Destination Budget

FULL ARTICLE

By Laura Aish, Film and TV Digital Editor

The Croft // Laura Aish discusses how the best way to travel on a student budget. She reveals her top tips on travelling cheaply, finding inexpensive accommodation, as well as some advice on how not to be a big spender whilst you are abroad.

It is a well-known fact that travel is an excellent way to have amazing new experiences and recharge from the stresses of our everyday lives. However, travel can also seem expensive – perhaps even out of reach or too much of an indulgence and luxury – on a student budget. This is not necessarily the case if you know where and when, as well as most importantly how, to look for the right things. Get ready to check-in to destination budget below with these starting ideas.

Getting There

Once you have decided that you want to go on a travel adventure, how to get there is what needs to be looked at first. There are several purchasable railcard options out there that might suit you, however these will only really be worth the money if you travel regularly via train. Booking your tickets in advance for rail travel can often provide a variety of cheaper discounts as well, including occasionally finding cheap tickets in First Class for that extra touch of satisfyingly frugal glam. Established budget airline companies such as Easyjet, Ryanair and Norwegian Air all offer a range of reasonably priced flights – if you’re flexible about when you can travel, it’s worth looking at different dates as flights can often vary in price each day with some budget airlines. Booking a Megabus or sharing a car together with friends are also money-saving options.

Staying There

There are plenty of well-known options when it comes to budget accommodation such as Airbnb and youth hostels. Both Easyjet and Ryanair now offer cheap hotel deals through hotels.com and booking.com, as well as a range of reasonably priced holiday packages that include flights and accommodation. Another way to stay somewhere cheaply is to explore volunteering and working abroad schemes designed for students. Most of these opportunities will allow you to stay in return for helping out and working whilst you are away. To give you some potential starting ideas check out: statravel.co.uk. In addition to this, if you have an interest in the arts, you could also explore applying to artistic residencies. There are a plethora of residencies for all sorts of different artistic mediums, with some covering the majority of costs involved (e.g. travel, accommodation and also providing a stipend for the duration of your stay). Other residencies can offer free accommodation in return for working on an artistic project or subsidised rental rates for studios and accommodation. These are often highly competitive, however not impossible to obtain.

Budgeting

Planning what you are going to spend ahead of time and having a strict set amount that you use whilst you are away is a good start. This decreases the likeliness of overspending and allows you to stay on budget. If you take cash with you, make sure you do not keep it all in one place unless it is in a secured hotel safe – otherwise it could all be easily stolen or misplaced. A way to save on additional luggage costs, especially if you are only going away for a short trip, is to use a backpack or small suitcase as your hand-luggage item – size allowances for hand-luggage vary between airlines though, so it is important to make sure your bag fits ahead of time. A neat tip that Bristol-based travel blogger Meandering Thoughts (Instagram: @_meanderingthoughts_) taught me is eating at restaurants or shopping for souvenirs away from the immediate vicinity of tourist attractions can make things considerably cheaper – even if it is literally a street away – this has saved me a bundle when we have travelled together!

Ultimately, if you do your research and plan your trip thoroughly ahead of time, you will most likely be able to find cheaper ways to travel. The most important things are to stay safe when looking for cheaper options, research everything and to use common sense.

Featured Image credit:Unsplash / Josh Appel


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AUTHOR

Laura Aish

I am the Digital Editor for Film and Television at Epigram, alongside my PhD study at University of Bristol. I am also a freelance filmmaker, film tutor and photographer.