Student/Young People Travel Guide: All You Need to Know

Traveling when you are young can be an incredible experience. It is never too late to start exploring the world but there is no doubt that you will have more energy and be able to do more when you are younger. This doesn’t mean that traveling will be easier early on in your life, and in fact, it can be more challenging.


Whether you are planning to backpack around the UK or book a tropical destination getaway, there are some things to keep in mind. If you are a young person or student who is planning your next vacation, these travel tips can help your trip run more smoothly. Our first tip is to always be mindful of your possessions, which is why it is a good idea to leave your things at a suitcase locker in London or whatever other city you are visiting so you don’t lose them or have something taken!

How to Save Money

If you are young, and especially if you are a student, then chances are that money is not abundant in your life. Just because you don’t have a lot of extra spending money doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to travel, and these tips listed below will help you have an incredible vacation even on a tight budget.
  • Work for food or lodging
Some people might not consider that they can save money on meals or a place to stay if they offer to work. There are several organizations that can help set you up with places in need so you can save money on the essentials allowing you to spend more on new experiences. For more information check out sites like HelpX or Workaway. London, for example, has terrific opportunities!

Don’t go for the big excursions but instead see if there are any free attractions available in the area, and if you can you should always travel during the low season since prices for hotels and flights can drop significantly.

  • Research based on a budget

Before you even start planning your vacation the first thing that you should do is research. Find out what your budget is for the trip and narrow down a location that is suitable for how much you want to spend. It also helps to divide your available money into categories for food, airfare, hotel rooms and excursions.

  • Be aware of student discounts

If you are a traveling student then this can actually be used to your advantage. Lots of cities offer discounts for public transportation, museums or other attractions if you can prove that you are a student, so always check if your destination offers similar perks. Getting an International Student Identity Card can make this a lot easier.

  • Try couchsurfing or ridesharing

Most of the big costs of traveling include plane tickets, lodging and getting around the city, so if you can save on any one of those you should go for it. Consider staying with any relatives that you have in the city or check out websites like Couchsurfing that can connect you with locals offering free places to stay. Ride sharing apps like Uber or LYFT are becoming big all around the world and can also be used to spend less.

  • Be flexible on dates and activities

Sure, maybe you have that dream destination in mind whether it be London, Amsterdam, or Rome, but the truth is that if you don’t have the budget for it then you might have to wait. Some areas are more affordable than others which means that you can do more on your trip, and in the end you will have a better time anyway. Don’t go for the big excursions but instead see if there are any free attractions available in the area, and if you can you should always travel during the low season since prices for hotels and flights can drop significantly.

Problems You Might Encounter

The more you travel the sooner you realize that vacations rarely go smoothly. There is always the possibility of something going wrong but if you are prepared when disaster strikes you can make everything so much easier. Here are some of the things that you might want to look out for when traveling as a young person.

  • Legal age around the world

Even though you might be of legal age back home it does not mean that you will be in a new place. Make sure you check what the legal age is where you are going since some places might not let you buy alcohol or go to bars if you are young (London, for instance, is 18 years of age). More importantly, renting a room or Airbnb might not be possible under a certain age. Some airports also won’t let you rent a car if you are under 25, so you might have to find different accommodation or mode of travel.

  • Getting lost in a new city

With age comes experience and with experience comes wisdom, so if you haven’t been traveling a lot, it can be a complicated and sometimes scary experience. Visiting a new place can be exciting but it can also be very easy to get lost if you don’t know your way around the area. Always make sure to have a map or keep your cell phone handy in case you need to look up directions.

  • Jet lag or sickness

Depending on how far you are traveling you might have to prepare for jet lag, which is no joke. Give yourself an extra day to adjust to the new time zone or maybe pick a flight that leaves at night so you can sleep and be well rested once you arrive. Sickness can also be a downer so make sure that you bring pain or motion sickness pills in your travel bag. Of course, don’t forget any prescription medications since you might have trouble finding them in your new city. Some tropical destinations also have new diseases that you will need to be vaccinated for a certain amount of time before you travel so check in with your doctor before you go.

  • Missing a flight

It is old news that airports can be very confusing, especially if you are traveling alone or don’t have much experience. It is always better to give yourself extra time and wait at your gate instead of running late and missing your flight. If you have no excuse then you will need to speak to the airport staff and try to find a new flight but there is no guarantee that they can help you.

  • Language barrier

When you are visiting a new city lots of things are different, from the cuisine, local customs and even language. It can be a good idea to take a few classes in the local language before your vacation or at the very least learn the basic words that you might need for getting around or ordering food. Having a translator app on your cell phone can also be helpful.

How to Be Safe in a New Place

It is great to visit new places but it can also be dangerous. First off, doing research about a city and its crime rate is a must, but since anything can happen these tips can help keep you safe.

  • Never leave your baggage unattended

Pickpockets and luggage thieves are present in every city, which is why you should always keep a close eye on your bags. We recommend putting your valuables at the bottom of your backpack and not using the small pockets on the outside, or better yet get a bag that you can wear in the front.

  • Research safe areas

When you are looking for places to visit or neighborhoods to stay in, try to find the safest ones and avoid any areas that seem sketchy or dangerous. In this case, spending a bit of extra money for safety is always worth it.

  • Photocopy important travel documents

One of the worst things that you can do while traveling is to lose important papers such as your passport or boarding passes. Avoid being stranded in a new place by photocopying important documents and keeping them tucked away somewhere safe.

  • Try to avoid using ATMs or cash

If possible, carrying cash on you should be avoided. Credit cards are a safer way of paying for things since you won’t have to worry about your money being snatched from your hands, and if you are using cash do not visit an ATM at night. Stay in public places where you can’t be cornered or jumped by a thief.

  • Be secretive about your travel plans

One of the best parts about traveling to a new location is meeting interesting people, but remember to always beware of strangers. Don’t trust or follow any random civilians on the street, avoid hitchhiking, and don’t tell strangers where you are staying. Thieves can also be very creative, so don’t take tours from random locals and if you go out to a bar never leave your drink unsupervised.

Seeing the World on a Budget

As you can see, traveling young has its benefits and its downsides. As with everything, preparation is key, and as long as you do your research and remember to pack the essentials, like sunscreen, bug spray and airfare necessities, then you can greatly minimize the chances of something going wrong. 

The best way to have a successful vacation to London, Sydney, Lisbon, or anywhere in the world is to plan everything out, be wary of strangers, and research where you will be going.  Remember all of the travel tips mentioned above!

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