no plans, but you also create an incentive to look forward to. Things that you can do in the city are almost always vast, so check out resources like blogs, event line ups and other things that will help you plan!

Check out all the exclusive eats and cafes 

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Don't be afraid to dine in some of the independent restaurants and cafes in the place you're staying. While it's nice and reliable to find food chains like Mcdonald's and Taco Bell, you can get a more refined experience by trying the local cuisine. 

(Embankment Kitchen is available in Manchester too if you want exclusive eat to try in the city).

Consider the weather 

The UK, Belgium and other places in Europe are quite renowned for uninteresting weather, so it's best to check the place you're going to on what type of weather it'll bring! 

That's not to say that rainy seasons are bad, though. Some places bring a certain vibrancy when the weather is considered non-tourist (think Canada, Sweden, and Japan). 

If it's a rainy day and you want to take it easy, a cafe might be a great option. Luckily, Manchester has a great place to hang out, relax, and enjoy great coffee.

Take into account student discounts

Nowadays there are loads of places that offer discounts for students, from long stays in apartments to flights. 

When you're looking at destinations to go to, don't forget to check out what kind of offers you can get during your stay. It's worth a wander, and you're more likely to have a better time when you have more money in your pocket to spend on other things! 

Talk to locals 

Talking to locals allows you to learn more about the culture of whatever you're visiting. Creating social relationships with neighbours during your stay, for example, can enhance your experience as they're likely going to have their encounters to help you settle into your destination. 

Plus, it can never hurt to speak to more people. You'll be making long-lasting memories, and that's a price worth paying for.

Watch out for off-peak times

When you're out and about, high-peak times can be overwhelming due to the amount of people trying to get into buses, trains, traffic, etc. If we were to give you one last and final piece of advice, it's to watch out for off-peak times. 

To avoid likely crowds, off-peak times are almost always the perfect opportunity to start exploring. So if you want to visit a tourist attraction, go on a trail or explore a city, do it at off-peak times so there are fewer people to worry about. 

How Do You Travel While Studying? 

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We've offered our tips on travelling as a student - but, can it be done during studies as opposed to a gap year? While not impossible, careful planning will be needed so you can study and travel around efficiently. 

UCAS created a great guide on studying while you're abroad. However

Take into account your important information

Course providers will (likely) have an online portal system to give students access to course materials and such. Nowadays browsers have password-saving features, but it's important to have them noted down/memorised in case of emergencies. 

Understand your timetable 

This differs between universities, but it's best to understand your timetable as soon as you can (mind you, some universities and colleges might not send them until a week before a semester starts). 

The earlier you know your timetable, the better you can plan out the travel portion of your studies. 

Check internet access options

You will need the internet to access your courses, so ensure that wherever you decide to go, internet accessibility is easy and reliable. If not, take a chance on getting a WiFi dongle.

Check out local research options

New areas, cities or countries offer new ways to study. Discover your destination's local research options such as libraries, historical societies, town halls, and other facilities to expand your knowledge!

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