How to Travel the World for Cheap


Private Villa in Koh Samui, Thailand Photo by Michelle Ricciardi

Michelle Ricciardi, Editor in Chief

Being a college student with wanderlust is a catch 22. I can’t drop out of school to jet set around the world-although highly tempting-and I could never just give up my passion for the ivory tower and a diploma that is supposed to help me find success (and a job).

So how do you have your cake and eat it, too? You discount “shop” for travel discounts like a madwoman (or madman).

There are tons of ways to get your dream vacation or even find a cheap way home on a poor college student’s budget; you just have to know where to look:


  1. Student Universe: This is my number one discount site for flights. You can get ridiculously cheap flights to Europe, Asia, and pretty much anywhere else for a fraction of normal airline prices and even other discount services. For example, I found round-trip flights to London for the end of December (one of the most expensive times to fly due to the holiday season) on Student Universe for $512, compared to Expedia and even Wow Air (famous for their super cheap flights to Iceland and other parts of Europe), which came to about $620 round-trip.


  1. I know what you’re probably thinking-why stay in a hotel when Airbnb exists? My top reason is that because offers “book now, pay later.” Sometimes, you don’t have the cash (or credit) up front to pay for accommodations. Book now, pay later allows you to guarantee your room for your stay and pay when you get to the hotel. This saves you stress and gives you time to rake in that cash before your trip. Plus, if you have to cancel (you usually have up until 24 hours before your expected arrival), you don’t lose a deposit!


  1. Airbnb: Even if you do have to pay upfront, Airbnb is a great way to save money while being able to stay in a great location that is otherwise pricey. As a last resort, try renting out someone’s timeshare to have the hotel experiences without paying the normal price!


  1. Expedia: Though most of the websites I’ve mentioned also offer discounts for car rentals, excursions, accommodations and fights, Expedia is your one stop shop if you’re looking to book everything all at once. They even have awesome cruise deals, which are hard to find on other trusted sites. However, I personally think Expedia is best for pre-booking excursions and tours, whether you’re looking to take a cooking class in France, go on a wine tour through Italy, or go caverning in Bali.