Budget-Friendly Capital Warsaw, image source: unsplash.com
Typically, ‘travel’ and ‘student budget’ don’t go hand in hand. I sometimes put off opening my banking app because a quick glance at my balance could be enough to ruin my day. It’s weird, isn’t it, the whole ‘travel while you’re young!’ mentality. How? How is that possible when you have weekly supermarket trips, books and the odd self-care coffee to pay for? But with the whole different set of responsibilities that the future will bring, I’ve decided I can't really wait until I’m older to make a start on ticking things off my bucket list.
I’ve learned that reassessing your definition of ‘holidayish’ is essential if you’re an adventurous student. Sure, swanky hotels and sipping endless Aperol Spritzes by a glittery sea are the stuff of dreams, but in my opinion travelling young is about the experiences; the weird and wonderful places and people that provide a backlog of stories to tell when you get home. Believe it or not, a couple of small changes can make travel so much more affordable:
Try a hostel…
Switching up your accommodation is one of the most economical things you can do when travelling. I’d recommend anyone to give hostels a go, which are far from the run-down, insect infiltrated shacks from your relatives’ school trip horror stories. They provide lots for travellers from sociable communal spaces to bar crawls and discounted day trips, which are great meeting people. Patio Hostel in Bratislava is one of my favourites, which offers a delicious nightly barbecue for only 2.50€!
…or an Airbnb
More privacy than a hostel but with similar money-saving amenities like your own kitchen, Airbnbs are often the way to go. I love the way an Airbnb right in the heart of a big city can feel like your home away from home, giving you a taste of what living there would be like! Big main character energy.
Save on transport
Base yourself centrally so you have the option to get around on foot. Large cities are a little trickier, so I’d advise investing in a pass for public transport that’ll allow you to travel as often as you want on local buses and trains during your trip. They’re often inexpensive and will pay for themselves if you’re going to make good use of them!
Choose somewhere different
Some of the most amazing places mightn’t be on your radar, but are so worth the visit and won’t come close to breaking the bank. One of my favourite cities ever is Warsaw, Poland. Not only is it such an interesting place with beautiful architecture and a fascinating history, but it was very affordable for a capital city, and you can do loads there on a shoestring.
Do your research
Building on from the last point, get into reading travel blogs! These are great both for escapism and for finding out recommendations and insider’s tips that you wouldn’t know unless you’d done your homework. This helped me to find out which days some museums in Warsaw had free entry, most affordable (and tastiest!) ice cream in Venice and the best coffee in Berlin.