It’s been a long term at university. You’ve finished your essays, panicked your way through your final exams, and now you could do with a break. You want to go on holiday, but when you open your wallet, all that falls out are old bus tickets, and the receipts for more end-of-term celebrations. Well, don’t panic. We’re here to help, with tips for travelling on a student budget.
Booking a holiday at the right time can help you save money. Look at off-peak seasons and try to book your travel for midweek flights. As a general guideline, flights can be cheaper on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays but the industry is influenced by various factors. Booking well in advance can sometimes yield discounts as well as last-minute deals.
2. Do it yourself
If you’re going to travel on a budget, do it on your budget; not the budget of the travel agent. You don’t have to fork out for a £3000 organised tour if you want to have a good time. This way, you can make sure you really get value for your money. Obviously, pre-arranged tours might be less hassle to sort out – and honestly, that’s a large part of why they can charge so much – but by taking the time to book your own accommodation and travel arrangements, you can tailor your holiday so that you get exactly what you want, and more importantly, pay exactly what you want.
Youth hostels are your friend. Yes, you may have to share a bedroom with other travellers. Yes, inevitably one of them may snore loudly and arrive to the room in the early hours. But, there are some real perks. The staff know that you’re travelling on a budget, and they’ll go out of their way to help you enjoy your trip, with advice and guides on the cheapest places to go, the best places to eat, and how to get around the city without getting ripped off.
Wherever you’re travelling, investigate nearby street food vendors. If you see the locals eating there, it’s most likely safe and you will probably taste some of the best food on your trip! You’ll find great local delicacies and they’ll likely be much cheaper than you’ve just seen them on a café menu. Moreover, street food frees you up to wander and explore more of the city while you eat. Ideal. If you’re travelling with friends, it’s also worth pooling your resources, buying a cheap picnic at a local supermarket, and then all you need to do is find yourself a local park or even better a spot on the beach.
5. Free sightseeing
Avoid the often expensive open-top tour bus, and take a walk. If there are free walking tours of your destination, take advantage of it, and do it as early as you can. The more you walk around the city, the more you’ll get your bearings, and the more you’ll know how to get around without buses or taxis. In most cases, walking tour guides are a wealth of knowledge, on everything from culture and history to the best bars and nightlife, and they’ll give you the tips and stories only a local would know. Companies like New Europe Tours operate these tours in cities across the world, and moreover, many of them will pick you up from your hostel, so you don’t even have to spend anything to find them.
6. Budget per day
It’s not exciting or romantic, but if you set yourself a clear budget per day, and if you stick to it, then you’ll be able to plan out a full, action-packed holiday. Don’t be the person who blows their entire budget in the first two days, then has to phone and beg their parents for the money for a plane ticket home.
Travelling on a budget is a challenge, but when you do it right, it can be one of the most enriching experiences you’ll ever have. For students with the motivation to explore new possibilities, a career at Enterprise will help you go even further, so take a look at our graduate opportunities today.
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