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The basics
Study abroad : Student Finances

How to save travel money- a guide for students

Want to travel during your studies abroad? We’ve got some suggestions as to how you can go about saving for that trip here.

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Being able to study overseas is indeed an enriching experience that should not be missed. However, as a student still trying to find their footing, you’d definitely yearn to travel to other countries while studying. We understand that more often than not, being a student abroad means there is a certain budget that you’d need to adhere to. Organising a trip during semester breaks will require additional funds. Don’t fret. We’ve got you. Here are a few helpful tips to help you save money!


1. Determine the ‘where’ and ‘when’

Decide on a place that you’d like to visit and do some research on when would be the best time to go there. Set aside between four to six months to save the required amount of money for travelling. Start saving up and planning for your trip at the start of the school term or maybe even before you leave for your study abroad by taking up a temporary job at home.


Ensure that your travel dates don’t clash with any important university activities such as your exams. Summer and winter breaks are the best times for you to go on a trip, but even long weekends and public holidays work for a short-term trip.


2. Plan your meals!

If you’re staying in a dorm that doesn’t have access to a kitchen, then it’s quite hard to cook a proper meal. However, there are ways to save money. Buy bread and peanut butter or bananas to keep you full. Purchase instant coffee, there are so many generic brands that cater to every single combination out there to satisfy even the most picky of taste buds, avoid getting your daily java from the cafe nearby. For more tips, check out guide on grocery shopping on a student’s budget here.



3. Cut down your snacks

This will kill two birds with one stone. You will have a healthier diet AND save money! Let’s be honest, you don’t really need all that chocolate or chips every day. Having them once every few weeks is more than enough to satisfy that craving. If you’re suffering from an attack of the munchies, grab a celery stick with peanut butter, or make your own yoghurt parfait with some cereal and a packet of greek yoghurt. Check out our guide on healthy foods to stock in your fridge here.



4. Exercise for free

A gym membership might look really attractive, what with all those fancy machines and unlimited zumba classes that you could go to. However, most memberships are underutilised. Instead of wasting your money on a membership that you will hardly use, you could use it for your trip. There’s plenty of exercise videos on Youtube that you can follow from the comfort of your dorm room. Fancy a run? Take out those track shoes and take in the fresh air at the local park.


5. Say ‘NO’ to shopping!

This applies to both girls and boys. We understand that it can be truly difficult to restrain that impulse to treat yourself to something, especially after a particularly trying exam or week. The next time you feel that strong urge to do so, take a step back and ask yourself, do you actually need this bag or shirt. Would this new bag be more preferable than that awesome future trip?


Saying no to yourself might be incredibly challenging in the beginning, made more so when you see your friends parading in the latest trends and fashions. Fashion trends are transient, trying to keep up can harm your wallet. Remember there is no shame in wearing the same things or a hand-me-down.


6. Pocket-friendly quality time with friends

We get it. College is a time for you to have fun, not just study. Going out with your friends to unwind after a week filled with assignments and exams is vital to your sanity (it’s vital for ours too). Doing this occasionally is fine, but participating in this every week will set your savings plan back. Consider switching to more budget-friendly activities. Below are just some suggestions.

  • Rent a movie and watch it with homemade popcorn
  • Go out to the park and have a picnic
  • Go to the beach and rent a bike or a pair roller blades
  • Purchase ingredients at a grocery store and have a cook-out or bake-out
  • Or go bargain-hunting or a garage sale for great finds


7. Stop buying books!

Books aren’t cheap. If you truly want a copy of that book you really love, getting the online version is definitely more inexpensive, bear in mind that purchases do add up, so even if an e-book can go for two bucks, ten e-books will set you back by 20 bucks.

A cheaper alternative would be to rent or even better borrow them from the library. Make full use of your university’s library, not just for reference books or to revise during exams, loan storybooks, publications and even comics! Unless it’s a special edition or collection that you know you’ll continue reading again and again, is it worth setting your travel plans back?



 8. Find a source of income!

If the country that you’re studying in opens part-time positions or summer job opportunities, then you’re in luck. Take up these positions either during your term or during semester breaks. It’s not just an eye-opening experience, it will also supplement your income and go a long way towards your travel savings. You’ll meet new people outside of your campus and could even land you a permanent position upon graduation if leave a good impression!


Happy travels! 


Want to study abroad? Check out the courses available here!

Or download a unviersity's prospectus now


Useful links

7 powerful tips to ace that exam

Things you should know about fashion school

Foods every college student should have in their fridge

Things to do before embarking on that study abroad trip

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