Advice

How to plan a budget trip with your mates

Wanderlust: A holiday doesn't have to break the bank. Source: Adrien Olichon (via Unsplash)

By Emilia Jansson

Life as a student can feel miserable at times. Nights out are expensive, cooking food is difficult but takeaways will quickly put a dent in your bank account. However, just because you are a student it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Even students deserve a break and with these helpful hints you can whizz off to another country and relax.

Firstly, remember to plan ahead and book in time! Prices are significantly cheaper the earlier you book. Booking early also means that you’ll have something to look forward to in the long-term.

Flexibility is also a must for travelling. Sometimes breaking up the route can make it cheaper. Instead of taking the train straight to your destination, how about taking a bus for a portion of that journey and then switching to the train? Although it may extend your journey by an hour or two, it can also be significantly cheaper. Use google maps to figure out if there are big cities en route to your destination where you may be able to change.

Bristol airport and Cardiff airport are the closest airports and offer flights to many destinations around the world (or at least the continent) for a reasonable price. Or how does Geneva, Barcelona or Stockholm sound?

The airports in London basically fly everywhere in the world, however, you may have to be prepared to travel at ungodly hours. Early morning flights from London are usually the cheapest option but living in Cardiff it may mean taking an overnight bus to the airport. Bring your favourite book or try and sleep through the journey. It won’t feel comfortable at the time but it will feel very rewarding arriving at your destination and you may even get to experience the beautiful sunrise when flying.

Flying is not the only mode of travel. The Eurostar goes to Amsterdam, France and Brussels and is a comfortable choice but must be booked early for cheap youth prices. There are also buses which are usually very cheap but take a long time.

Whilst travelling, try and see if there are student or young people discounts available. For example, European Union citizens under 25 are able to visit all museums in France for free and in Greece historical sites such as Acropolis offer discounted student rates. Do some research before your trip to make sure you take as much advantage as possible for being a young student.

Living in hostels can feel like the obvious choice for cheap accommodation, but airbnbs can also offer a cheap, yet more private, living. Airbnbs are usually cheaper the further away from the city centre they are, so if you don’t mind walking (to save money instead of using the public transport.) try and see if you can find a good deal for you and your friends. However, if you want to make new friends then hostels may be the best option for you.

Lastly, if you have made international friends at university feel free to suggest visiting them. Not only will you have free accommodation but you will also get a tour of the place from a local who probably knows it better than Tripadvisor.

Living on a student budget can make it difficult to travel, but it is still a possibility if you are willing to compromise. Happy travelling!

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