So summer has begun. You’re probably sitting at home, just breathing a sigh relief that exams are over and you have virtually no work to do over the next four months, university-wise anyway. There’s probably a little bit of money lying at the bottom of your bank account, just waiting to be spent and now you have plenty of time to spend it. Here are my tips on how to make the most of your spare change:
Travel by coach. It may be a longer journey than by train but it can be a lot cheaper and the destinations are incredibly more vast. You can travel to Amsterdam, Paris or Brussels for just £30 through the National Express. It’s a great way to have little adventures for a good price. You can also get to London from most places for £8 per person. It’s definitely worth it. On the other hand, the 16-25 Railcard can save you a third on train tickets. I would also personally recommend, if you don’t typically travel alone, that you get a Two Together Railcard which gives you the same savings for half the price – you just have to really like the person you get it with as you can't travel without them!
Also, with the weather improving you will probably want to find yourself on a beach some days. If you don’t live near the coast, it’s especially hard so get a coach or train. Go on walks to places you haven’t been before, take beautiful photos and make memories. Of course have days off when you just do nothing, but have lots of days discovering new locations with friends and family.
On top of the coach or train travel, I would highly recommend using price comparison websites to book hotels. On average, you can get a hotel room for 60% cheaper when booking on websites like booking.com or trivago. It’s where you are that matters, not the hotel. You’ll spend more time sightseeing than you will in the hotel so book the cheapest room you can find and make the most of where you are. It’s as simple as that.
Little deals like the Kellogg’s 2 for 1 days out tokens on cereal boxes are a brilliant way to have some cheaper fun over summer – it’s especially good for Alton Towers. You may have to visit most places during peak season, so prices may be slightly more expensive, but with the 2 for 1 deal you still save a lot of money. It’s also quite fun collecting deals from the side of cereal boxes!
This summer is going to be crazy good for cinema with the new Spiderman coming out in June, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 already out; Alien: Covenant; Baywatch; Wonder Woman; Cars 3; The Mummy. There are so many big films that I believe it’s worth checking out your local cinema to find out about any discount membership schemes; for example, my local Cineworld offers an Unlimited card for £16.24 a month which allows me to see any film, any time, and gives me a 10% discount on food at the concession stand. Odeon offer a Premiere card which is a loyalty scheme that rewards you each time you go to the cinema. It’s a great way to kill time and get great value for money.
And those were my tips! They are all coming from a person who spent last summer basically stuck indoors – don’t do that. Having an abnormally long summer holiday is wonderful and having money to spare during it is even better. Don’t waste it.
Janie has just finished her second year studying Health and Social Care at Bangor University. She also writes a blog Little Victories and makes YouTube videos on her experience of university life.
Note: 'Student Blog' pieces highlight the student perspective on issues relating to ProtectED. Consequently, this article reflects the views of the author and not ProtectED.