I’ve always been in awe of people who can plan amazing trips for super affordable prices. I thought that travelling “cheaper” meant giving up some elements of comfort and safety, but I’m here to tell you that’s not at all the case. And while this post won’t be about planning a trip (expect that another time), I will share some of the best cheap travel destinations for students I’ve found over the years.   


A favourite travel destination in the United States is New York City. It’s a hot spot for culture, entertainment, and tasty food, the trifecta of a great vacay. Although NYC is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are many free activities (central park, The MET, Museum of Natural History) and cheap but delicious food like Joe’s Pizza to keep you busy for your entire stay. The main cost of this trip will be your accommodation. The transportation throughout the city is dependable, and most things are within walking distance. Get up to 50% off as an SPC member with Booking.com. Add NYC to your list!   

Fort Lauderdale   

Let me introduce you to my favourite Miami beach dupe. Sometimes referred to as the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale is a much cheaper option if you want a beach-centric holiday spot. The hotels are affordable, the beach is gorgeous, and the nightlife is excellent. With Miami only being an hour away, you have the option of spending a night or two there as well. Don’t forget that as an SPC and SPC+ member you can save up to 40% – 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate Hotels* with Hotwire!   


There’s a good reason why the Balkans are such a popular travel destination for westerners, especially the younger generations. The reason is that it’s beautiful and way more affordable compared to other major travel destinations in Europe. Contiki has incredible tours that require little-to-no planning on your end. They have well-designed trips that only require you to book your flight there and back. Their Balkans tour is incredible and well worth the money, considering how much you get for it. You’ll visit six countries; Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia!   


Have you ever been to Portugal? More specifically, have you ever been to Porto? If you have, you already know what I’m about to say. Porto is a must-do for anybody who loves architecture, river cruises, delicious food, great ambience, and travelling on a budget! While much cheaper than Lisbon, Porto is only a 2-hour train journey away from the capital, so it’s worth taking a day trip there. Check out https://www.hostelworld.com/ to preview some fantastic accommodation options to book for your trip (the average cost per night is around CAD 25)! We can’t recommend Porto enough; we hope you enjoy it too!   


You’ve seen the pictures and heard the lore; Thailand is THE place to visit as a student. While not as cheap as its neighbouring countries, Cambodia and Laos, Thailand is very affordable and offers travellers a range of experiences. The beaches are stunning, the food is delicious, and the accommodation is luxurious for such reasonable prices. Yes, Thailand is a far distance from Canada, but because you save a lot on food and accommodation, you’ll have more wiggle room to splurge on a flight. Plus, SPC members get exclusive deals from flighthub.com.  

Rapid fire travel budget tips:  

  • Bring a reusable water bottle and take it with you everywhere  
  • Ask locals where they eat; the food is often inexpensive and better   
  • Check out free activities to do  
  • See if the city has a Go City pass  
  • Use apps like Skyscanner to compare flight pricing   
  • Bring cash; some places will give a discount if you pay in cash  
  • Travel in the off-season  
  • Don’t fly at peak times of day  
  • Use a budget calculator  
  • Get student travel insurance  

Be safe, and have fun!   


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