It’s coming up to the end of the university year and the beginning of a long summer break. Maybe you have some money saved up that’s burning a hole in your pocket, or maybe (most likely) you don’t. In any case, I would like to share my advice on making the most of your time off, with a well-deserved holiday with new friends – or old ones.
Travelling will always have a price tag, but it can still be made affordable if you know the right places to look. I have travelled to Amsterdam, Paris and soon Budapest, all paid for on a student budget.
It’s all about timing when it comes to getting cheap flights and hotels, for instance, booking a bank holiday week away will have extortionate prices compared to a school week. Ideally, you’d want to book your holiday when you know tourism won’t be at its highest – prices are always lower a month or so after peak season. It’s also good to remember that flight prices fluctuate from airport to airport as well as company to company, meaning that Robin Hood airport will possibly be cheaper than Luton airport so will Jet2 compared to Virgin Atlantic.
In terms of location you should think about the sort of holiday you’re looking for, maybe a party holiday, therefore somewhere like Malia or Ibiza would be more appropriate, or if you’re like me and prefer city breaks, maybe look at some of Europe’s cities like Brussels, Rome or Barcelona. Once you know where you want to go it’s time to start looking for flights. An amazing website that I always use when travelling is Skyscanner.net. This website allows you to see all the flight options for the cheapest prices around your date and destination – you can even put in specific airports. My flights to and from Paris only cost me £64, which is dirt cheap, so there are options out there if you’re willing to sacrifice a comfier seat.
The next step is the hotel, or if you’re really on a budget, a youth hostel – which is always a very affordable option for any student traveller. Try Hostelworld.com to find hostels in all kinds of places around the world. If you’re determined on a hotel, a brilliant website to try is Priceline.com. This clever site lets you place any price you want to pay and the site will then bid on hotel rooms for your price – sort of like a hotel room auction. I was able to get a room at Dream Castle hotel at Disney Paris for a long weekend at about £200, despite it being 4 star.
The last big part of holiday planning is the activities you want to do when you get there. Some may be content to make it up as they go, but I have found that looking beforehand and booking saves time and money. If for instance, you are going to a city, perhaps short-term transport tickets are available to get you around. Maybe there’s a museum or attraction you want to see, but don’t want to pay double when you get there – booking ahead is the answer. Oh, and keep your student card handy, most museums have some kind of student discount.
Hopefully, these useful websites and tips can give you a holiday to remember on a student budget.