Top travel destinations this summer

How to make sure you get out and enjoy the summer ahead

You’ve got three months so get yourself a job, save and get out there.

Whether you go with friends or go alone, go far away or to Europe, anything is good, so long as you go. Here are some tip-top destinations to check out over the summer on a *reasonably small* budget.

Berlin

A favourite of many and great during the summer. You can expect to see some of the best parties: the Berghain is famous as much for its tough bouncers as it is for its lavish parties. There will be memorable all nighters and delicious kebabs so if you’re looking for a post exams knees up, this is by far the ‘in’ place right now.

If partying is not your scene, you can enjoy the many historical sites dotted around the city. Trains are also some of the cheapest in Europe so consider travelling by train out to the countryside as well, or hire bikes and do it! Berlin is cheap to get to (around £40 from London) and hostels start at around £6. Once there, the cost of living is far below that of London or Paris. So get on it. 

Yes please

New York

The Big Apple is by far the best place to unwind over the summer (or any time of the year). Enjoy relaxing in Central Park during the day, followed by a visit to Soho or Williamsburg.  St Marks Square has some great Vietnamese food and be sure to pick up some one dollar pizza from the Village as you walk around Manhattan.

There’s something for everyone here, sights, atmosphere, night life. There are also great museums though they can be expensive – keep an eye on Time Out as there may be some free exhibitions going on. Walk up to Times square and get a picture with Naked Cowboy! If you’re feeling adventurous head up to Buffalo where you can see Niagara Falls – it’s only a few hours away by bus and it’s free to view the falls! It’s only a couple of hours to Toronto, so you could do that too.

Contrary to popular belief, travelling across the pond is a lot cheaper than you’d think so don’t be put off by how far away it is! By avoiding the summer months (July, August mainly) and going in September, you can get return flights from London to JFK with Norwegian Air for around £250. Hostels are around £30-50 per night – not ideal, admittedly, but the exchange rate means everyday spending is not bad at all so, what are you waiting for? Get planning.

Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today

Antigua, Guatemala

A rogue choice from my gap yah and no doubt a more expensive pick, this beautiful colonial city nestled within the mountains and volcanos of Guatemala offers everything an adventurer would hope for. I toured through Central America for five months and without a doubt this was my favourite destination; it has everything you’d want from a city: it’s safe, it has enough banks and restaurants, but it’s not too expensive or touristy to have lost it’s traditional feel and charm: a win win.

There are great hostels too, Big Foot and Tropicana being two notable ones, and the night life is great. On top of this, there is an amazing hike up an inactive volcano giving you views from the top of a neighbouring volcano which is active. It takes two days in total, in which you climb up and camp for one night near the top of the inactive volcano where you can watch the active volcano erupting while sitting round a campfire. The views are absolutely incredible: you are literally above the clouds and its (often) possible to see lava and smoke and loud bangs coming from the active volcano. Beware, the hike is tough though and not for the faint hearted! If you decide against it, you may still be able to enjoy watching views of lava trickling down the volcano from rooftop bars in the city.

If you can, save up and get out there – flights are around £600 to Guatemala City where you’ll have to jump on a bus to Antigua. Once you’re there it’s cheap, hostels and food are a few quid, so if you think about it, a few weeks holiday in Europe would cost you around the same as a few weeks in Antigua once you account for Europe’s higher accommodation, food, drink and transportation costs. Solo travelling is in at the moment so this could be your chance to ‘find yourself’. Take care if you do go, Guatemala is pretty safe but best to check the government website just before you book!

Go find yourself fresher

So go on, save some money, get on a plane, see some sights, make new friends, fall in love, get wasted and make unforgettable memories this summer.

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