Your exams are done, all coursework has been handed in and the prospect of a jam-packed social calendar for summer ahead.
Except there’s just one problem. You’re skint. Yep, we’ve all been there as we anxiously input our pin number and felt the dread wash over us as we patiently wait for our bank balance to reveal itself on our banking app.
When you’re bogged down by uni work, saying yes to every social opportunity presented to you for the summer period seems a good idea. Holiday? Yes please! Festival? Oh, go on then! Visit to a uni friend’s hometown? Well, I won’t see them otherwise. And that’s without mentioning the endless BBQ invites or trips to the pub garden.
And as these invites rack up, our bank balance slowly decreases. In fact, with 40% of the population having less than £100 in savings according to a House of Lords committee, it’s no wonder that students are struggling to fund their summer.
So, with that in mind, we’ve collated a few quick tips on how you can still enjoy a summer holiday, without the hefty price tag.
When you book
Use an indirect flight
While in an ideal world you’d be making the most of your time in your chosen destination, travelling on an indirect flight can end up saving you hundreds of pounds in some cases – as is often the case on long haul flights.
So, if you’re happy to spend a little time in an airport departure hall waiting for a connecting flight, then it could be worth your time.
Don’t use one airline or airport
If you can afford to be flexible in who you fly with, and where from, then it pays well to do so. Skyscanner will display the cheapest options – including flying with different airlines and from different airports.
While many of us choose to ignore these options to avoid the hassle, it’s often one of the cheapest ways to fly. You’ll just need to ensure that you match up your luggage allowances as this varies from airline to airline and that your travel to and from the airport is organised.
Be wary of comparison sites
A comparison site is one of the quickest and easiest ways to gain an overview of the travel options available to you. However, use them with caution as companies are often providing a headline price which looks the cheapest compared to their competitors; yet in reality, it’s not as cheap as it seems.
This is because they strip away all the extras (luggage, insurance, etc.) which you then need to pay for on top. So, if you do use a comparison site, be aware that the price reflected is often the bare minimum that they offer.
Accommodation do’s and don’ts
Avoid the pool
Accommodation with a pool comes at a premium, so if you’re not that fussed then look for a place to stay which is near the beach instead. Villas and hotels will increase their prices based on the amenities that they have available, so you’re likely to find a cheaper option if you’re willing to forgo a few luxuries.
Avoid the minibar
Whatever you do, don’t open the minibar. One drink will cost you similar to a whole night out at the student union. Okay, maybe not quite as much, but you get the gist.
Get your own breakfast
If breakfast is included in your hotel cost at no extra fee, then make sure you take advantage of it. If not, then pop to the local shop and pick up some fresh croissants and fruit to keep in your room. The cost of one quick shop will be far cheaper than eating out for breakfast each day.
When you’re there
Book your own excursions
Armed with GoogleMaps and a good old-fashioned guide book, you can sightsee until your heart’s content, and avoid costly excursions. A professional tour guide won’t only cost you money, but you’ll end up hitting the same tourist trails and in a large group.
Before you go, read up on travel blogs and a locals guide to the area to find out the hidden hotspots that you should visit.
Use local transport
Taxis are a costly expense if you use them for every trip that you take, so instead use local transport or walk. A bus fare will cost you far less than a taxi ride, and if you walk you’re likely to stumble upon areas you may have missed otherwise.
Many countries have travel passes which can reduce your transportation costs even further; some will also come with discounts for attractions and restaurants too.
Remember your student card
Play the student card whenever you can too. Attractions are likely to have student discount offers, so remember to take your card abroad with you, as it may even allow you to enter museums for free on occasion.
Now, you just need to choose your destination!