What’s better than a nice relaxing holiday after a year of working hard at University? The summer holidays are a great time to go and explore the world, or just go back to your favourite holiday spot, but living on a student budget doesn’t exactly make it easy. I’ll be going on a trip around the US this summer, visiting 3 cities in 4 weeks. Here’s some tips I used to be able to afford it!
1. Save your pennies!
Some of you will probably be budgeting as much as possible anyway, but for those that aren’t, saving is the first step towards affording that well earned holiday. Try setting a budget for every week based on what amount of student finance you get. Subtract the amount you want to save, and then split the remainder between the weeks until the next income you’ve got. Try shopping at Aldi instead of Sainsbury’s, don’t eat out as much (those takeaways really add up in cost!) and when you go out, try stick to budget there too! Hint: Drinks at clubs tend to be more expensive! You’ll have to make some sacrifices, but the holiday at the end will be more than worth it!
Also look out for student deals! Lots of places will do student offers on certain nights or certain items, and it’s also worth looking into discount cards. If you take the train, get a student railcard. For clothes shopping, try out an NUS or Unidays card for extra discounts. And remember to always ask if places do student discounts!
2. Get a part time job!
For some people, Student finance might not cover much more than accommodation and living costs. There’s still a way though! Getting a part time job through the University is a great way to earn some extra cash, and learn new skills while you’re at it! As long as you leave enough time for lectures and studying, it’s a win-win! Being a student ambassador is the most flexible position available, as you can take whatever hours you want throughout the year to really fit it around your studies. If you want to earn loads for a really extravagant holiday, then try and do something every week – there’s a lot more on offer than just open days! If the student ambassador thing isn’t for you, then you could get a job through the student union or at one of the bars on campus! You could even apply to be a student blogger like me if applications are open! Check out this link for more info: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/student-life/living-here/jobs/. Jobs outside of University are also an option, but they don’t tend to be as flexible.
3. The road less travelled
When you’re choosing a destination, don’t go for one of the cliché places, look for somewhere off the beaten path as the well known places will often have a much higher price! Whether you’re looking in the UK or abroad, there are plenty of hidden gem locations that you could get to for the fraction of the price of somewhere well-known! To find them, go to travel sites and look for articles about budget holidays, or just google ‘student holiday destinations’ or something similar and plenty of recommendations come up for city breaks and beach getaways! If you’ve already got somewhere in mind, then go to a few price comparison sites and see how cheap you can get it!
4. Go with a friend!
Grouping up is a sure fire way to save some money. Group discounts for hotels and travel are common, and you could always contact the place you want to stay and ask if they could knock some more money off! Once you’ve found somewhere, book it together and split the cost! Not only will you have a great holiday, you’ll be doing it with friends and making memories for life! Not to mention it’ll be safer than going it alone.
Hopefully these tips can help you have a great relaxing break, after all, you’ve earned it! And don’t worry, if all else fails, you can always go camping…