How to land student travel deals (even if you’re not a student)

After a long semester of studying, writing papers and cramming for finals, it’s no wonder students are eager to get away. Whether it’s to party on Spring Break, visit family for the holidays or volunteer during a summer abroad, student travel has become an essential part of the college experience — but it doesn’t have to break your college student budget. In fact, many airlines, hotels and other travel vendors offer special discounted fares to students and youth travelers — and you don’t always need to be a student or younger than a certain age to take advantage of these discounted rates!

Here’s the inside scoop on student and youth travel fares, and how you can snag them to score a cheap getaway.

How to land student travel deals (even if you're not a student)

You can take advantage of student travel discounts — even if you’re not a student — to save money on your next trip (Image: Philip Taylor PT)

What are student and youth travel fares?

It’s no secret that college students and younger travelers don’t always have the largest travel budgets — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to get away once in a while! Airlines, hotels and tour operators make it easier for students and youth to travel by offering exclusive and heavily discounted rates to this demographic. Student and youth travel fares may even feature more flexibility regarding change fees and refunds, too.

How to land student travel deals (even if you're not a student)

Student travel deals can mean big savings when it comes to purchasing flights (Image: CollegeDegrees360 used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

How do you find student and youth travel deals?

Many large airlines, hotel brands, tour operators and other travel vendors offer student and youth discounts, and you can usually find information or check fares on their websites, or call their customer service departments. American Airlines is just one example of an airline that offers steep student travel discounts. If you don’t want to spend too much time researching each individual vendor’s student discount policies, though, you can always use a student travel agency to find the best rates available. One popular student travel agency is STA Travel, which covers a broad range of travel services (hotels, airfare, tours and train passes).

How to land student travel deals (even if you're not a student)

Start seeing the world on a budget with travel discounts for students (Image: Patrick Pielarski)

Do you have to be a student or youth to take advantage of these fares?

Believe it or not, sometimes you don’t even have to be a student to land these killer travel deals. While student and youth fares are heavily marketed to these younger demographics, some student travel agencies have taken to offering their discounts to any and all travelers. Take STA Travel, for example. While their main focus is youth and student travel, they offer their discounted flight, hotel, rail and tour booking services to travelers of all ages. So, even if you’re not a student, you can take advantage of the heavily discounted fares and travel deals that the agency offers.

Another student travel agency that offers discount fares to all travelers is StudentUniverse, which focuses primarily on student, youth and teacher fares but also offers “fares anyone can purchase,” according to the StudentUniverse website. This student travel agency offers discounted pricing on everything you need to go on vacation, including flights, rail passes, hotels, tours and activities. If you’re traveling in a group, you can also take advantage of StudentUniverse’s discounted group fares.

How to land student travel deals (even if you're not a student)

What are you waiting for? Start packing your bags! (Image: iMorpheus)

Every travel agency, airline, hotel and tour company will have its own rules regarding who is eligible for student and youth fares, but don’t assume you won’t qualify just because you’re not under 25 or enrolled in school. A little research into the rules could mean big savings when it comes to booking your trip.

Have you ever traveled on a youth or student fare? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

(Main image: gtall1)

Article by Marissa Willman (886 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.