When you are on a student budget, you think twice before spending more than you estimated on anything. Even without clear-cut margins among various expenditure heads, you often have a mental estimate of how much you can allow yourself to splurge. The task of minding one’s budget becomes more tedious when we are studying abroad. In the backdrop of an alien culture, differential expenditure areas, and varying essential needs, students often have to compromise more than they bargained for.
Transportation is one area which can impact adversely all our budget-making decisions. A lot of money goes out in travel: from traveling from and to university to miscellaneous travel expenses, a significant chunk of money goes here. Those who want to save on transportation will have to learn the tricks of the locals; also, they must acquaint themselves with a few tips that are generally useful for saving transportation costs.
Let us look at 5 such tips that can help students save big on travel.
- Choosing the location of residence
It is commonsensical to have your place of residence close to the university campus. While it is tempting to stay off-campus, you should be prepared for the extra costs that you may have to incur. Staying on campus means you are right at the doorstep of your university, commonplaces popular among students, and other facilities. Even if you live off-campus, try finding a place that is not too far away from the university and does not require you to travel too much. Many students often end up spending hours traveling, and this impacts their other commitments.
- Travel passes
Most countries offer travel passes to students and foreigners. Student discounts are extended for those traveling in trains, buses, or tubes. It is quite common to avail of student discounts while booking domestic flights; these special offers may also be available for international flights. Make sure you have researched whether the country you are moving to runs any special transportation offers to students. Do not wait until the last moment to apply for the same.
- Get a Bike or Carpool
Most student-friendly cities such as Amsterdam and London also offer a perfect setting to get on bikes and travel to places nearby. Bikes are the most efficient and cost-effective ways to save on local transportation. Similarly, carpool is another efficient way to travel to places and save money. You might want to sign up for carpool rides on your way to college. Carpool is not only cost-efficient but also a good way to pass time. The more people in a carpool, the more money will be saved on gas.
- Take Public Transportation Facilities
In many countries, cabs can be really expensive such as Japan. You will be spending way too much on short-distance travel so forget about long-distance travel. Public transportation is generally cheap and related facilities are available mostly everywhere in the region where you are residing. Many public transportation services across the globe run reward programs, particularly for students and employees, which can allow you to get discounts on tickets. Also, if you research a bit, you will be able to map out the cheapest routes; and in case your schedule allows, you can take longer routes to save more.
- Avoid flights
Say you want to go on a short vacation before the break ends or have a research activity planned to be conducted somewhere outside the city, then what should you do? The fastest option is usually traveling by air, but that may not be a cost-effective choice. It is always advisable to travel by bus or train because these modes are generally cheap and come with reward options more beneficial than those available for flights. Of course, you will have to take into account time constraints; but, if possible, choose buses or trains.
- Make a budget
While you might cross the budgetary thresholds, it is always better to have them. Budgetary limits impose on you a mental limitation that controls your actions and helps you save reasonably. You do not have to be very strict with these estimates but make sure you diligently adhere to them.