College is an incredible time to travel. You’ve got long breaks between semesters, not a lot of strings tying you down, and the energy to put yourself out there and try new things.
Unfortunately, trying new things can cost quite a bit of money. Traveling can be difficult to fund as a college student. Even if you’ve got a part-time job to help fund your taste for wanderlust, just a couple of big trips per year can set you back thousands.
Fortunately, a lot of travel companies appreciate just how difficult it is for students to afford decent vacations (or trips home, for that matter) — and so they’re willing to offer some pretty generous student travel discounts. But not all exclusive discounts are well advertised, so you may have to do some digging.
This guide explains why students need travel discounts, the types of student travel discounts available, and the top 20 student travel discounts for 2022.
Why do students need travel discounts?
It probably wouldn’t shock you to find out that travel isn’t cheap. According to researchers, the average full-time community college student has to shell out around $1,760 every year on travel. If you’re at a four-year private school, that figure is going to get even higher.
For example, at the University of Chicago, students paid an average of $3,540 per year on their travel expenses for the 2021-22 academic year.
Unfortunately, those sky-high numbers aren’t including any of your spring break trips or impulsive weekend trips away, either. This is just your bare-bones transportation to and from campus, work — and maybe going back and forth to visit your family at home.
Add in a couple of trips with friends a year, and your travel costs can start to spiral pretty quickly. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the nationwide average domestic airfare is now sitting at about $260 — although that can rise or fall by quite a bit based on where you're flying to.
Toss in an AirBnB and a few nights out, and you can easily (and accidentally) drop another couple of thousand dollars per year on trips and vacations.
If you’re a broke college student only working part-time (or not at all) so you can focus on your studies, those extra travel expenses could make life pretty unpleasant. That’s why you need to do everything you can to keep costs down.
Fortunately, there are loads of great discounts out there designed specifically for college students.
Do students get travel discounts?
The short answer is yes, there are loads of companies out there that offer exclusive student travel discounts. The exact amount you’re eligible to save could depend on any number of factors, including how you’re traveling, where you’re going, your age, school, the time of year, or anything in between.
But generally speaking, you can expect to gain some form of savings as a student traveler. To give you a rough idea, let’s quickly break down how travel discounts work across different parts of the student travel industry.
Student airfare discounts
A large proportion of leading airline carriers offer special discounted fares to students and young people.
If you want to book a cheap flight and score a student discount, you’ll normally have to provide the airline with extra information at the point of booking (like your school email address). This helps the airline confirm that you’re indeed a student and deserve money off.
But it’s also worth pointing out that a lot of airlines give student discounts based on your age instead of where you go to school. That means you can often bag an automatic discount. Other times, you might need to submit a student discount code or promo code before completing your booking.
Student bus discounts
A whole lot of towns and cities in the US and farther afield have bus companies that offer student discounts.
These student bus discounts are often universal and are based on your age or having a valid student ID. That’s how nationwide carrier Greyhound offers its student discount, but we’ll talk about Greyhound in just a minute.
Other bus discounts can be specific to a particular school and coach line.
For example, ShortLine/Coach USA offers discounts to student travelers who attend Alfred State College, Binghamton University, Colgate University, Cornell University, and SUNY Morrisville.
There’s a common misconception that you’re not allowed to rent a car in the US until you’re 25. But that’s not true. The minimum age to rent a vehicle with most big car rental service providers is 21 — although in states like Michigan and New York, the minimum age to rent is 18.
That means you can rent a car in some places as a college student. But you’ll need to pay a much higher premium if you’re under 25, so be prepared to pay extra for your rental.
Fortunately, a lot of big car rental providers do offer student discounts to help young travelers afford traveling by rental car.
Room and board discounts
Accommodation can be an expensive part of traveling. The average US hotel room is currently coming in at $115.50 per night. If you’re trying to spend an entire week somewhere exotic with friends, those costs are going to get pretty high pretty quick.
But there are several student-specific travel sites and travel agents that maintain discounted student travel deals for students at certain hotels.
Other big hotel chains offer exclusive student discounts when you book directly online — or it’s possible to find student-specific discount codes or coupons you can redeem online to make your stay cheaper.
What are the top 20 student travel discounts of 2022?
We’ve covered how discounts tend to work across various methods of travel. Now, let’s drill things down a bit more and look at some of the best student travel discounts that companies are offering in 2022.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are loads of incredible student discounts out there — but these are definitely 20 of the best deals you can’t afford to pass up this year.
Fancy a bus ride?
Students can currently get 10% off their entire purchase on Greyhound travel if they’ve got the Student Advantage Discount Card. The Student Advantage Discount Card costs $30 per year (plus postage), and you can buy one online or at any one of Greyhound’s 400 American stations.
In addition to fare discounts, you’ll also get 15% off package shipping sent through Greyhound Package Express. Just be aware that the discount only applies to packages you’re sending in the US.
Unlike a lot of other travel companies, Greyhound doesn’t pick when to apply the student discount. The cheaper student fare applies to Greyhound buses and participating connecting bus companies.
Train travel is always an adventure — and college students can get 15% off Amtrak train rides in certain US regions.
For example, there’s a 15% discount for students in the Midwest and a 15% discount for students in California. This 15% figure seems to be the most common student discount, but there are various student discounts for each Amtrak region and days of train travel. So, be sure to check out the Amtrak website to learn more about discounts on the particular route you want to travel.
Best of all, this discount applies to all students between ages 13 and 25 with a valid student ID.
Want to fly for free?
For a limited time in 2022, budget airline Frontier Airlines is letting students fly free to nearly 100 destinations in the US.
To qualify for a free student fare, you’ve got to buy your ticket before March 23, 2022.
Frontier’s Students Fly Free discount is accessible via a promo code, and it entitles a student to fly free for every qualifying flight and date. Translation: you won’t be able to fly free to every destination every day of the week.
You’ll need to look for qualifying "Friends Fly Free" travel dates to get your free student flight, and you'll need to book directly with Frontier Airlines.
We’ve already covered how expensive hotel rooms can be. hotels.com is stepping in with a 10% student discount when you book through the site using a membership of one of several student discount providers.
The discount takes the form of a voucher code that you can use to get 10% off the price of your booking at participating hotels on hotels.com. Your booking needs to be for a stay of between 1 and 28 nights.
The deal excludes a few particular hotel chains, including Marriott, IHG, Starwood, Millennium & Copthorne, and Emaar.
Qatar Airways might not be your go-to airline for a trip from Vermont to Fort Lauderdale, but the company has special offers if you’re traveling farther afield.
If you join the Qatar Airways Student Club, you’ll get 10% off your first booking, 15% off your second booking, and 20% off your third booking.
FlixBus is a student-focused bus carrier that offers routes covering over 180 destinations — including 40 universities in 29 states.
As a student, you can get 15% off your online booking with FlixBus. Generating a voucher code through a student discount provider like Student Beans or the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) normally does this.
Unfortunately, travel isn’t always about going on some exotic vacation — it can also be about moving house, too. Fortunately, there are student discounts for moving.
Penske Truck Rental has a 10% student discount on all truck and van rental fees and 24/7 roadside assistance when you book online with promo code “STUDENT.” You’ll also need to present a valid school ID at pickup to get the discounted price.
Penske also offers college students free unlimited miles on one-way moving truck rentals and no underage surcharges for renters 18–23 years old.
Fancy a trip to the Mediterranean? As a student, Turkish Airlines offers 20% off domestic student flights, up to 10% off international flights, and special prices on international one-way flights.
Alongside cheap student flights, Turkish Airlines offers a free 40 kg baggage allowance on student discount flights with a single piece of luggage. Alternatively, you can go for two free bags (as long as they both weigh under 23 kg each).
Just like a lot of other student-friendly airlines, Turkish Airlines offers free changes to departure dates without having to worry about penalties. This is rare for international carriers, so definitely take advantage of this one.
Finally, when you get set up as a student with Turkish Airlines, you’ll be given 2,000 flight miles as a reward (which is 1,000 more than non-students get).
SIXT is another car rental service that offers a wide selection of rental cars to students who are under 25. As a student, you can score a generous 25% discount.
To qualify for a student discount, your rental needs to be between three and 27 days, and you’ve got to rent by December 31, 2022. Discounts can be activated using a Student Beans code.
With access to over 300,000 travel experiences and day trips in more than 1,500 spots around the globe, Viator is a unique travel company that offers a range of activities and holidays that are totally perfect for students.
Viator offers a 10% student and youth discount through a number of partnerships with various student discount providers.
Alamo Rent a Car
With Alamo’s Student Advantage partnership, you can get a discount of up to 25% on your car rental.
The Alamo Student Advantage discount applies to your rental base rate, which means you might have to pay full price for any extras you fancy booking. It’s also important to note that the discount you get could depend on the type of car, location, and amount of time you’re booking for.
Are you looking for deals on hotels in Vegas? You can get a student discount at the famous Caesar’s Palace using ID.me verification to prove you’re a student.
Once verified, you can get up to 30% off your hotel stays at any one of the hotels owned by Caesar’s Palace — and we’re not just talking about Vegas anymore.
This discount can be applied to loads of hotels in Arizona, Nevada, Missouri, North Carolina, Colorado, California, Louisiana, and more.
Students can get exclusive student flight discounts by joining the AAdvantage program as long as they're a student at one of the participating universities listed on the American Airlines website.
Want to check out what cheap flight discounts American Airlines is offering right now? We’ve got you covered.
Hostel Hopper is an incredibly popular budget accommodation and package holiday site that offers 10% student discount fares on certain tour packages.
To get this student discount, you’ve got to book online using the code “Student.”
If you fancy being a social media ambassador, you'll also earn 10% for every booking you generate.
General Motors (GM)
General Motors also has a student discount program for students currently enrolled in college or who’ve graduated in the last two years.
To prove you’re eligible, you’ll need to show either proof of enrollment or a diploma dated no more than two years before you want to buy or lease a vehicle.
The student discount is eligible on select Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicle models — but availability may vary by dealership.
Zipcar is essentially a super short-term car rental service.
You join Zipcar for a monthly or annual fee, and then you gain the ability to rent a specified Zipcar whenever you want. At the appointed time, you can unlock the car, do your errands, and bring the car back.
Zipcar has student discounts for a wide range of participating schools. For example, students at La Salle University can save up to $45 a year on an annual Zipcar membership.
To find out if your school gets a Zipcar discount, you’ll have to check out their website.
Travelers Good Student Discount is an insurance discount available for drivers who are enrolled in school or college — which includes home-schooled students.
Generally speaking, the Travelers discount is available to all students who maintain a “B” average or its equivalent or are in the upper 20% of their class from an academic point of view.
Regarding how much the discount is good for, students can save up to 8% — although the exact amount offered will depend on their individual circumstances.
If you’re a student renting a moving truck or van via Budget, you can get a discount of 20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves.
To get the discount, you’ve got to book directly on budgettruck.com and enter the promo code “TRUKU.” It’s also important to note that you need to book your truck at least 24 hours in advance.
UK airline British Airways (BA) offers exclusive deals for college students in the form of a 10% student discount every year to coincide with the start of the school year.
All BA student tickets are valid for 12 months, and they also give you an extra piece of checked luggage (up to 23 kg) and flexible date changes.
Dollar Flight Club
Dollar Flight Club offers a 75% discount on its Premium account membership to any current student — as well as anybody who graduated from college in the past two years.
To qualify and get your discounted membership, you’ll need to provide a photo of your valid school ID when you submit your registration.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are loads of great discounts out there for students traveling — the trick is simply finding them.
That’s where we come in.
Want to connect instantly with some of the best travel discounts for students? Make sure you keep an eye on CouponFollow for specific travel coupon codes you can take advantage of.