The years that you spend at varsity will undoubtedly be some of the best of your life, chockfull of new experiences and that wonderful feeling of freedom and independence like you've never had it before! Why not really make the most of it by also throwing in some discounted travel?
Here are our top tips for exploring the world on a budget - and finding some epic student flight discounts along the way, too.
As a student, the time that you choose to travel makes a world of difference when it comes to landing the cheapest flights for students. If your schedule gives you a degree of flexibility, it is recommended that you do your best to travel during 'dead zones'. The truth of the matter is that off-peak travel is justifiably cheaper than trying to fly during school holidays, peak business hours, or when special events and festivals are taking place.
Great deals on cheap student flights can often be found from the end of August to October, during the first two weeks of December, as well as the Autumn months. If your budget is more important than your tan and you don't mind a bit of a chill in the air, plan to visit the popular beach destinations during wintertime. You will still get the tan but it will come at a discounted student flight rate!
Timing is also super important in terms of when you opt to actually book your student flights. While last minute special offers are always a possibility, there are no guarantees. Knowing this, it makes a lot more sense to save money by planning your holiday, and booking those tickets, well in advance (at least four to six weeks before you travel). Doing so can end up saving you hundreds of rand.
The great news is that it is possible to book student flight tickets up to a year in advance if you're 100% certain that you won't need to make any changes to your travel plans.
Being a student means jumping at the chance to enjoy a bit of an adventure whenever one presents itself, and taking risks whenever it seems profitable to do so. If a holiday is what you need, who cares where you go if you can get there without taking a massive chunk out of your student budget?
Cheap flights for students are easier to find if you have no specific destination in mind. While your heart might be pining for a romantic weekend in the Cape Winelands, your head will tell you that the discounted flight to Durban will be far better on your pocket, which is always good for the soul.
Most student bargain hunters will be pleased to know that SA Airlines have embraced the power and pull of social media, making good use of it to inform followers of special deals and holiday packages. They also often advertise cheap student flights using these portals.
If you haven't yet 'liked' or chosen to follow the social pages of your favourite airlines, do so now. You might also want to sign up to receive their newsletters - they're always packed with exclusive offers to destinations far and wide.
Rather than waiting for these special offers to pop up randomly in your newsfeed, know when to keep an eye out. According to research, most SA Airlines launch fare sales on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so be on the lookout on those particular days.
In order to get to most destinations, flying is a must! However, there are many ways in which to save money once you actually get there.
Travelling by bus or train, for instance, will be a lot easier on the bank account than hiring a car. If at all possible, try to get where you need to go on foot. Not only will doing so provide you with some healthy exercise, it's also the best way in which to see all of the sights and landmarks for which the city is most famous.
If, however, some of the places that you wish to visit are a little bit too far to walk, why not hire a bicycle for the day? This may also be a better option than walking for those who are slightly less fit.
Let's face it - even if you do manage to land an amazingly cheap student flight, the price tag that comes with booking accommodation at your destination often makes it almost impossible to travel on a tight student budget. Fortunately, there's a viable solution to consider.
Why not trade hotels for hostels? These student-friendly accommodation options mean communal living (and the chance to make a few new friends), as well a huge price cut. Many countries even offer hostel accommodation for 'free' in exchange for volunteer work. Every destination is different, so do your research on the options available beforehand.
If hostels aren't your cup of tea, then you may want to consider utilising facilities such as Couchsurfing. This service makes it possible for you to find a willing party who will allow you to stay with them for the duration of your holiday, and often for free. At the very least, you will pay a much cheaper fee than you would if you were to book a room in a hotel!
Did you know that many of the local airlines offer discounted tickets to those travelling and booking student flights as a large group? By travelling as a cluster, rather than individually, you'll save money and you'll be able to enjoy a variety of new experiences together. It's the perfect opportunity to make some precious memories with the people you love most.
Although it may sound appealing to just 'go with the flow', you'll be sure to see and do a lot more with your budget if you plan your daily activities before you travel. Do some research on the different sights and attractions and find out how much they all cost (if anything). You'll discover that some places, especially museums and certain restaurants, will offer a pleasing student discount.
Knowing this, remember to pack your student ID in order to prove that you are, in fact, a student.
Before you board your flight to the destination of your choice, ask around campus to see if you can find someone else who has travelled there before. There's no doubt that they will have some tips to share with you about their experiences and what they would have done differently in order to save some cash.
The whole point of travelling is to have fun, so once you have done your research and planning, sit back and enjoy. Don't allow financial or on-campus stressors to cloud the experience. Live in the moment, savour every second, and build some lasting memories that you'll be able to look back on fondly when you're back at varsity hitting the books! As with all holidays, yours is sure to be over before you know it!
Here at SA Airlines, we make it simple and effortless to find cheap flights for students to an array of thrilling local and international destinations, and with a variety of trusted airlines. Visit our website today and sign up to receive our newsletter and special offers and learn more about how to get cheap student flights that will leave you some spare change to really make the most of your travel experience.