How to Travel to Ireland on a Budget as a Student?

view of city and bridge from the middle of a lake

Traveling to Ireland is a popular choice for students, but it can be expensive if you don’t do your research. If you follow these tips, however, you’ll get the most out of your trip without breaking the bank!

1. Book your flights in advance

The first step to planning your trip to Ireland is booking your flight. If you’re looking for the best deals, it’s important to book early.

Booking early also means that you can avoid the busiest times of year and get better seats on planes—plus, if you’re traveling with luggage, more airlines allow you to choose your own bag when making a reservation in advance.

2. Check out the best time to visit Ireland

If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, the best time to visit is during the summer months. This is because during this season, there are generally fewer tourists than other times of year. The weather will still be nice enough for sightseeing, but it won’t be as crowded or expensive as traveling in peak tourist season.

If you don’t like too much heat or humidity and want a little more solitude on your travels, avoid the summer months and go in late spring or early fall instead (or even winter if you enjoy colder temperatures).

If rain isn’t really your thing either—and let’s face it: who wants to deal with an umbrella when they can just wear sunglasses?—then perhaps consider going in winter instead.

3. Spend more time in fewer places

This is a simple rule, but it’s so important. The best part about Ireland is that it’s small, and there are many places you can visit. However, if you try to cram in too much sightseeing into a few days (or even one day), you’ll end up feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and never have time to relax.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time at each location so that you’re not just rushing from place to place without getting any real experience out of your travels!

4. Use a student card

Another way to save money on your trip is to use a student card. Many universities and colleges offer these, and they can be used to get discounts on flights, accommodation and travel around Ireland. For example, the National University of Ireland gives students who are enrolled in their courses free access to the Irish Rail network throughout the year. You may also find that some hostels offer cheaper rates for students if you show them your card.

Travel cards are another option for international students studying abroad as they provide access to discounted fares on public transport around Dublin city center as well as national bus services within Ireland including Bus Éireann routes (intercity buses), Dublin Bus services (mainly urban routes) and Airlink commuter trains operated by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (from city center stations).

You will also be able to purchase tickets online through Traveline’s website using your card which will save time waiting in line at airports or train stations!

5. Stay in an Airbnb instead of a hotel

One of the best ways to save money in Ireland is by staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. Airbnb has a range of options from B&Bs to apartments and even hostels, so you’ll have plenty to choose from.

If you’re traveling with friends or family, it’s also a great way to split the cost of renting an entire house so that you can cook your own meals and save more money on food (which is good because Irish food tends to be pricey).

If you’re traveling alone, consider booking single rooms through Airbnb instead of booking single rooms at a hostel or hotel. Many hostels include breakfast while hotels don’t offer this service at all, but if you stay in an Airbnb then both options are available!

6. Get a travel card for cheaper public transport

You’re going to be using public transport a lot while in Ireland, so it’s worth getting a travel card—they can save you money and make your trip easier.

  • Travel cards are cheaper than individual tickets.
  • They’re good for tourists, students and locals alike.
  • You can use them on trains, buses, trams and ferries throughout the country.

7. Consider staying in university accommodation over the summer

If you’re looking to spend less money on your trip, consider staying in university accommodation over the summer. Staying with a student hostel will allow you to save money and make an international connection with other students.

You’ll also be able to cook for yourself and access all of the university’s facilities and services. If you’re not interested in this option, look into Airbnb! I’ve had great experiences with them!

8. If you want to travel to Ireland during the summer, do it at the start of your summer holidays rather than the end!

If you want to travel to Ireland during your summer holidays, do it at the start of your summer holidays rather than the end. This will mean that your flight will be cheaper and you’ll have more time to explore once you’re there.

If you’re going in September or October, try booking flights as soon as possible so that they don’t sell out. You can then use those savings on accommodation or activities while abroad!

9. Eat low-cost meals at lunchtime

To save money, look for restaurants that offer lunch specials. Lunch options might include a sandwich or salad, chips and soda, and possibly a dessert.

  • Go to the local pub for lunch and order something from their menu. Pubs often have great deals on food during certain times of the day—you just need to find out when those times are!
  • Eat at a restaurant that offers daily specials during lunchtime hours (usually from 11:30am-3pm), such as steak night or spaghetti sauce night.
  • Eat at an Indian restaurant where you can get two meals for the price of one!

If none of these options appeal to you then head over to your favorite cafe or coffee shop where they usually have some kind of special going on every day (think free birthday cake!).

10. Pack light, so you pay less on the flight and don’t need a taxi when you get there!

Packing light is a great way to save money when traveling. Not only does it allow you to spend less on the flight, but it also means that you won’t need to pay for a taxi from the airport.

If you do end up renting a car and driving yourself around, it’s likely that your budget will be stretched even further by gas costs and repairs.

Also, Read “What is Cork city famous for and why you must visit?


Even though traveling to Ireland can be more expensive than other European destinations, it’s possible to do so on a budget. By booking early and staying in an Airbnb, you’ll save yourself a lot of money over the course of your trip.

You also shouldn’t forget about using student cards for discounts on public transport and accommodation!

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