Whilst it may seem way too cold and early to be thinking about the summer break, for most students there are 4 months on the calendar to start filling up with plans. Leave all your money worries behind in winter, and use early planning to your advantage with these helpful hacks.
Not only will booking events early give you something to motivate you through your upcoming exams, but it can have huge benefits when it comes to money! Booking in January and February can often get you big discounts. If it’s a summer holiday that you’re looking to book with friends or a partner, looking at a few different providers online is recommended. For the past two years, when looking for holidays to go on with my boyfriend, we’ve gone with Olympicholidays.com as we’ve managed to get our holidays for around £550 for the both of us (so cheap that when we got to the 1st resort we thought we were in the wrong place!). Other sites such as onthebeach.co.uk and lastminute.com can be just as affordable.
But don’t be too quick to book a holiday which stands out as really affordable- checking details such as- are flights included? Transfers? Air con and safe? Beach nearby? Buses? Ratings and reviews? are vital for preventing any disappointments.
Similarly, if you’re planning to attend festivals or have a weekend getaway in mind, searching for Early Bird deals is a great way to avoid an expensive last-minute spending panic when it comes to May/June! Weekend getaway ideas be found on sites such as Groupon: https://www.groupon.co.uk/occasion/weekend-breaks
With exams out of the way, and being back at home without the responsibilities of washing and cooking for yourself, a ‘care-free’ summer may be the only thing on your agenda. However- don’t let the freedom take you off of the rails with irrational spending. Budgeting during the summer break is just as important as during term time and keeping track of your plans/how much you’ll need for them, is a simple way to avoid running out of money.
Plan in advance now that you have the chance and, if you have lots of potentially expensive plans, find the part time work this Easter, Summer, and maybe even during term time to ensure that you can afford it. Finding a job may seem like a horrible and unrealistic idea for some, but once you’re lying on the beach in a hot country or spending weekends at festivals with friends, you’ll thank yourself.
Top tip: Planning how much you intend to earn by Summer and in the weeks running up to your plans can help you to set yourself spending limits. Having a clear idea of your financial position can also help to reduce stress all year round and ensure that you have something to strive towards.
For many of us, the summer break will also bring the extra pressures of paying for student housing and therefore big expensive plans may just be out of the question. But it doesn’t mean that you need to go into your overdraft to have a good time. Why not try planning some affordable days out with friends? For example, beach days, camping trips or days out in London can become cheap with many of the student deals out there. Buying an NUS card or 16-25 railcard is a really good idea if you’re planning on getting trains to any of these events or wanting to treat yourself to a meal out once in a while. Likewise, there are often student deals on Eurostar tickets-so a trip to Brussels or Paris could be one for the calendar if you keep your eye out for these deals.
Vary it up
The Christmas and Easter break may have been too short to see all of your old friends and family, but the summer break is the ideal opportunity to reconnect with all these ties. Creating a calendar which incorporates seeing your different friendship groups, family and even old neighbours, will ensure that you get the most out of summer and return to university in September feeling like the ‘real you’ and refreshed. Equally, keeping in touch with your university pals is just as important for ensuring that the return is an easy process. After all, the people that you’re sharing a house with for the next year you’ll want to be comfortable being around.
With all these tips in hand and the time ahead to plan your summer, you can be sure to be looking forward to one of the best breaks yet.