Budget Flying 101

23 Sep

Regardless of the size of your parents or guardians’ income, studying abroad is an expensive opportunity. Housing, academics, transportation, souvenirs, travel excursions and food can eat away at your bank account if you’re not careful about budgeting your money. Each student will spend their money differently depending on what they consider important, but airfare is typically the most costly expense for student travelers.

Many study abroad students do weekend trips (3-4 days) in another country. To reduce traveling time, many students use carry-on baggage to substitute checked baggage; carry-ons allow for a quick escape off the plane, are easy to maneuver when boarding a connecting flight or train, and are always free (within the weight/size limitations). In the case that you are only bringing a carry-on, pack only the essentials. Packing light will also make your experience more enjoyable when lugging your bag around in search of your sleeping accommodations.


Despite its history of poor customer service, questionable charges and frequent bumpy rides, Ryanair is probably the most well-known budget airlines. For this reason alone, I have dedicated almost an entire blog post to this airline. I must admit that my experiences with Ryanair left me resistant to flying with them again, but it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to fly 30 euros roundtrip from Barcelona to Belgium.

Ryanair’s cabbin baggage terms and conditions are excruciatingly strict (they walk around with a luggage box to measure your bag). Below are Ryanair’s cabin baggage terms and conditions:

| Strictly one item of cabin baggage per passenger (excluding
infants) weighing up to 10kg with maximum dimensions of
55cm x 40cm x 20cm is permitted. (handbag, briefcase, laptop,
shop purchases, camera etc.) must be carried in your 1
permitted piece of cabin baggage.

Extra/oversized cabin baggage will be refused at the boarding
gate, or where available, placed in the hold of the aircraft for a
fee of £50/€50. If you are unsure, check at the Bag Drop desk
before going through security. |

Before flying Ryanair, click here for a list of Ryanair’s destinations. For more information regarding general terms and conditions of carriage, click here.

More low-cost airlines:

Recommended Travel Search Engines 

Kayak is a popular search engine that provides you
with a list of available cheap flights for your destination. My favorite thing about Kayak, is the “Deals” tab. You can choose your origin and destination, or simply sort deals based on popularity, relevance and price. Kayak’s deals will appeal to students without a destination in mind. Download Kayak’s free Travel App for iPhone and Android phones to research flights on-the-go. Though Kayak’s app does not allow you to book flights, it’s useful in the case of layovers and flight delays.

For “The 26 Travel Apps That Will Change Your Life” (Conde Nast’s Traveler), click here.

More travel Search engines:

[Most airlines and search engines offer hostel, hotel and car rental deals.]


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