Travelers between the ages of 12 and 26 can enjoy special student travel deals. These travel deals with savings of 50 percent or more are available on transportation, lodging and attractions - just by proving your age and, in some cases, whether you are attending school.
Save Big at Online Student Travel Agencies
You can always shop for great travel deals and discount hotels at one of the major online travel agencies like Expedia, Orbitz or Booking Buddy. However, for really special deals for students, your best bet will usually be an online student travel agency. These specialized websites will give you the same flight and hotel search capabilities as other online travel agencies, but they are loaded with destinations and hotel packages geared towards students.
Student travel agencies focus on the destinations and travel times that are of special interest to students - such as:
- Warm weather trips to Florida, Hawaii and the Caribbean during winter and spring break
- Educational trips where students can have fun while they earn college credits
- Post-graduation trips to Europe, Asia and other fun destinations
Some of the larger student travel agencies include:
- STA Travel - This is the largest student travel agency, with extensive selections of low-priced airline and hotel deals. STA also offers unique cost-saving deals such as paying the student's airline baggage fees. Their last-minute, weekly student airfare deals are another great way to save money, offering rock-bottom rates for a quick weekend away or a fast trip home.
- Student Universe - They offer low airfares, hostel and hotel deals as well as international car rentals. Their advertised prices include all fees and taxes. They also partner with Orbitz to provide last-minute travel deals which are posted every Wednesday. To be eligible for Student Universe's special travel deals, the traveler has to be a student who can prove they are taking classes part-time or full-time at a government accredited college or university, anywhere in the world. A student discount card does not have to be purchased to receive the low rates.
- Travelosophy - This agency has all the low rates and fun destinations of other student agencies. They also offer additional travel planning features that are particularly attractive if you plan an extended stay - such as the ability to change the return date or leave it totally open.
- UpTake - This travel research metasite pulls reviews from the best content and community sites around the web to give you very good advice on where to go and what to do. You can even search for budget friendly options. It's especially helpful for researching United States Vacations and should expand internationally soon.
Buy a Discount Card
For about $20 to $25 a year, students over the age of 12 can purchase a student discount card which they can present for savings of 10 to 50 percent at hotels, airlines, railroads, restaurants, transportation rentals, museums, theaters and other travel activities. The most popular cards include:
- International Student Identity Card (ISIC) - This card is the most widely-accepted student discount card, providing its cardholders with big savings - some of which are only available to ISIC cardholders. Cardholders also receive a travel insurance policy as well as basic medical and accident insurance. To purchase the card, purchasers must be full-time, degree-seeking students at an accredited institution.
- International Student Exchange ID Card (ISE) - This card provides access to most of the same discounts as the ISIC. Cardholders also receive some basic insurance protection including airline bankruptcy protection, medical expense coverage and evacuation expense coverage.
- International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) - This card provides domestic and international travel savings to non-students under the age of 26.
- Student Advantage Discount Card - This card provides access to the nation's largest discount program including savings at over 20,000 locations across the United States.
Book Direct for Student Discounts
Sometimes a student can get travel deals by booking directly with the travel provider. DealBase.com offers a page of student hotel deals, for example.
American Airlines offers small discounts on their already low-priced vacation packages to students through their campus reps at specific universities in the United States. These discounts result in a savings of about 10 percent off the airfare and 5 percent off hotel and car rentals. Other airlines tend to offer their student discounts through student travel agencies.
Student savings on bus and rail transport are also offered directly:
- Greyhound Bus - Students who purchase the Student Advantage Discount Card save 15 percent on all fares and 50 percent on package shipping.
- Amtrak - Students save 15 percent with the purchase of either the Student Advantage Discount Card or the ISIC card.
- Eurail - This European rail organization offers a Eurail Youth Pass through their Rail Europe program. The pass is good for a specific number of days during a specific timeframe. For example, the pass could be effective for three days during a specific month. Consider buying your pass online before you leave for Europe, since passes purchased in the United States are often given special access to reserved seat areas.
Consider Group Travel
Students can experience even bigger travel deals if they book and travel with a group of ten or more students. Groups just need to travel together - they don't have to be on a structured tour. Group travel can mean big savings on air fare and hotel deals for adventure travel, an educational tour or just a wonderful warm week in Florida or Mexico during spring break.
No matter how much you save, nothing is more important than your safety when traveling. It can be easy to get caught up in the adventure and fun of a new location and inadvertently get yourself into an unsafe situation. Stay alert when you are with people you don't know or in situations that are new to you.
Read more Travel Deal Articles.