COACH TIPS – Traveling is within the reach of all students, provided you anticipate and be flexible. Our journalist reminds us what reflexes to travel (very) often without breaking the bank.
When he is not at the student writing Le Figaro, he is in a train or a plane taking him to new horizons. Every week or so, Jean-Marc De Jaeger travels to France or Europe, faithful to the principle “the journey forms the youth”. Travel, a luxury? “Absolutely not, provided you’re flexible, anticipate and take the time to compare prices,” he insists. On his blog, lefouduvoyage.fr, he shares his good plans, experiences and thoughts on the journey. For Le Figaro Student, he delivers some tips and tricks to leave often without spending too much.
1-Be flexible on destinations and comfort
It is the flagship principle of any clever traveler: flexibility. Wanting to go to a specific destination on a specific date is the best way to pay the high price … First, we must be flexible in the choice of destinations. In other words, if you absolutely want to leave, choose your destination according to the price of the ticket. Perhaps you will be surprised by a city you have never thought of. Another useful tip for long-haul flights is to look for flights from border airports such as Brussels, Geneva, Frankfurt or Barcelona, which are cheaper on some destinations.
Another point to be flexible on: comfort and This is Luxury Travel. It is quite possible to pay 200 € a round trip between Paris and America, but you must accept to travel light (only one piece of luggage is allowed) and not to take meals on board. Similarly, most Asian countries (Japan, Hong Kong …), long considered overpriced, are accessible from 350 € roundtrip, provided to make a stopover and thus extend its journey by several hours. Bus journeys are economical, especially at night, but again comfort should not be your first concern.
2-Anticipate and play on dates
After the destination and comfort, the most important thing is to be flexible on dates. Shifting your stay by a few days or going on a weekend on a Friday morning and returning on a Monday evening can divide the score by two. High school students and students unfortunately have less flexibility than employees. Students who do not pass exams in June have every interest in leaving this month, one of the cheapest of the year. For those who make their return late, prices begin to fall in early September. Alas, do not expect to find good deals during the holidays and the end of the year holidays.
This is no longer a secret: the earlier you reserve; the less expensive tickets are. Anticipating is the best way to get seats sold at the call price (from € 5 at Ryanair, for example). Be careful not to book too early, a year before, because rates may drop in the meantime.
3- Spend time comparing
When you find a price, ask yourself if there is a cheaper ticket. The best way to ensure this is to use a flight comparator, such as Google Flights, Kayak or Liligo. I particularly recommend Sky scanner, complete and easy to use. The “Explorer” function is very interesting for the undecided. By entering his departure city, his dates and his budget, one obtains in a few seconds the list of corresponding destinations. The site is able to display the months when the flight is the cheapest. You can also use Algofly to know the average price of a flight and create an alert: if the price goes down, you are immediately notified. Another site specializing in good deals: Pirates Travels. Publishers are looking for the best offers for you.
For accommodation, I recommend the sites Booking, Hotels and Hostel world. The first two list accommodations of all kinds (hotels, camping, bed and breakfast …). Hostel world is more specialized in youth hostels. Here again, you will gain flexibility, for example by favoring a small apartment away from the city center.
4-Subscribe to newsletters and follow the latest transport news
When a new company is launched or a new link is created, we must expect particularly advantageous introductory offers. One of the easiest ways to be informed is to sign up for airline newsletters. In this way, you are among the first to know when a flash promotion or sale starts. The newsletter is not to be neglected. It allows you to make good surrealistic deals, like for my part a flight to the Canary Islands to 1 € through an email sent by Volotea. Keep an eye on transport and tourism news by reading Le Figaro Économie or specialized media like L’Echo touristique or TourMag.
5-Learn about the offers dedicated to young people
Pass, financial aid, organized stays … There are lots of offers specially addressed to young people. Le Figaro Student has listed some of these tips. Among them, let us quote the TGV max subscription which makes it possible to use the TGV everywhere in France in an unlimited way. At 79 € per month, the investment can be profitable from the first trip. To make a tour of Europe, the best is to use an Interrail pass, valid in 30 countries. For 15 days of unlimited travel, count € 337. Flex box offers an equivalent pass for the coach: The Interflixat € 99 for five trips in Europe. Each trip costs € 20, regardless of the distance and the time of year. These two pass are interesting to use the summer because their price is fixed and does not fluctuate like the price of the flights.
Babysitting can make you travel for free by train or plane. The KidyGo company, founded by two recent graduates from the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, connects young babysitters and parents looking for a companion to make their child travel. The babysitter may choose to pay for his ticket or receive compensation. A useful solution for students returning home on weekends.