I began www.thestudenttravels.com as a platform to encourage and inspire the possibility of travel during your studies.
Since its creation it has morphed and expanded into all areas of travel but for this post I want to get back to my student roots and what this site is really all about.
So here are 7 ways to continue to travel at university:
1- Do a year abroad
An increasing number of universities are offering the opportunity to spend a year or semester studying abroad as part of your degree. Universities in the USA and Canada are usually the most popular but also the most expensive. If you choose to stay closer to home and study in Europe then you can avoid stratospheric visa costs and also receive extra bucks from Erasmus grants.
Your sparse timetable and strange term dates create the perfect option for out of season travel. The weekday prices of hotels and air travel can be significantly cheaper than weekend charges. And we all know that every day is a Friday when you’re a student! For longer breaks abroad, students have the option of beating the school-holiday inflation and the chance to score great deals on bargain busting retreats.
3- Rent an apartment
Without fail I have found it cheaper and a whole lot nicer to hire an apartment when you’re abroad. Websites like airbnb.co.uk offer great value apartments and houses which, if split between a bunch of you, work out cheaper than the local hostels! This has worked for me in Brussels, Croatia and Dublin to name but a few.
4- Find the right festival
Is the sticky, sweaty nightclub scene of Magaluf or Kavos not really your style? Then why not try the European festival scene instead? Cheaper than a lot of the English festivals, and often a lot better organised, head to Holland or Germany for unexpected musical delights. The people are friendlier, the pints are cheaper and *SHOCK HORROR* some actually have CLEAN TOILETS!!!
My favorite is the relative newcomer Best Kept Secret Festival in Tilberg, Holland, which is easily accessible via the cheap Megabus routes which zip across to Amsterdam from London daily.
5- Explore the ins-and-out of your university town
Study at Southampton? Nip to the New Forest for breath of fresh air. At Preston? Hey, it’s not all bad, the Lake District is on your doorstep!
One of the benefits of the UK is that everything you could wish for is packed into our small yet perfectly formed isle.
If you’re trapped in a city then the countryside is never too far away. Equally, if your uni is banished to the countryside then there is going to be a town close by. Explore your town and see what lies beyond its borders. It’s going to be your home for the next 3 years so why not make the most of it? You’ll be surprised what you can find.
6- Join a society
This is probably the first piece of advice graduates will give to freshers. But forget all the spiel about making friends or trying something new, think about the travel experiences it can offer you!
Sports teams are usually the best for this as they offer you the chance to travel to competitions and go on tour abroad. I was absolutely useless at sport but joining the Trampolining Society allowed me to visit universities all over the country and see what student life was like elsewhere.
Despite looking like a new-born calf whenever I stepped onto the trampoline, it was fantastic fun… and yeah, I suppose the people were pretty amazing too!
Probably one of my favorite ways to travel cheaply. Grab your best mates, a crate of beer and a tent and head off for a night under the stars. If you’re brave then avoid the campsites and find a secluded spot to pitch your tent. Just be prepared to face angry farmers when you wake up in the morning…
Do any of you students or graduates have any more top tips? Please share them in the comments and let’s make travelling at university easy and accessible for everyone!