Youth and Student Travel Discount Cards

How to Easily Score Student Discounts as You Travel

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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; entrance fees to tours. 

You don't even technically have to be a student either. 

If you're a traveler under the age of 26, you'll also be able to pick up a few discounts for yourself, thanks to the many youth discount cards that are available for you to snap up.

 

And it's not just travel discounts you have access to either -- many of these cards give you discounts on practically everything you can think of. 

Here are some of the best options. 

ISIC: The International Student Identity Card

Full-time students who are 12 years and older can get their hands on an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) to gain discounts on flights, accommodations, shopping, entertainment, and more.

You'll also get free travel insurance while traveling outside the U.S. through this card (although it is basic), as well as gaining inexpensive international phone calls. This is a huge bonus for travelers!

The card, which costs about $25 and is good through December 31st of each year, is issued by the International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) and if you're going to go with one student discount card, this is the one I'd recommend. For $25 a year, you'll definitely make your money back and save several hundreds if you have a few trips planned.

 

Check out a full list of discounts you'll be eligible for and read our article on detailing how to get an ISIC card.

IYTC: The International Youth Travel Card

The International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) is issued by the ISTC (just like the ISIC), is a discount card for travelers under 26 who aren't enrolled in school.

Offers a wide range of youth travel discounts -- not quite as many as does the ISIC, but may be worth having if you'll be going traveling. It costs just $22 a year and comes with free travel insurance as well. 

The Student Advantage Card

The Student Advantage Card provides student travel, retail and entertainment discounts for an annual $20 membership fee (add up to three years of membership at $10 per).

As for whether it's worth it, it really does depend on how you'll be traveling. For travelers, you'll gain 15% off Amtrak and Greyhound fares, and you'll also get your $2 HostelWorld booking fee waived. 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 card holders. The main bonus, then, is saving on the HostelWorld booking fee. If you're planning a big trip or lots of travel, splashing out $20 on the Student Advantage Card will be a good deal. If not, get the ISIC instead. 

ISEC: The International Student Exchange Card

The $25 ISE card offers many of the same discounts as the ISIC card (above).

Issued to travelers under 26, the card's "Youth" version doesn't offer quite as many discounts as does its "Student" version, issued to enrolled students. Is it worth it? Take a look at the discounts offered, compare them to those offered by the ISIC, and see which of them will be more valuable for you. You don't have to choose just one, though -- if they both sound good, get them both! 

Hostel Discount Cards

Hostel discount cards offer discounts on some hostel bunk nights and a few additional benefits. Some hostel discount cards cards offer only to waive online booking fees, which may be covered by cards above. Major hostel outfit Hostelling International has a discount card worth looking into, which works like a loyalty card, but read up to determine whether a hostel discount card is worth it to you.

 

This article has been edited and updated by Lauren Juliff