Students Trade Convenience for Cost Savings When Travelling

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StudentUniverse’s inaugural student travel survey reveals:

  • 65 per cent of students would take a flight with 1+ stops to save money
  • 60 per cent would fly to a less convenient airport to save money
  • 64 per cent are paying for their travel themselves
  • Less than four per cent travel for nightlife
  • Nearly half (41 per cent) want authentic, off the beaten track experiences
  • Nearly a third (29 per cent) prefer solo travel

StudentUniverse, the world’s leading travel booking service for students and youth, have revealed 65 per cent of students would take a flight with one or more stops to save money when direct or non-stop options are available, while 60 per cent of students polled would fly to a less convenient airport to save money.

The findings, from the company’s inaugural student travel survey, also revealed students are willing to forego convenience for relatively modest savings; 71 per cent would do so for savings of around £40-£80 ($50-$100). This may be largely driven by the fact that students (64 per cent according to our survey respondents) are paying for their travel themselves. Price is the primary concern for more than 90 per cent of students when booking travel.

Rebecca Heidgerd, StudentUniverse’s Director of Marketing, said: “Students look for cost savings opportunities, but they don’t just book the cheapest flight full stop. Many students look at a number of other factors, including connection time, airline reputation/reviews and baggage fees. More than ever, educated travellers are looking closely at exactly what they will be getting for their money and expect full transparency around their flight prior to booking.”

Additional findings include:

Nightlife is a priority for less than 4 per cent of respondents; instead, nearly half (41 per cent) look for authentic, off the beaten track experiences

Given the focus on authenticity, it is no surprise that a quarter of students prefer to stay in Airbnbs while traveling. The lack of focus on nightlife may also be due in part to how students are travelling – nearly a third (29 per cent) actually prefer to travel solo to be on their own schedule and more than half (51 per cent) will travel solo if they can’t find friends to join them on their trip.

64 per cent of students book the cheapest fare they can find and would consider booking basic economy fares if they meet their criteria.

While 19 per cent of students had not heard of these fares, only 5 per cent of students found the restrictions (advanced seat selection, checked baggage, inability to cancel) unsuitable for their travel style. Students cite booking their travel 3-6 months prior to their trip.

While 22 per cent of students search on mobile, 72 per cent of students don’t end up booking on mobile.

International students are 2.5 times more likely to book on mobile or in-app as compared with US students. Mobile-specific offers do matter though, 42 per cent of students state that the most important consideration in downloading an app are the offers they will receive.