Escaping the endless drizzle and greyness of home and chasing adventures is what being young’s all about, isn’t it? If the far-off horizon is calling to you, don’t let your money worries get in the way – you deserve a holiday, so here’s how to save money, before you go and while you’re out there.
Nab cheap flights
Avoid shelling out your entire holiday budget on your flights by checking flight-finding websites like Skyscanner and Travel Supermarket for the best deals. What’s more, if you go in low season, your trip will cost much less (and Italy in October is still beautiful and warm, with fewer tourists!). Flying indirect can save you even more, if you don’t mind spending much longer in the air.
One of the cheapest ways of taking travel money is by getting your hands on a currency card. You can load one with cash straight from your account before you go and top it up while you’re out there, while using them to pay for anything in most shops and restaurants, and eve not withdraw cash in local currency. I loved the Post Office’s Travel Money card when I lived for a year in Canada, for its simplicity and decent exchange rates, though you can compare different ways of getting travel money using MoneySavingExpert’s tool.
Travelling with mates is not only the best fun, but it will save you cash through group bookings and sharing rooms. If you have a friend who lives abroad, even better – crash at their place! Just remember to pitch in for food and booze…
If you’re planning on travelling in the EU, sign up for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) well before your trip. This is absolutely free and lets you access basic healthcare for little or no cost until you can get home, though bear in mind that the results of the upcoming referendum might affect this little gem.
There’s no need to resign yourself to grotty hostels and dodgy motels when travelling on the cheap. Student Money Saver has a very useful guide to staying at incredible hotels at Travelodge prices, so follow their advice for a more luxurious slumber experience.
Call home for free
Yes, you may want to call home at some point, even if it’s to tell your ‘rents you’ve landed safely, or to rave about what a good time you’re having. Think twice – no, three, four times – before you call though, as international rates can be horrendous. Instead, load up your phone with apps like Skype and Viber before you go, and hunt down the nearest WiFi when you get to where you’re going, to call anyone with an internet connection absolutely free.
Finally, take your summer to the next level by working abroad, an option which lets you experience a new culture while earning some cash and boosting your CV. Wine Industry Jobs lists, yes, opportunities to pick crush grapes, in Australia and New Zealand, while Job Monkey shows you seasonal jobs from across the world. You could even hop on a boat and take to the high seas as part of a yacht crew – check out CrewSeekers for opportunities, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned sailor.
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I'm the blog editor for Uni Baggage! I write about university life and all things student related.