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Travel tips for students: 7 mistakes to avoid

Editor’s Note: We want to bring you content from the money experts and have brought in the folks from MoneySmart. Hope you enjoy this article!

Your much awaited term break is coming soon. As always, you can’t wait for it to start…You’ve already got so many ideas of what you want to do with your time. Such as sleeping till your heart’s content for a good few days for a start.

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Here are some mistakes you should avoid if you’re actually planning to travel this summer break:

1. Confusing cheaper alternatives for time-wasters

While it’s always moneysmart (pun intended) to find cheaper alternatives when you’re travelling, there’s a difference between an alternative and… plain time wasters.

An alternative allows you to save costs, while giving you the same amount of satisfaction. Meaning all other factors should remain ceterus paribus.

A $59 ticket to USS you bought from Carousell is an alternative to the $74 tickets you’d get at the ticketing booths. While the same $59 ticket is NOT an alternative to USS’s express pass.

Time is money. If you’re planning to visit big attractions, do not scrimp on the admission tickets just to cram in the long-ass queue with the other tourists.

In the same way, do not scrimp on travel just to walk tens of kilometers for hours on end.

The amount of time you’ll waste is not worth the itty bitty savings when you only have a limited amount of time to explore.

Skyscanner Tip: If you’re unsure if what you’re seeing is too good to be true, the Skyscanner app shares information to help you. It includes info such as long transfer time, red-eye flight, late night departures/arrivals and other useful tips to help you decide.

Skyscanner app includes useful flight information to help travellers decide

2. Not double checking that your information is up-to-date

It could be one of those expensive guidebooks you bought at your local bookstore, or it could be a blog you’ve read that dated back 6 years. Either way, information inside is backdated and not trustworthy.

Instead, stick to blog posts and youtube vlogs that are less than a year old, and putting them all together in your own guidebook.

These are current, real, and some of them can even offer you tips you didn’t even know you’ll need. Like if the place is scheduled to be renovated from xxx date until yyy date.

3. Bringing the wrong credit card

We all know that swiping credit cards can bring you more rewards for your overseas spending than just using cash currencies. However, some cards charge an international fee for overseas purchases.

If you’re travelling with your parents, be sure they call up their card provider to check on that. And if they don’t have good rates for overseas spending, it might be helpful to get them to sign-up for a new card that does at least a month before your trip.

4. Assuming that alternative accommodations are always cheaper

Airbnb has become really popular these days, especially for people travelling in groups. Last summer when I was planning a trip to Taipei with my parents and fiance, I thought the same thing.

We were looking for accommodation for 4 at the Ximending district… Airbnb should make a cheaper choice right?

…Except the bigger apartments we saw charged additional “cleaning fees”. And the weekend charges could probably get us 2 small rooms (for 2 pax each) at a budget hotel with some money leftover.

So since my parents preferred the added privacy, we settled for a budget hotel in the same district instead.

5. Allotting ALL your break time to travelling

College Students taking a hiking trip to Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

We geddit. Vacations are meant to give you a break. Try as you may, you can’t deny that you’ll throw back all that you’ve learnt once you board that plane. Because vacation. Because relax.

But if you’re travelling throughout the whole of your summer break, you’re essentially throwing all your studies at home for a few months. Without giving yourself time to rest, or to prep yourself for the coming semester.

The last thing you’d want is to come back to school with a blank head of information.

So if you’ve already booked yourself out for travelling during entire break, please bring along your laptop.

Or shorten your overseas trip so you have time to come back to rest and warm up. Travelling is physically tiring too you know.

6. Exhausting what little savings you have for your holiday

travel savings

While almost 40% of Singaporeans say they’ll forgo savings to fund their dream destinations, at this stage unless you were a super part-time worker, regular Carousell seller, or influen-ZA, most of you will have little savings. But exploring the world is important before you start tying yourself down to a 9-5 job in future, and because YOLO.

So you don’t mind bringing out all stops to financing your holiday abroad.

You drain your savings.

And hope you’ll be able to earn it back before the next time you need the money.

Or your parents may sponsor you if you remained a good kid.

But there’s no such thing as YOLO. You still have a good 50 years to live. Stop acting like life is so short.

Instead of draining your savings, plan and budget the amount needed for your intended trip at least 6 months in advance, and take up some part-time/freelance work during your spare time to save up for it.

Skyscanner Tip: Or you can check out where to go for under $300.

7. Forgetting your travel insurance

travel insurance

I know… Travel insurance is new to you if this is your first time travelling without your family.

Your parents used to buy them during your past vacations together so if anything happened abroad eg you kenna bit by a spider like Spiderman but instead of inheriting spider abilities your arm swells like a balloon, your medical bills will be taken cared of.

You never know what might happen overseas. So please remember to get yourself travel insurance.

Skyscanner Tip: Not sure if you need it? Here’s everything you need to know about travel insurance.


Ready to leave your books behind and go on a trip of a lifetime? Get great flight deals or download our free mobile app for Android or mobile app for iOS for easy browsing and booking on the go.

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Editor’s Note: This article was first published in MoneySmart and is republished here with permission.

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