Being a student can render you a tired and broke zombie, especially while you are traveling. Trying to keep all of your books with you, while trying to adhere to the weight standards that many airlines demand can be scary sometimes; especially when you show up and your carry-on is too big, or your checked bag is too heavy.
All of these factors can make travel unnecessarily stressful. There has to be a way around it, right? Of course there is! That is exactly the reason that we bring you this list of ten useful travel hacks for students.
10 Don't Forget Your Student ID
When travelling, it might be a good idea to bring your university issued identification card with you everywhere you go. You might not need it to get into any libraries, but it is a good idea to keep on you in case you might be able to get student discounts. A lot of hotels, grocery stores, or restaurants offer promotions or deals exclusively for students, but if you forget your student ID, you may be completely out of luck, since without proof, they won't usually give you the discount.
9 Pack Your Suitcase Carefully
When travelling, it is easy to run out of room on both your carry-on and your checked bag; if you choose to pack both. Most of the time, the limited space that comes with packing is the result of poorly folded clothes. Something that isn't exactly new to the game is rolling your clothes rather than folding them in squares. This will make more room for either more clothes or anything else you may need to stuff in your suitcase. YouTube offers a plethora of videos completely based on how to pack your clothes more efficiently.
8 Pack The Essentials In Your Carry-On
We've all heard horror stories about airlines losing luggage and passengers having to spend days or even weeks trying to get their belongings back. It doesn't happen super often, but it happens more often than you think, although airlines say that it's pretty rare these days.
However, even if you lose your luggage, you can be prepared by putting some of your essentials into your carry-on. Some of these items include underwear, a toothbrush and travel-sized toothbrush, contact lenses or glasses, as well as deodorant.
7 Make Copies Of Important Documents
We've already talked a little bit about how important it is to have you student ID on you at all times. But what if you lost it? One of the worst things that could happen while you are travelling is losing your important documents. Some people have become stranded in foreign countries without a way back home due to missing documents and no proof that they ever had them. Something you may want to do is take pictures or paper copies of all your important documents. This way you at least have passport, driver's license, and ticket numbers if you lose the hard copies of your documents.
6 Download All Your Books
Depending on where you are going, you may have to bring a lot of stuff in your backpack and carry-on, which can bog you down and make you even more tired than you really need to be. One thing that you can do to keep your carry on light is to download as many of your textbooks and best travel novels onto your phone, tablet, or computer. Try to scan all your worksheets or projects onto them as well. This will reduce weight of your bags significantly, make room for everything else, and save you the hassle of trying to find pen, pencils, notebooks, and textbooks.
5 Take Advantage Of Hostels
Hotels can break $150 per night, even more if you plan on staying in tourist heavy areas. Since people have realized just how broke a student can be, hostels have become more and more popular. A hostel is often a temporary living space for students or otherwise that offers a private room with just a bed, dresser, closet, and desk.
There are shared bathrooms, showers, and common areas. All hostels also have free, high speed internet that student can use, which makes not having a TV in your room a very small disadvantage. Hostels are extremely cheap, coming in at about $35 to $50 per night, maybe a little more if you book late.
4 Make Bookings In Advance!
Making sure that your travel accommodations as well as living accommodations are made with plenty of time to spare. When booking flights especially, the most expensive times to book is one to two months before your trip, as well as during the holidays, so buy your tickets early and make sure that you avoid holidays! Booking hostel or hotel rooms can be difficult if you leave it to the last minute as well; call a few months in advance for hostels and a month or a few weeks in advanced for hotels. If you do this, you won't have to worry about putting a lot of money into an expensive hotel room because that's all that is available.
3 Try To Avoid Checking A Bag
Checked baggage fees can run high, and if your bag is overweight, it gets even higher. When travelling, it might be a good idea to pack a small suitcase full of clothes (your carry-on) and a backpack with everything else you may need for the flight (a 'personal' item). The best part? Most airlines don't charge for carry-on luggage, and those that do are usually 'no frills' airlines where your ticket won't cost more that $150, so in the long run, you save yourself quite a bit of money. This way, you also don't have to worry about losing your luggage; it stays right next to you!
2 Travel During The Evening
Booking a plane ticket for the evening might be a good way to trick your body into sleeping on an uncomfortable, cramped aircraft, but it is also a great way to avoid paying for at least one night of hostel or hotel fees.
Midnight layovers in airports are pretty tough, especially when you have been travelling all day, but at least in the airport you still can find a place to lie down and nap... for free! Sure it isn't the most comfortable, but you'll be saving yourself one night of accommodations and you'll still be getting somewhere. Plus, if you're in the air, it's a great view.
1 Stay Light!
When travelling, it may be hard, but you really should try to pack lightly. This is where folding well may be an issue since more room means more weight in your suitcase. Having a backpack with lots of pockets and a medium sized suitcase should be more than enough to get everything you may need, but packing unnecessary things can mess up your entire system. There is also the added advantage that you don't have to worry about lugging around heavy backpacks and suitcases from airport to airport; and don't get us started with trying to get luggage in and out of the overhead bin.