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Best Places to Travel as a Student: Discover the World on a Budget

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: February 22, 2023

As a student, it’s easy to feel like you’re stuck in one place, with little time or money to explore the world. But travel can be an incredibly enriching experience, offering the chance to learn about new cultures, gain independence, and make lifelong memories. And with careful planning, it’s possible to travel on a budget and still have an amazing time. Here are some of the best destinations for students to explore, from the sunny beaches of the Canary Islands to the ancient temples of Thailand.

The Canary Islands: Year-Round Sun and Fun

Located off the coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are a year-round destination with a warm climate, stunning beaches, and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. For students, the Canary Islands offer a chance to escape the stress of exams and deadlines and soak up the sun.

One of the best things about the Canary Islands is that they offer affordable accommodation options, such as hostels and Airbnb rentals. With a little bit of research, it’s possible to find a great deal on a place to stay.

When it comes to activities, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Canary Islands. From surfing and kiteboarding to hiking and visiting the Teide National Park, there’s something for everyone. For those who want to relax and unwind, the beaches are the perfect place to do just that. Whether you’re looking for a quiet cove or a lively beach with lots of bars and restaurants, you’re sure to find it in the Canary Islands.

Thailand: Discover a Unique Culture and Stunning Natural Beauty

Thailand is an increasingly popular destination for students, and it’s not hard to see why. With its unique culture, stunning natural beauty, and affordable prices, Thailand is an ideal place to explore for those on a budget.

One of the best things about Thailand is that it offers plenty of budget-friendly activities for students. For example, visiting ancient temples and exploring night markets can be incredibly cheap, but also offer an amazing cultural experience. Taking a cooking class is another affordable activity that allows students to learn more about Thai cuisine and culture.

When it comes to destinations, Bangkok is a must-see for its vibrant street life and incredible food. Chiang Mai, in the north of the country, is known for its beautiful temples and outdoor activities such as hiking and zip-lining. For those looking for a beach experience, the islands of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Samui are both popular choices.

Seychelles: Escape to a Tropical Paradise

Seychelles is a destination that many students may not have considered, but it’s a great place to explore on a budget. With its beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, and abundant wildlife, the Seychelles offers the perfect escape from the stress of student life.

One of the best things about the Seychelles is that there are plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options available, such as guesthouses and self-catering apartments. Eating street food and using public transportation are other great ways to save money while exploring the country.

For those who love the outdoors, Seychelles offers plenty of opportunities to hike, snorkel, and visit nature reserves. One must-see attraction is the Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to rare palm trees and giant tortoises.

Greece: Discover the Birthplace of Western Civilization

Greece is a destination that students should consider, with its rich history, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture. For those interested in history and culture, Greece is a must-visit destination, with its ancient ruins and museums offering a glimpse into the birthplace of Western civilization.

Athens is the capital of Greece and a great place to start your journey. The city is home to the Acropolis, one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the world. The Acropolis is an ancient citadel that includes several historical buildings, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Propylaea. Visiting the Acropolis is a must-do activity when in Athens, but it’s also important to explore the city’s many other historical sites, such as the Ancient Agora, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Roman Agora.

Beyond Athens, Greece has a lot to offer. The island of Santorini is known for its stunning sunsets and whitewashed buildings with blue domed roofs. It’s a popular destination for tourists, but it’s also a great place to relax and soak up the sun. Mykonos is another popular island, known for its vibrant nightlife, sandy beaches, and charming villages.

For those who want to explore Greece’s natural beauty, the Peloponnese peninsula is a great place to start. It’s a large peninsula located in southern Greece, and it’s home to several ancient ruins, such as the city of Mycenae and the theatre of Epidaurus. The peninsula is also home to several stunning beaches and quaint seaside towns, such as Nafplio and Monemvasia.

When it comes to food, Greece has a rich culinary tradition that’s worth exploring. From fresh seafood to traditional Greek dishes like moussaka and tzatziki, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to try some of the local specialties and explore the local markets and tavernas to get a taste of authentic Greek cuisine.

Peru: Discover the Mysteries of the Inca Empire

Peru is a fascinating destination that students should consider. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, Peru offers an unforgettable travel experience.

Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the most famous attraction in Peru, and for good reason. The ancient Incan citadel is situated high in the Andes Mountains, and it’s a marvel of engineering and architecture. Machu Picchu is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Peru, and it’s worth taking the time to explore the surrounding area, which includes several other Incan ruins, such as Ollantaytambo and Pisac.

The capital city of Lima is a great place to start your journey, and it’s worth spending a few days exploring its museums, galleries, and historic neighbourhoods. The historic centre of Lima is a UNESCO World Heritage site and features several stunning colonial-era buildings, such as the Cathedral of Lima and the Monastery of San Francisco.

For those interested in natural beauty, Peru has plenty to offer. The Peruvian Amazon is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, and it’s home to an incredible array of wildlife, including jaguars, monkeys, and hundreds of species of birds. The Colca Canyon is another natural wonder in Peru, with its deep canyon walls and stunning views of the surrounding Andes Mountains.

Peruvian cuisine is also a highlight of any trip to the country. From ceviche to lomo saltado, Peru’s cuisine is a fusion of indigenous, European, and Asian flavours. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as guinea pig (cuy) or alpaca, and sample some of the country’s famous pisco sour cocktails.

Travelling as a student is an incredible opportunity to gain new experiences, broaden your horizons, and create memories that will last a lifetime. With so many affordable and exciting destinations to choose from, there’s no reason not to pack your bags and start exploring the world.

If you’re looking to maximise your student travel experience, consider participating in a study abroad program or volunteer program. These opportunities offer a unique chance to immerse yourself in a new culture, learn a new language, and gain valuable skills that can benefit you both personally and professionally.

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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