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Cheap summer trips for students

If you're a college student, use this summer for a learning experience or a cheap vacation.

By Cheapism.com Apr 26, 2013 11:29AM
This post comes from Teal Pelish at partner site Cheapism.com. 
Cheapism.com on MSN Money

In seemingly no time at all, another school year will have ended. Non-working students can celebrate the freedom with a do-nothing vacation or an interactive learning experience.
 
And with deadlines fast approaching for summer programs and related student travel deals, the time to plan for a cheap student summer trip is now. Here are some options:

Social learning programs and projects abroad. Students who revel in learning can use the summer to acquire new skills, learn a foreign language, launch career prep and/or gain volunteer experience. These trips often carry a nominal cost, but a few actually offer small compensation.
 
More importantly, a cheap student summer trip is a golden opportunity to enhance your résumé and perhaps receive some college credit.

Volunteer opportunities abroad exist even in fields such as law and medicine. Check out options at United Planet and Projects Abroad. Many programs are flexible with dates, duration and location.

For students interested in cultural enrichment, a foreign-language immersion program might be just the thing. The website Language Vacation specializes in trip placement. Go Abroad and Transitions Abroad, two other helpful websites, post cheap student summer trip opportunities for volunteering, interning and teaching overseas. 

Summer internships are often available through universities or pop up through online searches. The Summer Internships program from Dream Careers and Intern Match link students to internship programs. Search for scholarships and grants to cover applicable fees.

Student travel deals. Websites such as STA Travel and StudentUniverse post deals and discounts on all aspects of travel, including airfare and tours. Verification of college enrollment is generally required to qualify for these deals. Lesser-known travel sites that cater to the college crowd include Travelosophy.com, Travel Cuts and Adventure Student Travel. Budget travel site Cheapoair also features bargains for travel-bound students.

When searching for cheap student summer trips, be loose about dates, times and desired destinations. A few airlines offer exclusive deals for college students -- with one critical catch: Schedule flexibility is a must, as travel dates are heavily dependent on standby seats. American Airlines, AirTran's AirTran U and Lufthansa Airlines's GenerationFly all offer student travel deals. 

Hostels, once the mainstay for student travel on the cheap, are so last century. Arrangements made through sites such as Couchsurfing International are now in vogue as a reliable way to connect travelers with free lodging and new friends. GlobalFreeloaders.com and Hospitality Club are two other hospitality exchange sites worth exploring. 
If rail or bus figure into an upcoming student summer trip, note that both college and high school students are eligible for Amtrak's Student Advantage card, which provides a 15% saving on rail and bus tickets, as well as discounts on retail purchases, food and more. A one-year membership costs a mere $20. And don't forget the umbrella travel websites Priceline.com, Hotwire and Kayak.com.

Student discounts. Student-traveler discounts are common, and they can take a big bite out museum fees, airfare, lodging and more. The industry standard for a student traveler covers ages 12 to 26 with a valid student ID or some other proof of enrollment. An International Student Identity Card can help ensure a cheaper summer trip, with discounts on travel and services at home and abroad. Another student travel discount card comes from the International Student Exchange, which sets no upper age limit.
 
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2Comments
Apr 26, 2013 12:45PM
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If students are so in debt, maybe they should not be traveling.
May 7, 2013 10:09PM
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