Broke and Bored: A Guide to Budget Holidays for Students

By Contributor | Monday 5th June, 2017

Exams looming, social outings at an all time low and more stress than you care to deal with. The next 4 weeks can look quite bleak when you’re locked in your room forcing your eyes to focus on the books laid out on the bed. Sanity can only be retained by having something waiting for you on the other side.

A holiday sounds great but when checking what’s left of the last student loan instalment, your bank account may be holding up a middle finger to your dream of escaping the city. Well, my fiscally fucked amigos, you no longer have to break the bank to enjoy a quality trip to a new destination. Have a look below at some of the best value destinations available to keep your hot brains motivated during the turbulence of exams.


Okay okay, an international travel destination will never be dirt cheap but few people realise how affordable Amsterdam can actually be. *Everyone *wants to grab themselves a place in central Amsterdam but with Dutch trams being ruthlessly efficient, it’s far more cost effective staying just outside. Last year myself and four friends stayed in Amstelveen which sits just outside the expensive tourist spots but was no more than a 20 minute tram ride away from Amsterdam central. (Word to the wise, if Amstelveen is looking pricey, have a look at Diemen.)


Amstelveen and Diemen are somewhat rural, we found accommodation for 20 euros per night. Amsterdam is surprisingly one of the cheapest destinations to fly to. Return flights can be anywhere between £45-90 but be prepared to visit either Luton or Southend airport at 5am if you’re a Londoner. I’d advise getting to the airport for 3am, we checked in and got a precious hour of sleep on top of a pile of suitcases.

My suggestion is to book a coach journey to the airport with one of the cheaper providers, coaches leaving from Victoria coach station can be as cheap as £9 return.


Looking for an alcohol fuelled adventure to annihilate those memories of exam anguish?

Look no further than Zante party animals! This year, round up your lucky… or unlucky enough friends without summer internships and get ready to party until you’ve forgotten every module you studied. With holiday makers such as Thomas Cook slashing their package deals to many of the Greek destinations (thank you Greek economy) you can find return flights + 7 day 4* accommodation for as little as £120! No bullshit, google it. Now.


Even better than that, a buddy of mine who’s heading to the island next week has found advance tickets to some of the hottest party nights at a fraction of the standard price online. The famous booze cruise, Vvip and plenty more legendary events have dropped their prices by up to 50% so don’t fret about a champagne filled yacht being out of your price range this year.


Sometimes we just need a destination where we can relax, breathe some pastoral air and recuperate from a vicious study schedule. Travelling within the UK has become increasingly popular amongst us millennials wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. After a trip last year costing me £150 all in, I can promise that Dorset is an extremely affordable option. Dorset is beautiful, I mean seriously beautiful. Being one of England’s most scenic areas steeped in ancient history, your social media accounts will be put to good use when snapping pictures of the 200 million year old shore front.


It’s an anomaly on many a travel website as the price of accommodation fluctuates on a daily basis; we snagged a room for £18 per night booking just four days in advance. If possible, try to book a place in Lyme Regis, west Dorset. Visit Town Mill Bakery which offers a buffet breakfast for only £2.50. Enjoy freshly caught fish and chips from Herbies Dino Bar for £3 while taking a stroll along the pebbled sea front. Come to think of it, I don’t think we spent more than £40 each on food during a 5 night stay. If your aim is to run away from the chaos of city life to get some much needed head space (just for a little while) then Dorset is guaranteed to re-charge those over worked brain cells of yours. But be warned, within 30 minutes of arriving in Dorset your exam pressures will be long forgotten; within 24 hours you may never want to deal with those pressures ever again!

Planning on travelling this year? Check out how Loot can help here. The app lets you budget, put money aside and you can use the contactless card abroad without paying any additional fees. Road trip anyone?