Holidaying at home

backpackers

Ever found yourself staring dreamily into a screen or a holiday brochure wishing you were anywhere in the world but home? Perhaps you’re picturing yourself lounging lazily on a warm sandy beach listening to the warm waters lap against the shoreline. Maybe you’re on a road trip driving on the open road with the wind in your hair and the sun on your back. But, being a student, money is tight, and most of us can’t afford the holiday that we truly desire.

One thing we all have in common when it comes to planning a holiday is wanting to get away from it all – whatever your budget. A change of scenery is a brilliant boost and fortunately, you don’t have to go a thousand miles away and spend loads of money to have a holiday full of adventure, culture and exploration. These days, more and more of are deciding to holiday at home. Sure, the United Kingdom isn’t exactly the warmest or most exotic place on the planet, but what it lacks in the weather department, it makes up for when it comes to harbouring amazing opportunities for a more affordable holiday.

Ever wanted to don a rucksack and go backpacking across the globe and sleep beneath the stars? There is absolutely nothing stopping you from doing just that in Britain! All you need for a cheap backpacking escape is a few camping essentials, a decent map and a plan of action. Camping is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea but it is one of the many keys to unlocking a cheap holiday. Get some inspiration at www.coolcamping.co.uk.

The UK has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and part of that is made up of rolling hills and rocky mountains. Why not use that to your advantage and go and explore? You could hike the West Highland Way, camp out in the Lake District or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could walk the length of Britain from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

If backpacking is not your thing, don’t worry – a lot of experiences that draw us to foreign locations can be done in the comfort of your own home (so to speak). Thrill seekers can get their kicks at Britain’s many theme parks such as Alton Towers, LEGOLAND and Thorpe Park, all of which have accommodation available that won’t break the bank. Sporty types can indulge in water sports from diving down to the wrecks of German battle ships in Scapa Flow, Orkney to riding the waves and surfing at Watergate Bay in Cornwall. Weekend city breaks are also an option for more cosmopolitan types, from shopping trips to Glasgow’s Style Mile, a history fuelled trip to Edinburgh or catch a glitzy west end show in London.

A little financial help goes a long way, especially on a student budget. Make the most of your student card or Young Scot card to get discounts at major attractions. Transport is another major factor when it comes to money – luckily, National Rail do range of age specific railcards that get you a 1/3 off your train fares. Categories include Railcards for 16 to 25 year olds, two together and a railcard specifically designed for disabled people. The 16-25 railcard cost £30 a year and could potentially save you over £161 on your train fares. The railcard can also be used to obtain discounts on days out, holidays and theatre trips. Check it out at www.nationalrail.co.uk

You may want to dip your toe in warmer foreign seas, but there is nothing stopping you from testing the waters at home. Perhaps the British Isles aren’t exactly the island holiday that you dreamt about, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have an incredible adventure.

Check out what else the UK has to offer holiday-goers at www.visitbritain.com

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