If you've ever contemplated taking a gap year or dedicating a summer abroad, STA Travel has likely popped up in your research at some point. The booking company has been around for 35 years, with an average of 2.5 million trips booked annually.
While the agency is largely known for its exclusive student discounts on airfare, accommodations, tours, and rail passes — non-students shouldn't disregard the site entirely. Plenty of deals on the site apply to travelers whose school days are behind them, and there are a range of features that render the service appealing to those looking to explore different countries on a budget. Here are four unique features the company offers that may be helpful for your next global adventure.
You Can Pay Later
Don't want your big holiday plans to drain your bank account? The agency's "book now, pay later" feature will be music to your ears. The deposit program enables you to lock in a trip at the current price with a small deposit, and you wouldn't have to pay the full sum until 60 days before your departure date. The best part? There's absolutely no interest. Down payments for flights begin at $49 for BlueTicket flights, which are special prices exclusive to STA Travel — like a $200 round trip from San Francisco to Guatemala or a $450 deal from NYC to Shanghai. For regular flights, you'd be able to put down a deposit of $299. Keep in mind that all deposits are non-refundable.
Get A Multiflex Pass
One of the best things to have on a trip is the flexibility to switch around your return flights. STA Travel offers Multiflex Flight Passes, an add-on that enables you to change your return flight dates without incurring crazy airline penalties. Two categories are offered: $49 for a one-time change and $149 for unlimited changes. The catch? You'll need to have already departed the U.S. for the changes to go into effect, and the passes only apply to certain flight ticket types in economy. You'll also need to make the changes at least 48 hours in advance to make sure it goes through. So don't leave your decision to extend your Eurotrip to the very last minute.
Special Deals For Students And Under-26 Travelers
If you're a full-time student or happen to be under the age of 26, do yourself a favor and apply for an International Student Identity Card or an International Youth Traveller Card, stat. For as little as $20, this piece of identification grants you access to over 35,000 discounts on flights, accommodation, and retailers such as Target and Apple. You'll also be covered by a basic travel insurance plan, offering protection from trip changes, baggage delay, and medical conditions, as well as a 24-hour hotline to help resolve your trip-related issues.
Competitive Prices Are Guaranteed
You know how certain supermarket chains have best price guarantees and will issue you a refund if you find a cheaper alternative? STA Travel has a similar setup for all of its travel products. If you're able to spot an economy class scheduled flights, tours, or accommodations cheaper than what they have, you can forward the quote to an STA Travel agent, who will then try to beat the price. The travelers will be rewarded with a $1,000 credit toward their trip if the company fails to match the offer. Talk about a win-win.