Summer on a Budget

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By Jessica Carruthers

It’s that time of year again. The weather is awful and the work is starting to pile up. The only escape from this is to allow our minds to wander to those better, summer days. However, this brings us into the dilemma of what is going to fund our fun and games? Don’t let this panic you, if you keep reading I will answer your prayers and ensure you have the best summer ever on a minimal budget.

UK Festivals

Festivals have to be the best part of summer. Being in the UK we are blessed with such a huge variety to choose from. There’s Parklife hosted in our very own city of Manchester, Creamfields, which is where you want to be if EDM is your thing, and then Glastonbury, the King of all festivals. The list could go on and on, but the real issue here is how to afford them. Although it would mean only having to travel within the UK, the main cost tends to be the ticket price itself. Festival tickets usually range from £80 – £200 (yikes, I know!) However don’t let this put you off; believe it or not there is a way around this.

2Most if not all festivals offer voluntary based work allowing you to work for your ticket. Although this could mean missing parts of the festival, you still would have lots of free time to enjoy the music and general festival antics with the only cost being your spends. So if this sounds like the perfect solution to your summer plans, all you need to do is apply for the voluntary work. The best way to find this is to Google the festival you want to attend and then there is most likely a section on their website for volunteers or an email address for you to enquire about it. Another option is to search for ‘Festival volunteering in the UK’ on Google and it will come up with a number of options including external companies that work with the festivals and offer volunteering for festival tickets; an example I found for this was ‘Big Green Coach’.

Travelling Abroad

If you were thinking of venturing out of the UK this summer, then don’t worry I have some tips to lower the costs down for that as well. Usually with travelling out of the UK, one of the bulk costs tends to be the flights. I’m afraid there isn’t a volunteering solution I have come across here, however it is possible to find cheap flights, it’s just a case of looking around. The best bet for this is Skyscanner. Skyscanner is a website which will search a huge range of company’s and websites finding the best deals for your flights. You can also easily look at different days and see if it is a lot cheaper on different dates. Another option is to select your departure airport as ‘United Kingdom’, therefore showing you which airport is the cheapest; alternatively it might work out cost effective to fly from different airport in the UK.

10492031_10203428122117206_6499105573838862388_nNow that the travel out there is sorted, the next option it accommodation. There are many options for this and it just depends on what kind of holiday you want. Obviously a very cheap way of doing things is to stay in hostels. Not only is this ridiculously cheap, but it is also a great way to meet new people. However, if hostels aren’t quite your thing, then another option could be renting people’s homes. This is easily done through a wide variety of websites for example Airbnb, Homeaway and Housetrip being just a few options. Not only does this usually end up cheaper than booking through a big company, but I’ve also found you get better value for money.

The final big cost of travelling abroad is the actual spends when you are out there. This obviously can vary drastically depending on where you are travelling to, however the same rules tend to apply on how to cut the costs. The first tip is to not book tours with big companies that you could do yourself for a fraction of the price. Public transport is everywhere and is generally quite easy to work out, so instead of booking an organised tour to a destination, take the local bus or train; it will honestly save you a lot! Also when it comes to spending on food and drink, try and eat off the beaten track. If you are eating right in the centre, it is a major tourist trap and prices will be rife. So wander around and find traditional restaurants and bars, you will not only save a lot but they generally tend to be a lot nicer and better value for money as well- it’s a win, win!

So if you were previously worrying about how you were going to afford the summer you deserve after the Uni year is over, then your worries can now change to excitement – Let the planning commence!

Jessica Carruthers is a third year student studying English and Linguistics, she enjoys music fashion and reading. You can find her at @jesscarruths

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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