I am often bombarded with the question: How do you manage to travel frequently on a student budget? and by budget, it does not always necessarily refer to financial budget, but also time budget. 

I always like to stress that my eyes have to travel, for it being the source of inspiration in my life. I find myself dead if I am not out on a regular adventure, either alone or with people I love. Since traveling means so much to me, I figured out ways to make it happen ... even with a student budget of finance and time.

Me in Rome, taken in 2014

Let me first assure you: traveling is not a cheap experience. You must be willing to give in order to receive an experience of a lifetime. When you travel, you must not only let go of some cash but also time, judgement, and any filters you have set around your mind (more on this will be published on a different post). However, for today I would like to express that traveling for cheap is a skill that can be learnt and after practicing for a while, it can be mastered and travel becomes efficient in terms of budgeting.

I began as a very amateur traveler at the age of 17, when I decided to dedicate more of my free time on experience rather than artificial 'things'. Now, at the age of 20, I can say that I have learnt many tricks on how to travel for cheap, gaining the most out of the experience but also paying low amounts of money (and even time!). Together with my frequent travel buddies, we put together a list of tips and tricks that we believe helped us to travel more in the past few years, even with a student budget!

One of my favorite well-rounded travel advice is: take your friends with you! Sharing expenses for accommodation, travel fares, and even food can come handy when traveling, and not to mention that it is always great to share experiences together with your close friends.

Me and Friends in Madrid, Spain in February 2015 
Getting to your destination and finding a place to stay is most likely the highest expense factor, which can seem scary to many of you. One can easily compare accommodation prices now by using HotelsCombined.ae to quickly browse through many different hotels and accommodations, giving you the lowest fares possible available at the dates of your travel. I like to use such websites because it saves so much researching time for the most suitable hotel, and gives a list of websites to make reservations on one page, making it so much easier to compare prices.

As for flights and travel options, I would strongly suggest using seasonal offers as they can be very handy. My friend Rona and I often purchase seasonal train offers when traveling across the Netherlands in order to save some money. International bus rides are also a good option if you wish to save money instead of flying to your destination, however this gets uncomfortable if the destination is extremely far away. I tend to use such transportation when traveling in Europe (for example going to Berlin from Vienna during the Christmas 2015 vacation).

Me in the bus during my visit to Zaandam, Netherlands

Planning ahead is also something I came to realize the importance of when choosing to travel, especially to destinations further away from Europe where I currently reside. I often have an overview of my yearly vacation plan from the university, and plan my travels accordingly. My free time became solely dedicated for traveling, gaining more and more experiences. Flights and hotels/accommodation are much lower if you book in advance.

Additionally, I would like to emphasize on the importance of taking every opportunity to travel, especially from school/university! such travel trips are usually made cheaper due to the fact that its a large travel group, and it is designed and planned by the university which could possibly get you sponsorship and reimbursements. I happily managed to travel through Ghana by taking part in a university taught minor program, and also attended one week worth of activities in CERN located in Geneva, giving me the chance to see more of the world with extremely affordable prices.

Me and a group of friends strolling around Annecy in France, during our trip to CERN 
Rona, Dinah and I in Geneva

Me, my travel group and local children in Ghana
As for the most important travel tip I can ever give is: make friendships with internationals! They are great help when traveling to different locations around the world, as they know more about local prices and what is considered a 'normal' fare. They will also introduce you to the best deals and offers during your trip, even if they are not traveling with you. Multi-cultural friendships are amazing anyway, they are always great for exchanging knowledge and makes traveling much more exciting!

Speaking from personal experience, when I visited Bordeaux in France, thanks to my very good and long-time friend Sherazaade, I managed to purchase the most suitable and student friendly tram fares which saved me so much money for my local traveling costs during my stay there. I also tend to travel to Germany quite often which is made possible due to the fact that I have many German friends there who are always generous to offer a helping hand.

Me in Bordeaux

Me and my two German friends in the German city Koln (cologne)

Those were my top travel advice for those of you who wish to travel on a student budget, yet comfortably and enjoy the experience to the maximum. If you have any suggestions please leave them on the comments section below, I'd love to learn more :D