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How To Plan A Summer Holiday On A Student Budget

Finally, spring has sprung. You’re probably reading this looking out of a library window wistfully thinking about your big holiday plans for the summer. That’s when it hits you. How on earth do you plan on affording a holiday when you have to think twice before you splash out on a boots meal deal?

Well, we here at Her Campus have come to the rescue. Buckle yourselves in for some great advice (and a minor reality check).


1. Be realistic

You are not going to be affording a massive MIC style villa in Ibiza or a dream road trip around the States or diving in the Great Barrier Reef. As much as we all love to fantasise, you need to bin those ideas. Take a step down and look at your genuine options: Spain, Greece, Croatia, France, The Netherlands, Italy, Portugal – basically you’re looking at mainland Europe.


2. Do not book anything straight away

Search around for flights and see how much of a difference it makes to change your dates by a day or two – it can save you hundreds!


3. Book hostels (no you aren’t too good for a hostel)

They are crazily cheaper than hotels and a lot less risky than that too-good-to-be-true AirBnB. They are so popular nowadays and actually a lot of fun. You can adjust your room preferences based on price and it’s a great time whether you’re travelling by yourself or in a group, plus saves money you can spend actually enjoying yourselves! Hostelworld is a great place to look.


4. Only pack hand luggage

Big thing on cheap airlines is they charge you extra for stowed luggage – so simply don’t bring it! Sun-cream and all other bathroom essentials can be bought on location. Take a small bottle of hand wash laundry soap and you can wash your clothes in the sink in minutes which saves clothes packing! Don’t fold clothes, roll them; it will literally give you double the space.


5. Look up any obvious tourist traps online before you go

This might save you a lot of unnecessary spending when you get there.


6. If you are in a hostel, you can cook there

Make sure you limit the number of big meals you have out, as these can be a huge drain on your budget without you even realising.


7. Avoid paying for taxis

They will try and rip you off wherever you are, because believe it or not, you definitely look like a gullible tourist. Public transport before taxis in every situation you can, but if you have to get one, confirm the price with the driver before you set off. If they refuse, don’t get in. If they can’t at least give you a rough idea, they are trying to scam you.


8. Book flights first, then find accommodation

However keep in mind that around school holidays prices for everything go up. So, even if you get a flight for pennies you need to be prepared that you might not be able to get the same for a hostel/hotel unless you’re willing to slum it a bit.


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Jane Garcia

Sonoma '22

Sophomore psychology major who attends Sonoma State. 
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