Travel discounts for students abound in Europe. But are they all created equal? I’ve been studying abroad in London this semester and putting my discounts to the test at every opportunity. Here are the ones that work best in practice.
Student Discounts for All of Europe
In my experience, Student Universe is hands down the best website for finding cheap flights all over the world. I’ve used it every time I’ve traveled as a student in Europe and it has saved me a lot of money. Student Universe is also great for finding low-cost hotels and excursions, but if you’re looking to save money on flights, always check this site first.
It took me a little while to remember to use the NUS (National Union of Students) card, but once I did, the savings started pouring in. The NUS card got me discounts in London on groceries, movie tickets, and airport transfers. I’ve already saved more than I spent on buying the card in the first place. Definitely a must-have for study abroad students.
When looking for places to stay in the countries that I’m visiting, Hostelworld is my go-to site. Other than the AirBnb I stayed at in Dublin, Hostelworld has been where I’ve booked every other hostel for my trips. What’s great about this site is that you can filter the results by location, rating, and price.
AirBnb was easily the best option for housing on my trip to Dublin. I traveled to Ireland with six friends, so finding cheap lodging for the whole group was tough at first. Once we looked at AirBnb, we had a half dozen options to choose from that were all much cheaper than staying in a hotel or hostel.
Your School ID
This technically doesn’t count as being a source for discounts, but I figured it was worth mentioning for two reasons. First, many places in Europe offer discounts for students, usually called “concessions,” but you have to prove that you are in fact a student to qualify for the discount. My advice is to always have your school issued student ID with you or some other identification that can prove you’re a student.
The second reason I included your school ID on this list is because sometimes companies don’t explicitly state that they offer student discounts. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, ask about student discounts before you make a purchase. Chances are you’ll find one at least some of the time.
London-Specific Student Discounts
The Oyster Card is an absolute life saver for traveling around London. The card itself costs 5 pounds and gives you access to the bus and the tube during all hours. You can add money to the card through the website, at every tube station, and at some convenience stores around the city. The best part about the Oyster Card is that it saves you more than half the cost of peak travel tickets.
Lastminute.com isn’t specific to London, as it operates in a handful of countries, but London is its most popular. With the site, you can purchase everything from flights to tickets to the theater all at incredibly discounted prices. The only catch is that you do have to purchase them last minute (hence the name), so I’ve found that the website is best to use on the weekend when you’re looking for something fun to do that night.
The National Express is a bus service that offers cheap tickets for traveling around London (but specifically to and from the airport). I use it every time I travel to Standsted or Heathrow airport, as tickets are far less expensive than other bus options or taking a taxi or Uber.
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Nicole DiCenso is currently studying abroad in London, England. She loves to travel and document her journeys, so follow along on Instagram @GirlLostAbroad.