The Complete Guide to Student Hotel Deals

Book through sites that offer student-specific travel deals to stay on budget.
Jennifer Coates
By Jennifer Coates
Published
Edited by Meg Lee

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Generally, student life provides the unique opportunity to travel more freely. A common hurdle that students encounter while traveling is cost. This is particularly true for big-ticket expenses, like lodging.

If you’re eager to find affordable accommodations, here are sites where you can find student discount hotels and hostels on a budget.

Best websites for hostels and hotels at student discounts

Major travel platforms, such as Kayak and Expedia, can generally be a good starting point to find cheap hotels. However, there are sites designed specifically for students’ lifestyle, schedules and wallets that might land you a room more suited to your needs.

1. CheapOair

Although its name might suggest it offers cheap airfare only, students might also uncover hotel savings on CheapOair, too. It features lodging of all types, including affordable hotels and budget motels. It also has a dedicated page for last-minute hotel deals for a spontaneous weekend getaway.

You can browse available accommodations on the CheapOair website or on its mobile app. You also can call an agent at 845-848-0154 to explore your options and book your room.

2. UNiDAYS

UNiDAYS is a site dedicated to offering various student discounts from hotels, clothing stores, grocers, gyms and more.

To access these deals, you must be a current student and sign up to be a member online. Membership is free, but UNiDAYS might accept commissions on hotel bookings you make through its platform.

It partners with popular hotel and vacation rental sites to offer student members additional discounts. For example, if using UNiDAYS to book a room on Hotels.com, you might receive up to 40% off and an extra 8% off on hotels.

3. Hostelz

Hostelz gathers data from other booking sites so you can easily run price comparisons for your preferred room.

It pulls rates and traveler reviews from Hostelworld.com, Booking.com and Hostelclub.com. The platform offers the largest worldwide database of hostels, giving its customers access to a comprehensive list of available rooms around the world.

Searching its database is free, and according to the site, it offers an average savings of 10.6%, and up to 60% for some bookings. Its reviews show full transparency and aren’t guided by Hostelz’s commissions or screened by the hostels.

4. StudentUniverse

StudentUniverse is a site devoted to students and travelers under 30 years old that are from the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Canada. Its hotel database has more than 200,000 hotel and vacation properties worldwide, and students can access discounts of up to 60% off on hotel reservations.

The deals on StudentUniverse are exclusive for its members. To sign up, you’ll need to provide your name, date of birth, email address, and your school and expected graduation year.

When browsing available stays, keep in mind that the prices shown don’t include taxes and fees. Make sure you account for these added costs before finalizing your reservation.

Tips for finding student discount hotels

With so many details to work out, planning a trip on a shoestring budget might feel chaotic and costly. Taking some extra steps while sorting out logistics for your next stay can help you keep both to a minimum.

Stay flexible

If you’re on a tight budget or need a last-minute reservation, you’ll find more options by keeping an open mind. This includes check-in or checkout dates and room features.

The least glamorous room type at a hotel is likely its cheapest option. This might mean accepting a room with a tight square footage, a view of a parking structure or one that is close to a noisy elevator or staircase.

Call the hotel or hostel directly

Student hotel deal websites are a solid place to start your search for cheap stays; however, as a third-party aggregator (or online travel agency), these sites often tack on additional fees that add up.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Once you’ve found a room you like on a deals site, call the hotel or hostel directly to compare its rate for that room type.

You might be able to secure a reservation with the agent on the phone, or through the lodging’s website, at a lower total price.

Look up promos before checkout

Sometimes the hotel’s rates are about the same as the hotel’s student discount price. See if you can find extra discounts for the deal site you’re booking through.

If you’re booking the reservation around a major holiday, or are a new customer on the platform, you might find a promo code for an extra discount.

Book with a credit card

Using a credit card to pay for your stay offers additional benefits during and beyond your trip. Some will let you earn an unlimited 5% cash back for hotel reservations made in certain online travel booking portals.

Booking your hotel or hostel lodgings through a credit card also builds your credit history. Just ensure that you can afford repaying any purchases placed on the account to avoid accumulating debt. Before reserving your next accommodations, compare the best college student credit cards.

Don’t forget about safety

Finding cheap lodging can have the biggest impact on your travel budget, but cost savings should never compromise your personal safety. Do your due diligence by checking whether the building has secured entry during late hours and whether there’s on-site security personnel or cameras in common areas, like lobbies and hallways.

Also, read reviews of each hotel or hostel under consideration and what other students have to say about the surrounding area.

Hotels with student discounts, recapped

When you’re on a student budget, taking advantage of ways to travel affordably is essential. Using deal websites for student discount hotels is a good way to uncover a low-cost yet comfortable haven to return to during your trip.


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