One of the best perks of student travel is having access to thousands of discounts. You'll be able to score cheaper prices on everything from accommodation to flights and entrance fees to tours.
You technically do not have to be a student either. If you're a traveler under the age of 26, you should be eligible for most of the discounts.
And the discounts are not only travel-related, you can have access to discounts on practically everything you can think of. Check out the best card offers out there like the International Student Identity Card, the International Youth Travel Card, the Student Advantage Card, the International Student Exchange Card, and various hostel discount cards.
Full-time students who are 12 years and older can get their hands on an International Student Identity Card to gain discounts on flights, accommodations, shopping, entertainment, and more.
You can get free travel insurance while traveling outside the U.S. through this card (although it is basic), as well as have the opportunity to make inexpensive international phone calls. This is a huge bonus.
The card, which costs about $25, is good through December 31 each year. It is issued by the International Student Travel Confederation and if you are going to go with only one student discount card, this is the one you should get. For $25 a year, you will definitely make your money back and save several hundreds of dollars if you have a few trips planned.
Check out a full list of discounts you'll be eligible for and learn more about how to get an ISIC card.
The International Youth Travel Card (IYTC)
Also issued by the International Student Travel Confederation, the International Youth Travel is a discount card for travelers under 26 who are not enrolled in a school. You get a wide range of youth travel discounts, not quite as many as the ISIC, but it may be worth having if you plan on traveling. It costs $25 a year and comes with free travel insurance as well.
Check out the list of youth travel discounts you can get with IYTC card and learn more about how to get an IYTC card.
The Student Advantage Card provides student travel, retail, and entertainment discounts for an annual $22 membership fee (you can add up to three additional years of membership for $10 per year).
As for whether it's worth it, it really does depend on how you'll be traveling. You can gain 15 percent off Amtrak and Greyhound fares, and you get booking fees waived if you use HostelWorld. That all sounds great, but you should bear in mind that you can get a Greyhound student discount without the card and that Amtrak gives the same discount to ISIC cardholders. The main bonus, then, is saving on the HostelWorld booking fee. If you're planning a big trip or lots of travel and staying in hostels, dishing out $22 on the Student Advantage Card could be a good deal. If not, get the ISIC instead.
The $25 ISE card offers many of the same discounts as the ISIC card. Issued to travelers under 26, the card's "youth" version doesn't offer quite as many discounts as the "student" version, issued to enrolled students. Is it worth it for you? You should take a look at the discounts offered, compare them to those offered by the ISIC, and see which of them will be more valuable to you. If both sound great and can offer you great deals independently, then get both. You can buy the mobile-only membership for $9—which cuts out the need for a physical card. Or, you can get a physical ISE card with a SIM card for international calling for $35 (shipping included).
Hostel discount cards offer discounts on some hostel bunk nights and a few additional benefits. Some hostel discount cards offer only to waive online booking fees, which may be covered by the Student Advantage Card. Major hostel outfit Hostelling International has a membership card, which can get you a free night stay and other deals.