Florence’s Duomo at night
The UK is filled with history and incredible sights, making it a great place to live and travel. That being said, one of the big perks of living in the UK is its great position for affordable travel around Europe and elsewhere. There are so many fabulous destinations in a short flight radius, and with the rise of budget airlines, escaping for a short break between classes has never been more doable. So, what’s the best way to plan an escape from your homework?
Planes, trains, and busses… oh my!
The cheapest way to travel out of the UK is by plane and by bus. Trains can be much more expensive, but I generally find them to be the most comfortable mode of transport. The rule of the game in train tickets is to book early – usually you will find that tickets drastically increase in price as the date approaches.
Buses will generally take you longer, but if you’ve got a little spare time on your hands it can save you a lot of money. Bus routes connect most cities in Europe and are a great way to get around, especially in countries with less substantial train systems. Try reputable companies like Flixbus (which has a great app) and Student Agency.
Amsterdam at night
With flights, be flexible about your destination and dates
The best way to nab a cheap flight is to be flexible with your trip. Over my November reading break I ended up in Sardinia, Italy, because that was the cheapest ticket I could find to a place with a beach (£50 round trip, isn’t that wild?). Websites like Skyscanner and Google Flights will helpfully provide you with travel inspiration that fits your window. If you already know the place you want to end up, search the site to find the best travel dates for that route.
Booking flights can be somewhat of a gamble – sometimes booking in advance is the best way to guarantee your cheap flight, but it’s usually possible to score last minute deals if you’re flexible.
Rainy Prague rooftops
How to make the trip work
Whether you’re the type to plan your entire trip in advance, or if you (like me) are more the last minute-type, you’re bound to have a fantastic experience. I generally book hostels when I’m travelling alone as they’re a great way to meet people and feel safe abroad. Airbnb is a great alternative if you’re traveling with a group of friends and would like some space to yourselves.
My friends and I were desperate to sneak away during reading break, but we’re also law students with a pile of homework. So, we booked an entire boat on Airbnb in Sardinia and sprawled our homework out for days on the table. We had our study breaks adventuring around the island and cooking pasta. It was the perfect way to mix studies and travels.
Cooking a pasta dinner on a boat!
One of my favourite parts about living in London is the opportunity for further travel abroad. I haven’t decided on my next London-escape yet, but I have my eye on Copenhagen and Morocco. Travels like these really add depth to an already fantastic experience in London. If you need to write a paper, you may as well write it in an Italian café, right?
If you would like to find out more about studying in the UK, please contact one of our Advisors