10 Must-Know Websites For Student Travel Discounts

10 Mist-Know Websites For Student Travel Discounts

really wanted to start this post with yet another anecdote from my study abroad trip to Ireland, but I think I’ve yakked on and on about it a little too much, so I’ll start with this instead: like pretty much every other college student out there, I’ll be damned if I’m stuck in my home state during spring break this year. Spring break is the prime time for mid-semester travel. Okay, it’s the only time for mid-semester travel since universities don’t give us any other time off during the spring, so I guess by default it’s the prime time. Anyway, what better way to relax and reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve been doing so far than by taking a trip somewhere for a few days?

I know, easier said than done, right? My friends and I are planning our getaway, and we’re not really trying to drop $1,000 on a 4-day trip, so we feel ya. So if you’ve ever wanted to be like those people who can snag $160 plane tickets for $100, and somehow sniff out the super cheap but non-crappy hotel rooms, I’m here to help.

In my quest for, well, being one of those people, I’ve come across some great (and legit!) sites that actually provide college students with discounts on flights, hotels, and other travel essentials. Like I said, I want to enjoy my spring break without coming back to a double-digit balance in my account, so we’re pretty much in the same boat here. So if you’re really adamant about saving money on travel, check out my recommendations below. Also while you’re at it, take a look at my post on How To Save Money In College for tips on smart spending.

1. StudentUniverse

This is the website I visit most frequently for discounted flights because the site is so easy to navigate, and by creating an account you can receive updates and deals during holidays. StudentUniverse was a sponsor at the 2017 College Fashion Week and I had the pleasure of working with them there, so if you’re curious check out my post!

2. STA Travel

STA Travel is great for flights, hotels, and discounted tours. I also love that they have special pages for information on securing bus and railroad passes, so you’ll be able to easily use public transportation in the city you visit. This site definitely makes sure you have fun things to do in the places you visit—from a Beer Tour of Belgium to a cruise around Turkey. I may or may not have my eye on a pizza tour of Naples package. 😉

3. EF Ultimate Break

I’m ALWAYS telling my parents, my friends, my friends’ dogs, and anyone who will listen about this website because OMG, the travel packages are awesome. I seriously always feel slightly more cultured just reading through the itineraries on the site. The packages usually include tours through several cities over the course of a few weeks (Example: 10 days through Germany, Italy and Switzerland). You can take their “quiz” to get matched to packages depending on where in the world you want to go. I’ve seen packages priced at around $2,000-$3,000 but that’s pretty good for three weeks in six different cities—that’s HALF the price that I paid to study abroad for three weeks, FYI!!!!!! Did I mention you also get group discounts?

The only thing about this site is that trips fill up FAST, so I HIGHLY recommend booking trips at least ONE YEAR IN ADVANCE. Yep, you read me right. So you better get going!

4. Travel Cuts

Travel Cuts is kind of similar to StudentUniverse in terms of what’s offered, and it’s also pretty easy to navigate. They do feature discounted trips from different companies, though, so that’s definitely worth looking through.

5. CheapOair

CheapOair isn’t just for searching up flights—you can also look at hotels, car rentals, and vacation deals. Plus, they provide TripAdvisor ratings on all listings for hotels you search for. I was pretty impressed by the flight prices I saw on this site (I low-key was about to book one straight away!) so definitely give this site a shot.

6. Student City

The vibe of this site is very “spring break,” which is good if that’s what you’re using it for! There’s so much useful information on this site, including trips, bucket list ideas, and seasonal travel ideas. And, they offer a way for you to travel for free if you’re willing to do a little work and if you’re really good at convincing people they need to take a vacation.

7. OneTravel

OneTravel allows you to find discounts on anything from just flights or just hotels to packages including flights and hotels and flights, hotels, and car rentals. This is great if you plan on staying within the United States. This site isn’t specifically for students but it’s a great site to know.

8. Travelation

Travelation is pretty much just like OneTravel, and it’s also not student-specific but it’s a good site to check out for cheap flights. And they always list featured “domestic deals” on their homepage if you’re thinking about staying within the U.S.

9. Groupon

Okay, seriously, what can’t you use Groupon for! It’s great for booking all-inclusive trips. My friends once booked a 6-day trip to the Dominican Republic for around $600—airfare and resort all included! Browse through their deals but keep in mind that they do expire and you sometimes will have to book something closer to the date you wish to travel.

10. Trivago

I’m pretty sure everyone has seen the Trivago commercials, or at least have heard of it, but it’s great for comparing hotel prices so if you’re really adamant about sticking to a strict budget, you don’t have to open up a million tabs to compare deals.

I really hope this round-up of links helps at least one person book an awesome, affordable, non-bank-breaking trip this year! If you know of any other sites that offer great discounts on student travel (or travel in general) email me or feel free to comment them below!

Also related to travel: How To Be Money Smart While Traveling Abroad, The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List, 6 Travel Experiences Every Millennial Should Have

What trips are you looking forward to in 2018? 

6 Travel Experiences Millennials Should Have Abroad + My 2018 Travel Bucket List

Around this time one year ago, I was making preparations to travel to another country for the first time. Okay, it was technically my third time, but the first two times were when I was so young that I don’t remember a single thing, so I don’t count those times. Anyway, I was about to travel to Ireland on a study abroad trip, and little did I know that this trip would inspire ideas for more adventures. There’s something so awe-inspiring about being in another country to learn and grow. I won’t go into too much detail about the trip, but it definitely made me crave more experiences abroad.

I think that people in our generation are placing more and more importance on traveling abroad and becoming more cultured. However, it can be easy to become obsessed with just getting enough content for Instagram and forget to absorb as much culture as possible. Not only that, but sometimes traveling can be so overwhelming that you may be more concerned with doing rather than what you will regret not doing. So to help you, I’ve come up with a list of experiences all travel-loving millennials should seek to have when they go abroad, whether it’s your first time or fourtieth. Plus, I’m going to be sharing my personal travel bucket list with you. So if you’re curious, read on!

Related: 9 Things You Must Consider Before You Study Abroad

1. Make a new local friend. 

The biggest thing I think I wish I had done in Ireland was actually establish a friendship with a local there. It wasn’t very easy to interact much with locals other than our tour bus driver and shop owners since we had to follow a travel and excursion schedule, as well as a class schedule. People always say that you should try to be-friend locals and I agree 100 percent. They can teach you things about their life in the country that a tour guide can’t tell you. Plus, if you ever visit again, you’ll have someone to look forward to seeing (and possibly to lend you a couch to crash on so you don’t have to pay for a hotel). Making friendships and connections is becoming increasingly important in our society, after all.

2. Try a food item you wouldn’t normally try. 

Unless you’re allergic to it, obviously. I tried fish and chips for the first time in Ireland because that’s just not something that would be served at an American restaurant (FYI, America, you’re missing out!). I personally think that you can learn a lot about a country and its culture by the food that the people eat. In Ireland, the food really spoke to the importance of agriculture since literally everything was locally sourced, and therefore a lot more fresh. Be a little wild and try out the craziest dish in the restaurant. Or just get something that your friends might find bizarre.

P.S., follow my food account on Instagram for my adventures in baking and New York City food and dessert! Here’s a sneak peek below!

3. Eat the foreign version of your favorite fast food.

Okay, I know I just said to be adventurous in what you eat and having fast food sounds like the least adventurous thing you could have while you’re abroad somewhere, BUT even the fast food can be a good indicator of country culture. Plus, don’t you want to know if the Wendy’s French fries actually taste better in France than the ones in your country? I tried Supermac’s, the Irish version of McDonald’s, and it was SO. DAMN. FRESH. Like, I’ve never had a cheeseburger that tasted healthier than this one. It definitely made me dislike American fast food and I eat considerably less of it now, and I’m trying to convince my family to follow my lead, too. If you really don’t know what to have for dinner one night, go to a fast food chain restaurant and see how they do their meals.

Read Also: The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

4. Consume the media in the country you’re visiting. 

This one really speaks to me because I’m a Journalism major, and I chose to write my final essay for class on the differences and similarities between American media and Irish media, but this is a great way to find out what’s important to the people in another country, as well as what their approach to newspapers and magazines is like.

5. Live in a hostel.

Okay, I didn’t have fantastic experiences in the hostels in Ireland, and it seems like they’re usually either ok experiences or bad experiences for other people, but I don’t wish that I didn’t have the experience of staying in some in Ireland because for a lot of travelers, hostels are affordable ways for them to take shelter while exploring a city. As someone who really hopes to travel more in the future, I thought it was important for me to understand hostel culture early. Plus, I wrote an article about my experience that got published on Thought Catalog and got hundreds of shares!

6. Embrace not having wi-fi. 

We’ve definitely become a culture obsessed with wi-fi passwords and the ability to post to Snapchat and Instagram. The only time we had wi-fi on our trip was when we were inside the hotels and eating at pubs and restaurants. So when we were walking around and exploring the city, we had no way of connecting to a signal to use the Google Maps or anything for finding our way around or texting to find our other classmates. This forced us to pay extra attention to where we were going and what was around us. Instead of being dead set on one destination, I became more ok with playing it by ear and just wandering to find something that really caught my eye. It’s amazing what you’ll see when you’re actually watching.

My 2018 Travel Bucket List

I really hope to do some serious traveling around in 2018. While I’d love to see every corner of the earth, I’m trying to make this bucket list as realistic as possible because 1) I don’t have that kinda cash to be climbing every mountain and booking every flight, and 2) I just hate getting my hopes up for something that isn’t practical for me. This list definitely doesn’t include all of the places I want to visit, but it’s what I think could be doable for me in 2018. So, without further ado, here are the places I’d like to visit in the new year—will you be in any of these cities??

1. Quebec City, Canada

I’m obsessed with cities that have rich historical importance, and Quebec City is full of it. I want to learn more about the French influence there, and what better way to do that than to actually visit. I really would love to visit for a few days, nothing too crazy. Maybe it could be a family trip for me.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

I have been dying to visit New Orleans for almost a year now. Again, it’s the French history calling my name. Sami Mast, a blogger from The Classic Brunette, did a post on her experience staying in the French Quarter of New Orleans and that really sealed the deal for me. Maybe it could be a possible spring break trip for me and a friend.

3. Paris, France

I have been telling my parents that when I graduate we are taking a family trip to Paris. I know, it sounds kind of spoiled of me, but I’ve never had a summer where I could just take a few weeks to relax and visit somewhere new since I have always jumped straight into internships after my semester ends. I’m obsessed with French beauty and French pastries—my favorite croissants are the ones I make myself, and if I cook you dinner I promise there will be eclairs, not to mention the fact that my blog is called Macarons & Mascara. I am low-key already planning for it. I downloaded a language learning app to teach myself French, and I’m forcing my family to do it too, so there’s that.

4. Edinburgh, Scotland 

My family is part Scottish and being in Ireland and seeing everyone discover new pieces of themselves there convinced me that I needed to visit Scotland to learn more about my family’s roots there.

5. Havana, Cuba 

It’s not just a super catchy song by Camila Cabello. I’m a writer at my school’s chapter of Her Campus, and for the first time ever they have organized a spring break trip for writers. The deadlines are coming up super fast, and the deposit is a bit much, so whether or not I actually go will be dependent on if I can rack up the money for it in time. Still, this is probably my best chance at getting to see Cuba’s rich history and culture firsthand, so you best believe I’m going to try everything I can to be on that trip.

Do you have any travel recommendations? What’s on your 2018 travel list? 

Read Also: 10 Fun Things To Do In Dublin

The Ultimate Guide To Dublin—10 Fun Things To Do

Dublin Bucket List

If you happen to be a New Yorker, you’ll find that Dublin may be your Manhattan away from Manhattan—bustling sidewalks, city and tour buses charging up and down streets, and aesthetic-looking cafes at every turn (yasssss!). If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you probably know that I spent one week in Dublin on a study abroad trip. I know, I know, that was back in January, but I’ve had this post written up and ready to go for a while now. But I’m choosing to publish it now because it was around this time last year that I applied for my life-changing journey abroad.

Related: 9 Things You Must Consider Before You Study Abroad

So back to one of my favorite places in the world…I found that Dublin perfectly combines fast-paced city life with charming town life, which I didn’t even think could be so perfect. Your Celtic adventure won’t be complete without paying a visit to some of these wondrous Dublin sights.

Since some people might start planning their winter trips or applying to go abroad, I decided that now might be as good a time as any to finally post this. I know Ireland isn’t always the first place people think of visiting when planning a trip to Europe, but it’s an under-appreciated gem. The culture is very different from what we’re used to in the United States, and holy mother of sheep, there are so many of those adorable fluffy babies! I can go on and on about the food, jewelry and nightlife, but I’ll probably save those ramblings for a future post. Your Celtic adventure won’t be complete without paying a visit to some of these wondrous Dublin sights.

1. The Ha’Penny Bridge

The Ha’Penny Bridge is a picturesque pedestrian bridge that runs right over the River Liffey. It connects the north and south side of the city and is gorgeous backdrop for profile picture-taking. Many couples come to the bridge to sign their names and add padlocks to the bridge to “lock up” their love. Though it isn’t a good idea to be caught doing this, the idea adds a romantic air to the bridge. Plus, my friend told me that the bridge was mentioned in one of the books she had read in her childhood, so of course we needed to see it for ourselves. 

2. The Samuel Beckett Bridge

Think of a giant string harp over a river, connecting two bodies of land. That’s the Samuel Beckett Bridge. At least that’s what I think every time I see it. It’s named after the Irish novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett, and get this: the bridge MOVES. It swings open to allow boats to pass across the River Liffey. If you get the chance to see this bridge in action, you’ll probably be too mesmerized to remember to Snapchat it. I really wanted to snap a shot of the bridge at night (it lights up, too) but unfortunately, my Nikon wasn’t awesome enough to capture an awesome picture. Maybe next time, though. 

3. The Dublinia

This is a historical museum that focuses on Viking and Medieval history in Ireland. It’s right next to Christchurch, and admission is free with your Dublin Pass (check out my post on how to save money while studying abroad). The exhibits were interactive and very visual. My favorite exhibit was the one that lets you try out archaeological methods of artifact dating for yourself (by the way, that’s my name spelled out in the Viking language below!).

Dublin Bucket List

4. Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle is full of rich history and beautiful architecture. I really love castles and I love that all of them have a different story to tell, so I was really captivated by this. There are about 800 castles in all of Ireland, and this one is certainly a sight for sore eyes. 

5. Croke Park & The GAA Museum

If you hear the Irish talking about hurling, they’re not referring to the thing you do when you’ve had too much to drink at a frat party. Hurling is a sport played using handcrafted sticks called hurleys and a tennis ball-sized object called a sliothar. Games are played in Croke Park, a vast stadium where your tour guide might also let you check out the changing rooms for the players! The GAA Museum also gives you great info about Hurling champs and is a great place for sports lovers. My group actually got to learn how to play the game and it was pretty cool. I wasn’t great at first but I ended up picking it up before the end of the session. Super fun! 

Dublin Bucket List

6. The Chester Beatty Library

This is actually a museum with exhibits that delve into the histories of different regions of the world, as well as the artifacts that were collected by Chester Beatty (aka the King of Copper) himself. Plus, you get a free Chester Beatty Biography with your Dublin Pass!

7. Trinity College

This campus is probably one of the most gorgeous campuses in the world. Their Long Room Library also houses The Book of Kells, a Gospel book written in Latin. The tour guide asked our group if we had any questions. Guess what everyone’s first (and only) question was…

Where can we buy Trinity College gear? 

Needless to say, I’m very grateful that the question was shamelessly asked.

Dublin Bucket List

8. The National Museum of Ireland — Archaeology

You can literally spend a week in this museum. It’s HUGE. It includes so much history and so many (creepy) cool things to look at. If there’s one thing you look at in this museum it HAS to be the bog bodies! Bogs often preserved parts of trees, artifacts, and even people who lived a long time ago. These bodies probably aren’t something you’d want to see tonight in your dreams but they’re so disgustingly fascinating you can’t look away!

9. The Guinness Storehouse 

You can’t come to the land of Guinness and not see Guinness. The storehouse is a great way to learn more about how the beverage is made, learn how to properly taste Guinness, and sip a proper pint for yourself while getting a 360-view of Dublin. I also loved browsing through the gift shop in the storehouse because there were so many cool things to get there, even if they were slightly tourist-y. I got some of my friends chocolate tiny, chocolate pint glasses with Guinness inside and they loved them! By the way, if you ever buy any alcoholic chocolates or candies in Ireland, just know that you WILL taste the alcohol! 

Dublin Bucket List

10.  Grafton Street

You need Grafton Street in your life. It’s a pedestrian street that’s full of shops and eateries on both sides of the road. You’ll be sure to find souvenirs, quick bites, slow bites, and everything to satisfy your Dublin shopping needs. And if you take a walk down a few side streets, you’ll find cute little pubs and cafes for an evening out.

Dublin Bucket List

Which of these places will you visit? 

Check out: The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List, 6 Fashion Accessories To Pack For Your Next Trip Abroad

How To Travel Cheaply In Your 20’s

how to travel cheaply in your 20's

Traveling is a great way to immerse yourself in a culture that may be different from your own, learn new things about other countries, and get a couple of cute, artsy photos for Instagram. Your twenties is a great time to travel around — whether it’s a couple hundred miles from home or a couple thousand — because you have fewer responsibilities, there may be more discounts available to you, and you might still be discovering yourself and what you want to do. I don’t know about you, but I’d jump on a chance to have an adventure for less money. Here are some of my tips for saving some dough on your next trip!

1. Look for student rates. 

Websites like StudentUniverse help college students save hundreds of dollars on their travel plans, and you might as well take advantage of being a college student while you’re still in college! You can find deals on flights, hotels and other living accommodations, tours, and more. Don’t be afraid to really dig around for the best prices. I used to think that searching around was really tedious, but it’s definitely worth it if it means you get to keep a couple hundred dollars in your pocket.

2. Book travel packages. 

I really love going onto EF College Break to browse through all the travel packages they offer, even if I’m not planning a trip immediately. They allow you to take trips to multiple cities around the world for a certain number of days. You must follow the itinerary they provide, but most of the trips include transportation between cities, breakfast, and city passes. This is a really great way to see multiple cities for one price. Sometimes, you can find packages that include trips between different countries, too.

Related: How To Be Money Smart While Traveling Abroad 

3. Apply to be a volunteer. 

Volunteering abroad is a great way to do something that’s bigger than yourself while also getting to see different parts of the world. Some programs may only provide you with living accommodations and food, so you may have to pay for your own ticket. You may have to check really early for programs, though; application processes could close earlier than you might expect. Lots of college campuses also have clubs/organizations where students travel to different countries to volunteer. My school has Students Helping Honduras and Alternative Spring Break Outreach, for example.

How To Travel Cheaply In Your 20's

4. Get a job or internship abroad. 

This is often easier said than done…getting a visa to work in another country is only one part of the process. You’ll also have to think about where you’re going to live and how you’re going to eat, and whether your compensation at work would be enough to cover these costs. I guess this one can sometimes work out to be a little more expensive than you might expect, but I really wanted to put this one on here. I think that this idea is so extremely life-changing if you can swing it. Sometimes local universities will host interns, but be sure to call ahead to ask.

Related: 6 Terrible Cover Letter Mistakes To Stop Making

5. Check out Groupon.

You never know what you might find on Groupon! My friends booked an all-inclusive trip this summer for less than $800 through Groupon, and I was blown away by the amount of money they saved. I had no idea that Groupon could help you save on trips, so I really wanted to put this one on here in case anyone else wasn’t aware of this.

6. Find the cheapest destinations. 

What better way to travel cheaply than to visit a cheap destination! Kiwi.com basically shows you this map with some of the biggest cities and the prices for flights there, so you can easily pick a destination that suits your budget. This is a super handy tool!

7. Book your tickets ahead of time. 

As much as I love spontaneous, last minute adventures, booking ahead of time is an important step to securing your travel plans for cheap. The closer you get to your intended departure date, the more you’ll likely have to pay for the tickets and any other accommodations. I know sometimes you might get that random urge to get out of your city and go somewhere else, but try to keep this in mind.

8. Use Amtrak. 

Who says travel means only going by air? If you’re trying to travel to other states, it may sometimes be cheaper to book Amtrak tickets, depending on which state you want to visit. Be on the lookout for those Amtrak ticket prices, especially if you don’t plan to spend longer than about a week in another state.

9. Stay in a hostel. 

I didn’t have great experiences when I lived in hostels in Ireland, but I will admit that they’re great ways for travelers to have a roof over their heads for a short amount of time. I wrote a slightly sassy article about my experience in hostels over on Thought Catalog if you’re curious about what that was like (p.s. it got over 600 shares and I’m super excited about that!) If you aren’t too keen on living and sleeping with complete strangers at night in a foreign country, I recommend traveling with a small group of friends and booking a room in a hostel that’s just big enough for your group.

10. Stay with friends or family. 

Time to call up your father’s stepsister’s great aunt and ask her if she wants company in England this summer! If you have friends or relatives who live in another city or country, staying at their house would be a great way for you to save money on your trip because you won’t have to worry about paying for a hotel or hostel. And when they want to visit you in your city, you can return the favor.

What are your tips for cheap travel? 

How To Be Money Smart While Studying Abroad

how to be money smart while studying abroad

I very recently returned from a study abroad program in Ireland (so you can definitely expect a couple more travel-related blog posts in the coming weeks!) and it was pretty much my first time traveling to another country, so of course there were some things that were completely new to me. Let’s be blunt here. Studying abroad is EXPENSIVE. there are program fees to pay, tuition, application fees, and after you get accepted to the program you have to buy travel essentials and convert currency. One thing you have to be sure of is that you’ll have enough money to last you the entire duration of the trip. And this is where you might start to worry….

You’ll feel like you need to have EVERYTHING in the shops; you need to buy gifts for your friends, parents, and siblings, and don’t you even dare return home without picking something up for your mom’s cousin’s daughter — you’ll never hear the end of it if you do. Not to mention the fact that you’ll have to pay for daily meals and anything else that comes up. Here’s how I managed my spending while abroad while still making room to treat myself (and my family and friends).

1. Pack the medications you use on the regular so you don’t have to purchase them abroad.
This is more of a pre-departure preparation but it can save you some cash. If you know you use Tylenol when you get headaches, pick up a travel pack of it before leaving home. If you’re prone to catching colds, make sure you bring some cough drops and some of your cold medicine. It can be costly to have to run out and purchase these things while abroad. And, depending on where you travel to, it can be difficult to find a pharmacy to purchase these things. It’s much safer to just come prepared with these items. I also have a post on everything you should pack for study abroad, if you’re interested.

2. Don’t go out drinking every night.
Chances are, the drinking age abroad is lower than the one you’re used to in your country. In the U.S., the drinking age is 21 but in Ireland the drinking age is 18. It can be tempting to go out and have some legal fun and not be carded at every pub or bar you enter, but don’t let the fun go to your head. One drink may be just five dollars, euros, pounds, or whatever, but all those drinks will add up fast, and before you know it you’ll barely have money left for souvenirs.

3. Bring a refillable water bottle.
Continuously buying bottles of water at the store can get pricey. On day one, I bought a bottle of water from the vending machine and it cost two euros, which I thought was pretty expensive. Having a refillable bottle handy will allow you to quench your thirst wherever and whenever. And I promise I’m not trying to sell you water bottles, but that’s just how useful they really are.

4. Make sure you love it, not just like it.
High quality items can be extremely expensive, so make sure you’re dropping the big bills on something you actually really, genuinely love. Sometimes when you see something eye-catching you just can’t get it out of your head and you feel like it was made for you. That’s when you snatch it up.It can be difficult to convince yourself that you don’t need every single keychain in the store. I didn’t purchase too many things for myself because even though I saw so many pretty things, I knew that there were some things that I wouldn’t feel bad about not buying and I was right.

5. Splurge on authentic rather than tourist target.
There will definitely be some items that you see in basically every single gift shop, and often times the prices of these items vary and can get quite high. After a couple of days in Ireland, I made a list of things that I will NOT purchase at tourist gift shops: jewelry; woolens; hats; chocolate; tea. There are specific shops that sell these items in AMAZING quality and while they may be a bit more expensive, I knew that I’d be purchasing the very best for someone I care about. It’s much better to dish out the extra dough on something authentic rather than picking up the lower quality stuff at tourist traps, in my opinion.

How To Be Money-Smart While Studying Abroad

6. Look into purchasing city passes.
City passes basically allow you to visit certain attractions and use certain transportation for free while you’re in a specific city. Of course, you do pay a fixed fee for the city pass so everything isn’t exactly free but it does save you money. Why go in your pocket to pay the bus fare every time you want to go somewhere when you can just flash your pass and be on your way? Be aware that city passes are not universal and therefore not every city offers them. If you aren’t sure, visit the tourist center where you’re staying and you’ll have all the information you need.

7. Ask your professor for the dish on the best places to eat and find some items.
The professor who supervised our study abroad program was extremely knowledgable about where to get certain things for the best price, best quality, where to get the best dishes, where the grocery stores were, what closed at what time, and all that other important stuff that we usually don’t think about before heading out. Simply asking questions can be key to saving yourself money. And if you’re on an exchange program and don’t have a supervising professor, don’t be afraid to ask some locals for their opinions!

8. Use Trip Advisor.
This is another alternative to asking your professor. Trip Advisor is pretty trustworthy and can help you find what you’re looking for. Read what people have to say about certain restaurants so you know if the food is good for the price before you spend money. Get a consensus on attractions before you pay admission. This can definitely save you a couple of bucks.

9. Limit the laundry.
If your program is just a couple of weeks long like mine was, aim to do laundry just once or twice in large loads. Laundry wasn’t easily accessible everywhere I went and some places were very pricey. I grabbed a couple of other students in the program and we put our laundry together to form one big load because none of us wanted to pay a lot of money just to wash underwear and a couple of sweaters. We split the costs and I paid less than three euros to do my laundry. To limit the laundry, make sure you pack enough clothes for the trip and only pack what you’ll actually wear so that unnecessary pieces of clothing don’t take up space in your suitcase.

Another great thing that really helped me out was packing a Tide-to-go pen. When I was eating dinner one night, I got a splash of soup on the sleeve of one of my prettiest sweaters and it was only my first time wearing it. I didn’t want to just throw it to wash because it was really early in the trip and I didn’t have enough clothing to wash. So I just used my Tide to go pen and it took care of the stain so I could still wear the sweater until I was ready to wash clothes.

10. Keep your money safe.
This is one of the most important ways to be money smart wherever you are. Keep an eye on your cash as well as any credit or debit cards that you bring. Know exactly how much you have at all times so you’ll know if you’ve lost money. Don’t leave your wristlet on the table at dinner and walk away, even if a friend is watching your stuff. There’s not much they can do if someone swiftly walks by, swipes your purse off the table, and is out the door before your friend can even blink. When walking in crowded areas, keep your bag or purse in front of you and close to your body.

11. Get a tax card and also ask for tax receipts every time you make a purchase.

We received Horizon cards on day one and were told to present the card whenever we made a non-food or beverage purchase. The prices on the items already included tax and because we were just tourists, we’d be able to get that money back upon leaving the country. DON’T forget to ask the cashier if the store scans Horizon cards. If you’ve been buying up a ton of gifts for family and friends, you will lose quite a bit of money if you forget. I definitely forgot to use my card for a lot of purchases, and it’s too late now. Check to make sure that the country you’re in can give you some kind of tax card. Stores that don’t scan tax cards will usually give you a tax receipt that you can fill out.

What are your tips for being money smart while abroad? 

Related posts: 13 Tips For Saving Money In College, 9 Things You Must Consider Before Studying Abroad

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The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

study abroad packing list

So you decided to take the plunge: you applied to study abroad and you got accepted! This is definitely an exciting moment, but getting prepared to go abroad can also be quite nerve-racking. There are so many things you must prepare for before you study abroad, and honestly, it can feel pretty overwhelming. If you were already nervous about packing to go away for college, this is like twice as insane because you’re going to be in another country (unless you were already going away to college in another country. In this case, you probably already experienced all the insane nervousness).

As I’m packing to go on my study abroad trip in a few days, I want to triple check and then quadruple check that I remembered everything. So I’ve basically been researching all the things I need to take with me. My professor also emailed my group a packing list for the country we’re going to, and I’ve been thinking a lot about which items I personally need while I’m abroad. So I created this ultimate list of all the things you need to pack for your study abroad adventure to take some of the stress out of your packing! I think that sometimes people overpack and then they’re in trouble on the return flight because they purchased a bunch of gifts and things from the other country to bring back for family and friends, so they end up with overstuffed, overweight luggage and they have to pay extra money because of it. So without further ado, here’s what you should pack!


  • 3 pairs of pants
  • Sweaters/t-shirts (as you see fit)
  • Pajama tops + bottoms
  • Camis/tank tops
  • Underwear (enough underwear)
  • Bras
  • Socks
  • 2 party/formal outfits
  • Stockings
  • 1 pair of tights
  • Weatherproof/all-weather jacket
  • Waterproof boots
  • Sneakers
  • 1 pair of flip-flops + shower shoes
  • 1 pair of fancy shoes (flats, heels, etc.)
  • Touchscreen gloves
  • A hat and scarf


  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste + toothbrush holder
  • Face towel
  • Bath towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Shampoo + conditioner + body wash (in travel bottles)
  • Razor
  • Pads/underwear liners
  • Comb + brush
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hair ties
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Makeup

School supplies: 

  • Tablet
  • Notebook
  • Pens + pencils
  • Textbook(s)
  • Journal


  • Plug + voltage adapters
  • Chargers for phone/tablet/laptop
  • Earbuds
  • Camera + SD Card
  • Portable charger


  • Travel Tylenol
  • Allergy medicine
  • Prescription medicine
  • Band-aids
  • Q-tips
  • Eyeglasses/contacts


  • Tide-to-Go pen
  • Wristlet/crossbody
  • Umbrella (unless an umbrella is no use against the weather)

Don’t leave without: 

  • Passport + passport holder (Visa if needed)
  • Boarding pass
  • Exchanged currency
  • State ID
  • School ID
  • Debit/Credit card
  • Insurance card
  • Emailed copies of important documents

Notice how I mentioned a “weatherproof” jacket and “waterproof” boots. I think people tend to go crazy with jackets and shoes and things — they spend money and use up space on different jackets for different weather changes, whereas buying one jacket that’s good for rain, snow, wind and even has a lighter detachable inner jacket is a much better investment. You don’t need to pack a raincoat, a winter jacket, and a spring jacket when you can get one jacket that does it all. This is the North Face 3-in-1 waterproof jacket that I bought for my trip to Ireland. I was told that bringing an umbrella is optional because they don’t stand a chance against the rain in Ireland, so I made sure I bought something that would keep me dry and warm.

If you’re only going away for a mini session (3-4 weeks) avoid bringing nail polish and nail polish remover. Nail polish remover is flammable (whether or not it contains acetone) and the TSA prohibits flammable liquids. Get a mani before you leave for trip and hope that it lasts! Also, I highly doubt you’d even want to stay inside and paint your nails when you could be exploring the city, meeting locals, and making memories. For a list of what you can and can’t bring on flights, check out the TSA’s website here.

Related Posts: 9 Things You Must Consider Before You Leave For Study Abroad, The Collegiate’s Ultimate College Packing List, 13 Things Not Allowed In Dorm Rooms + What To Bring Instead 

What’s on your study abroad packing list?