If you’re a student, don’t pay full price for travel! Here’s what you need to know about student flight discounts.
Whether you are planning a trip home, looking for a fun, relaxing vacation, seeking to experience a new culture, or practice that language you’ve been studying so hard, make sure to take advantage of your student status for student flight discounts and airline deals. Students are eligible for special prices on student international travel and domestic flights. Stretch that dollar and make the most of your travel budget by saving on your flight — check out our tips for cheap student flights!
Check out Student or Youth Promo Codes
If there’s one thing you should learn as a student on a budget, it is always use a promo or discount code for everything you purchase, including flights. Student Universe has an entire page with Promo Codes for airfare — usually for specific flights, but always check in case your flight is listed.
Travel Sites for Cheap Student Flights
Student Universe will become one of your go-tos for all things discount student travel. This website offers promo codes for flights, as well as special deals for group travel, travel tours, hotels, and travel insurance.
CheapOair is a search engine website for travel deals, usually used for finding cheap flights. They offer special deals for student flights as well as travel tips for international students on their site.
STA travel is the world’s largest student and youth travel organization. STA stands for Start Your Adventure, and is a leader in finding and organizing affordable travel deals and trips for students. The company offers student discount cards, deals on flights, and tips on planning travel on a budget, all tailored towards student travelers.
Airlines That Offer Student Flight Discounts
Lufthansa: Lufthansa offers a program called generation fly. This program, offered to students only, and valid for U.S. flights, is a membership program offering the lowest possible fares on Lufthansa flights. Other perks of the membership include exclusive deals on international flights as well as date change fee waivers.
United: United Airlines offers group flight discounts and special assistance on flights. Your group must be 10 or more people which could be useful for spring break vacations with classmates, or family group travel.
Delta & Virgin Atlantic: These two United States airline companies have teamed up with Student Universe to create special flight deals exclusively for student travelers. Flight deals are on both international and domestic travel destinations, departing from common U.S. locations including Boston, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Youth Fare for Discounted Flights
Never heard of youth fare? Time to start paying attention when booking flights — on the drop-down menu for passengers, check if there is an option for “young” or “youth,” typically for travelers under 25. This can score you quite the discount, and not just for flights! Youth fare is also often offered on ground transportation and group tours. You do not have to be a student to take advantage of the youth fare but many students do.
Check the “young” or “youth” option for flight searches, such as on airfrance.com.
Student International Travel
You don’t have to break the bank in order to travel, and many students and other budget travelers are figuring out just how to get by on a tight budget. One of the best ways to save on your next trip is to visit an affordable destination. Find a cheap flight using our methods, and once you’ve arrived, you’ll find affordable food, lodging, and tours. These budget locations are also very popular amongst students, so it’s guaranteed you will make plenty of new friends on your trip!
Some popular and affordable student travel locations include:
Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Krakow. Budget travelers can get away with spending as little as $30-50 per day for food, drinks, lodging, and attractions.
Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand. Expect to spend as little as $35 per day for everything. You can also find higher quality stays for cheaper prices in Southeast Asia, so you may not need to spend your whole stay in hostels.
Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala. You can get some cheap finds in Central America if you do it right. For example, expect to spend as little as $20 per day for all costs in Nicaragua!
While travel is a great way to de-stress, there are other, cheaper ways to have fun and reduce stress for college students — check some of these ways to de-stress here.
General Advice for Getting the Best Rates on Flights for Students and All Travelers
Before you search for your flight on a specific airline, make sure to shop around on flight search engine pages such as Kayak, Orbitz, CheapOair, Skyscanner, and Google Flights. These will give you a general idea of airline companies that fly to your destination, and the costs associated per airline. You can then either book directly through these agencies, or use them as a jumping-off point to search on specific airline websites.
Cheapest Travel Dates & Flexibility
It is almost always cheaper to fly on a Tuesday or Thursday and generally any weekday flight will be cheaper than a weekend flight. With travel arrangements and saving money, flexibility is key. Many sites mentioned above offer flex month searches, or searches for travel within 3 days of a certain date. If you can swing it, you can save big — up to hundreds of dollars — by rearranging travel dates by as little as one day. Traveling in the summer months can get expensive as well, you may want to spend your summers off getting work experience, and save travel for cheaper months.
When to Purchase for Maximum Savings
Did you also know you can find cheaper flights depending on when you search for and purchase your flight? According to Skyscanner, you should be booking at 5:00 am for the greatest savings and avoiding flight purchases made between 7:00-10:00 pm. You should also try to book on a Sunday for the best prices. Finally, make sure to book with enough advance notice for maximum savings on flights. It is possible to snag last-minute deals, but other than last minute, make sure to book in advance. For U.S.-based travel, book at least 2-3 weeks in advance and for international flights the best time to book is 2 months prior to departure.
Most airlines offer a point or reward system. If you find yourself continually flying with the same airline again and again, it may be worthwhile to check out the airline’s credit card program or points system. You can rack up points or miles from travel you already plan on taking to use towards future travel.
Save big when you travel with budget or low-cost airlines. American low-cost airlines include Southwest and Spirit. In Europe, save by flying Easyjet or RyanAir.
Not only is this a great skill to have, but you can save big bucks, too. First of all, try not to travel with checked bags, especially if there are checked bag fees. Additionally, some airlines have ultra-light fares, for travelers with only a backpack and no carry-on. Next time you fly, challenge yourself to pack less and it will pay off in money and in peace of mind!
Ask for Help
If you are flying for an event or conference for your studies or potential career path, aks your university if they are willing to help with some of the costs. Also, check in with the event organizer or conference staff if there are flight discounts or lodging specials for students or event attendees.
Check out package deals on flights, lodging, and car rentals. Package deals are usually listed on airline websites, or search for package deals on student travel websites such as STA travel and StudentUniverse.
Never pay full price on flights as a student! Make sure to use student/youth promo codes and fares, student travel sites, and general smart budget travel advice to save big on your next flight.