While laptops are the hot purchase in the beginning of the fall, students' interest in travel reaches a fever pitch in early summer and during early winter.
Flying home for the holidays, studying abroad in college or backpacking in Europe can be very pricey. That's where travel websites such as STA Travel and StudentUniverse.com help out. These companies partner with airlines to bring students discounts on flights and travel packages, and offer last-minute cancellation refunds for lower fees.
Flying, however, is only part of the cost of travel. "(Students) definitely do want to travel, but when they get there they want to do it as cost-effectively as possible," says Patrick Evans, marketing and communications manager at STA Travel.
Enter student discount cards, such as STA Travel's International Student Identity Card, or ISIC. For $22, full-time students ages 12 to 26 can purchase discounted plane tickets and get a year's worth of basic travel insurance and discounts in stores, hotels, train stations and museums worldwide. Some study-abroad programs require the student discount card. STA also offers a similar program to travelers younger than 25 years old as well as teachers.
"An average student who utilized the card a reasonable amount -- not every day or every week, but a reasonable amount over the year -- can expect to save $100 or $150" aside from taking advantage of low-priced flights, Evans says.
On StudentUniverse.com, students don't have to purchase student discount cards to still get similar perks. However, the travel service doesn't extend offers to high school students or those younger than high school age.
Don't forget to take a step beyond these websites to look for discounts. Before booking a ticket, check with the airline to see if it offers student discounts. Have your student email address and identification number on hand.
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