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Indian student blog Travel tips for the thrifty student

mountain
(Arasan MJ)

Indian student Arasan has done his homework to make the most of the summer holidays.

It is going to be summer in three months and most Swiss university students get a solid two months holiday at the minimum. Summer vacation offers a variety of opportunities. Students from outside the European Union can work full time during the hols if they are lucky enough to land a job.

For more blog posts and information on studying in Switzerland visit our dedicated page Education Swiss Madeexternal link.

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Other options include summer schools, volunteering, working holidays programs and travelling. I recommend exploring Switzerland on weekends during term time. Long vacations are better spent abroad seeing a lot more of Europe.

Here are some of my tips for cost-effective travelling in a student budget:

Visas

A Swiss residence permit allows non-EU students to travel across the Schengen zone but also certain countriesexternal link outside Schengen too. My travel tip: A visa to Ireland is free for Indian passport holders with a Schengen area residence permit.

Flight Tickets

It is possible to find cheap flights if you are attentive. My general tip is to fly to offbeat destinations. Choose to fly weekdays and if in Switzerland use the Euro Airport in Basel. Sometimes, you can find crazy prices if you are lucky. A flight to Bucharest or Mallorca can be purchased for just CHF15 one way.

If you don’t mind bus travel Flixbus’s “Interflix” travel pass is an excellent bargain.

Destinations

I would undoubtedly say ‘Switzerland’ is itself a dream destination. Yet it is always great to explore new places. However, hotels are insanely expensive in summer. The €5 dormitory bed in Prague I chose in February shot up to €60 in mid-July.

Don’t get swayed by cheap flight tickets to well-known destinations. Mallorca in Spain is great for beach lovers but so is Sunny beach in Bulgaria! Holidaying in Bulgaria costs a fraction of the price.

Food

Supermarket meals and cooking in a shared hostel kitchen is a cheap option. However, experiencing the local cuisine is an important part of a holiday. I generally have two light meals and one indulgent meal. A word of caution: no matter where you are in the world, never ever get drunk alone in an unknown place.

Adventure

snow

Hitchhiking in a snowstorm is no fun.

(Arasan MJ)

Hitchhiking is an interesting way to get around but sometimes it can really backfire on you. I was hitchhiking from Tromso to Narvik (cities in Northern Norway) just for the fun of it. A driver dropped me off at what he referred to as a bus stop. However, no bus came, and I was caught in a snow storm. The place was so remote that I thought I was going to freeze to death. After two hours of thumbing, a Polish truck driver saved me from almost certain death. So, summing up couch surfing, hitchhiking, wwoofingexternal link are all great ways of meeting new people. However, always err on the side of caution. 



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