How to travel on a budget in college

You’ll never have more time to travel than when you are a student. Travelling has the unique ability to open your mind to new cultures, customs, languages, and lifelong friends. It is such a rich experience.

That doesn’t mean you need to be rich to travel. You just need to be smart and hack the system. Here’s how.

1. Make a budget

Think about how much money you can afford to spend a day. This should include food, accommodations, transportation, and any activities for the day. Use this number to guide all your choices for you trip.

2. Bring your student ID

Tons of places overseas will give you up to 15% off just for flashing your student ID. Don’t miss out on these free savings.

3. Skip the resort and hotel

There are so many cheaper options. And when you leave the resort, you have a better idea what the local culture is actually like. Rent someone’s flat. Or stay in a hostel and meet fellow travellers.

4. Make sure breakfast is included

If breakfast is part of your accommodation cost, it’s one less thing you have to pay for each day. How awesome is that?

5. Get a rail pass

In Europe and Australia, train is the way to go. If you are going to travelling around a lot - get a student rail pass.

6. Shop like you’re at home

When you travel abroad, you can still use your TD Access Card or TD Credit Card. You just need to look for stores that accept Visa.1 Ask your local branch before you go how much it costs to use your debit or Credit Card abroad.

7. Buy food from the grocery store

Have a relaxing picnic in the park. Pick up snacks you can eat while exploring a monument. Pack a water bottle and fill up for free whenever you can. These kinds of habits will cut down on the number of times you have to eat out.

8. Look for free events

Often in tourist cities, there will be a free walking tour that would love to show you around. Or they have a special day when it is free to go to the museums. Don’t forget to go see all the free natural attractions like parks, waterfalls, and walking trails.

9. Take advantage of free Wi-Fi

This is clutch. Free Wi-Fi means free access to the Internet. You can instant message home for free. You can look up directions to your next location. You can upload pictures of your trip so far.

Pro tip: look for restaurants and hostels that have free Wi-Fi to maximize the amount of time you can be connected.


For Visa Debit purchases at merchants outside of Canada, the transaction amount will be converted to Canadian dollars based on the foreign exchange rate charged to TD Canada Trust and will include an additional fee equal to 2.5% of the converted amount