Budget Friendly Travel

Ruth Lawes takes a look at three top destinations for students wanting to escape the stress of uni

Its coming to that time of year again: exams, revision and, perhaps more prominently, procrastination. By now, if you’ve exhausted Facebook, refreshed the Daily Mail a shameful amount of times (even the best of us do it) and made enough cups of tea to keep you awake for 36 hours, I suggest this: summer planning. Then you can be the envy of Facebook, spend 36 hours tanning or partying and well…lets just forget the mention of the Daily Mail.

And, if you can brave Ryanair, it doesn’t have to be expensive either. In fact, in the following destinations you can get a restaurant meal or a bottle of vodka (your choice) for the price of a coffee in the Print Room. You could even make it your aim to get to one of these places whilst hitchhiking for Jailbreak.

So, here’s where to go student-style and budget-friendly.

Belgrade, Serbia
You don’t need Moonies or The Roxy/The Loop if you can party on an actual boat. These ‘splavs’, moored alongside one another on the banks of the Danube, are the main source of nightlife in Belgrade. You can pick your chosen ‘splav’ based on music, which ranges from techno to dubstep to r’n’b. A wiser decision, however, is to choose the most buoyant as the Serbs like to party. And when I mean party, I mean jump really hard. Aside from the nightlife, one of the city’s highlights is its artificial lake and beach, Ada Ciganlija or Serbia’s answer to the Costa del Sol. Hungry? Eastern Europe is renowned for its meat. If you’ve got the hangover munchies or just really, really like meat grab a ‘Cevapi’ (a massive bap with at least 5 sausages,) yours for only a couple of pounds. But, if fake beaches, party boats and cheap food aren’t enough, there’s also a huge Fortress which is free to explore and act out medieval fantasies as you please.

Krakow, Poland
Honey, black pepper and coffee. In the UK they may seem like innocent stock-cupboard items, but in Poland they are lethal additions to Vodka. Not that cheap, albeit questionable, Vodka is the only reason to visit Krakow. Thanks to its charming 17th century architecture and winding streets, Krakow almost seems like a Disney village.  After a visit to Wawel castle, one of the city’s most beautiful buildings, you’d half expect Mickey Mouse to be knocking around. The city also has a fascinating, yet harrowing history. A stone’s throw away from the centre is Oskar Schindler’s factory and a short, cheap bus ride away is Auschwitz. Both are incredibly poignant visits. In Krakow, you are never short of things to do and, as most hostels cost around a fiver and include breakfast, it leaves a considerable amount of your Student Loan left to spend.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Its name may be impossible to pronounce, but Ljubljana offers a cut-price alternative to Austria. Expect terracotta-coloured buildings, willow-draped riverbanks and a bohemian student quarter. In want of a word it is, well, just lovely. Funny that, as the word means “love” in Slovenian. If you can face the walk up the hill to the Castle, its position amongst the Alps provides a breathtaking view. Plus, Ljubljana’s thriving café and bar culture means that you can numb your aching limbs afterwards with a large glass of wine for about 2 pounds. A trip you can’t miss is Lake Bled and it only costs about a tenner return on the bus. It is one of the most majestic lakes in Europe (it even comes with its own castle) and a topnotch rowing destination for amateur and professionals alike. If you’re all ‘scenery-ed out’, check out the prison turned art gallery turned hostel “Hostel Celica.” The whole complex has been transformed by several up and coming artists,  graffiti artists and sculptors- complete with a cheap bar. Oh, and the chance to stay in a former prison cell.