4 tips for travelling on a student budget

With more young people preferring to spend their money on experiences like travel, it can be tempting to blow student loans on extravagant vacations. For students hoping to stick to a tight budget, taking advantage of exciting opportunities to explore abroad can seem next to impossible. Fortunately, some smart saving strategies and thinking outside the box can make all the difference. Whether you're a student or your son or daughter is, here are some ideas to turn student travel dreams into reality.

1. Consider a working holiday or internship. 
Travelling becomes a lot more affordable when you can work during your time away. Although visa requirements can seem complex, you can make the process easier with International Experience Canada. This government program allows youth ages 18 to 35 to obtain work permits to travel and work abroad for up to two years in over 30 partner countries and territories. It's also a great way to gain confidence and cultural awareness.

2. Think of it as an investment. 
With more companies recruiting for global mobility and well-rounded individuals, you can stand out in a competitive job market with international travel and work experience. Widen your career horizons as you learn new approaches to creative problem solving, work on teams with diverse cultural backgrounds and gain language skills. As a bonus, research shows that youth with international experience are less likely to be unemployed thanks to the personal and professional skills they gain abroad.

3. Plan ahead. 
You can save considerably by booking your airline tickets and other reservations well in advance, and comparing prices to find off-peak days or seasons for travelling can stretch your dollar even further. Remember that cities might have cheap flights but be expensive in other ways, so create a budget that factors everything including local food, housing and recreation costs so you can pick the right spot for your trip.

4. Look out for special discounts. 
???????Once you get to your destination, there are plenty of ways to save. Ground transportation like metropolitan subways and intercity trains and buses often offer student rates, so check before buying. Many cultural attractions also have student discounts, with some museums even boasting free admission to permanent collections for everyone. Always bring your postsecondary identification and International Student Identity Card with you to make sure you qualify.

Take the first step to a rewarding experience. Find more information on working and travelling abroad at canada.ca/iec.