Do you need to a vacation but every time you open your bank account you want to cry? We know, traveling requires money and digging your hand in your wallet is like trying to eat soup with a fork. You’d starve.
Traveling on a college budget may be daunting, but it’s not impossible, if you do a little research. The bad news is that it takes time. The good news is that we did it for you. We pulled together some affordable options based on a comprehensive investigation of all the expenses you might incur. Our holistic approach brought to light some astonishingly convenient places you can afford to visit, even with limited resources. Read on to discover which ones.
Top Destinations For Student Travel in Europe
The beauty of Europe is that you can reach tens of different countries in just a few hours. With the advent of low cost airlines, anybody can afford a trip to London or to Paris. But how many of us can afford to stay in these capitals for a week?
We realized that, when choosing a holiday destination, most people just compare flight prices. However, it is actually the living and accommodation costs that will drain most of your savings. Think about it. You can scrimp on anything, but you always need at least three meals a day and a place to crush at night.
Let’s make an example. You’re planning a seven days trip to an European capital and you’re comparing flight fares to London, Paris and Prague. A ticket to the English or French capital would cost you €50, while a ticket to Czech Republic would be €120. If you stop here, your stingy t-rex arms would drive you to the nearest harbour. However, before you jump to any conclusion, let’s continue with our analysis.
The average daily cost, based on a night in a hostel, three meals, public transportation, a beer and an attraction, optimistically revolves around £72 in London and €75 in Paris. If you plan to stay a week in the English or French capital you will end up paying over €500. The average daily cost in Prague amounts to €35, which multiplied by seven is €245. Now, you do the math. Which is the least expensive destination?
To help you calculate how much money you’re going to need for your city getaway, here’s a list of famous student destinations with respective living cost. Keep in mind, though, that this is a calculation based on a very limited budget. Try to consider some extra cash for hitches, vodka shots and ice-creams.
Cheapest Places to Backpack
Summer’s exam session is over, you finally got to burn all of this academic year’s books, your only deadline is to watch the whole season of Ireland’s got talent before dinner… what’s better than shoving a few old clothes in your backpack and set off on a big adventure with your college pals?
Backpacking is the most economic and thrilling way of traveling. The bohemian and rebellious charm of grabbing a couple of things and setting for a new adventure without a specific plan has attracted students of all generations. Nonetheless, what might have been cheap and unexplored for our parents might now be a really hackneyed tourist destination. So, where are the best places to go backpacking in 2018?
#1 Sicily, perfect for budget-conscious backpackers
Crystal-clear waters, sandy white beaches, breathtaking natural sceneries and the best food in the world is what awaits you on the largest Mediterranean island, right under Italy’s toe.
Once you arrive, you should start with breakfast. A delicious cannolo, a crunchy wafer filled with ricotta cheese and pistachio powder, and a foamy espresso. Bill? €2. If you manage to stop at the first one, of course.
The historical richness of Sicily is reflected in the Byzantine mosaics of Palermo, the ruins of 7 monumental, Doric-style Greek temples, namely the Valley of the Temples, the Baroque architecture of Noto, Modica and Catania, Syracuse’s Roman Amphitheater and the mysterious Ear of Dionysius, the majestic Dome of Monreale, Taormina, a medieval hilltop town next to Mount Etna, and the many fishermen villages you can encounter on the coastline.
Europe’s highest active volcano lays in the south-eastern part of the island. Mount Etna puffs clouds of volcanic dust and periodically erupts from one of its many craters. If you’re lucky enough, you might assist to one of its spectacular eruptions and watch the incandescent river of lava slowly flowing down the mountain side.
Something you absolutely can’t miss is the Stairs of the Turks, in Italian Scala dei Turchi, a chalky white limestone cliff eroded into stairs by water.
Sicily is the birthplace of gelato and granita. Even the smallest village has a monumental and dazzling patisserie venerated like a temple making homemade gelato, fresh fruits granitas, drop-dead pastries and much more at derisory price. A foodgasm is assured.
#2 Andalusia, plenty to do in this budget-friendly region
The warmest region of Spain, Andalusia gave birth to bullfighting, tapas and flamenco. It is the land of white villages (the pueblos blancos), olive groves as far as the eye can see, unique gastronomy and traditions and architectures that wink at the Arab tradition, which left unsurpassed architectural masterpieces.
Seville is the symbol of Andalusia and the traditions of this land, first of all the Flamenco dance. Capital and largest city of the region, it is famous for its Easter processions and for the historic Feria de Abril. In Seville, visit the Cathedral and the Reales Alcazares and, when night falls, take advantage of the cool air in one of the thousand terraces of Seville to listen to music and drink a tinto de verano.
Ancient capital of the Arab Caliphate, Cordoba is the meeting point of three different cultures, which have alternated in 1000 years of history. Among the attractions of Cordoba, the number 1 is without a doubt the Mezquita, UNESCO heritage. The construction of this evocative mosque dates back to 786 AD. and lasted for over 200 years, until its completion.
At the foot of the Sierra Nevada, rises the city that was the heart of the Islamic kingdom of el-Andalus, Granada. Today it is famous for the Alhambra, a city inside the city and probably the most spectacular testimony of Arab domination in Europe.
#3 Cambodia, an increasingly popular backpacker destination
If you have been dreaming of tropical beaches and are willing to invest a bit more on your flight, Cambodia is definitely worth your money. It’s a very cheap alternative to the overrated and now swarmed with tourists Thailand.
The very first thing you should put on your list is Angkor, translated as "City of Temples." Its ruins stretching over more than 400 square kilometers, it is the biggest religious monument in the world. Many visitors mistake the size of Angkor and visit only a few of the most famous temples.
The Tonle Sap Lake, "Reserve of the Biosphere" of UNESCO / MAB since 1997, is Cambodia’s water lung. Here the populations live moving their houses according to the season as in the floating villages of Prek Toal, Chong Khneas or Kampong Phluk. If you have time, you should also cross the great lake through the canals.
Battambang is the Cambodia you expect, that one of the old shops, the less crowded temples, the terraced rice fields ... in short, the real one. Battambang is one of the best preserved colonial towns, where you still breathe French air and you are immersed in a very charming rural atmosphere. This destination has become even more famous in recent times because of its "bamboo train", a handmade means of transport built by locals and used to move around the nearby countryside.
Also Broke College Students Can Travel
You were prepared to spend your summer break at your parents’ house, walking your dog, listening to grandpa's war stories and helping your mother to peel potatoes. You might have told yourself that these will be months of ecstatic meditation, an inward journey into the contemplation of your inner self. Or maybe you’re planning to help old Emmet to milk his cows and shovel horse droppings for €5 an hour.
Well, stop with this nonsense. Start dreaming again. There are a thousand ways to go on holiday with a strict budget. And if you can’t make it this summer, get ready for the next one. Look for a student job in Dublin, rent an affordable student living and start planning your next adventure. Because there’s no cure for wanderlust!