Summer’s coming, and exams will be over and done with. Have you started thinking about how you’ll enjoy your time off?
Whether you’re interested in brushing up on your language skills, working or volunteering somewhere exotic, or merely kicking back on an inexpensive, relaxing holiday on the beach, here are some of our picks for a great few months.
Known for its famous Sziget Festival a massively popular weeklong culture and music festival that takes place every August, Budapest is also home to a lively unique nightlife scene. In the past decade, the city has gained fame for its “ruin pubs”, bars that have sprung up in abandoned places and repurposed old Soviet architecture.
The Jewish quarter in the seventh district is the hub of this resurgence. There are now more than 30 ruin pubs to choose from and the original, Szimpla Kert (‘Simple Garden’), has been voted one of the best bars in the world in Lonely Planet polls.
When you need a break from the party, Budapest is one of Central Europe’s largest cities and also one of the most beautiful.
You can spend the day exploring a 14th-century castle, relaxing along the Danube River, or checking out the House of Terror, a museum located in the old secret police headquarters dedicated to Nazi and Communist atrocities in the country.
If a beach holiday is more your style, there is a reason why Ibiza is a perennial tourist hotspot.
While not cheap, Ibiza offers some of the best nightlife in the world, centred in Ibiza Town and San Antoni. Expect great music spun by world famous DJs and a nonstop party atmosphere.
After a long night, relax the afternoon away on a gorgeous sandy beach. Aigua Blanques and Cala Bassa are two of the most beautiful, and check out Cala Xarraca for excellent scuba diving.
If you want to spend the holiday brushing up your Spanish skills, Ecuador is one of the best Latin American countries for study. Travel is inexpensive and the national accent makes learning easier for non-native speakers. Many students enrol in half-day Spanish schools and spend the rest of time kicking back in this gorgeous country.
If you’re into outdoor adventuring, Ecuador offers just about any terrain you can imagine, including volcanoes, jungles, rain forests and mountains.
You can also take a boat to the world famous Galapagos Island, home of many species of plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet.
If you want to spend your time off making a difference to others, organisations like Workaway match volunteers with businesses and individuals who need help. In most cases you’ll work five hours per day in exchange for room and board, with free time left to hangout with the locals and enjoy your surroundings.
There are thousands of opportunities all over the world, so you have a lot of freedom to choose the type of volunteer position you’re interested in and what part of the world you want to explore.
Prague, Czech Republic
For history and culture lovers, Prague is a gorgeous city with an intact historic centre dating back to medieval times. One of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, Prague is also a great value. Student hostels are open to travellers in the summer months, meaning you’ll have more money to spend on pork dumplings and beer at the many traditional Czech taverns.
One of the trip highlights is Prazsky hrad. Also known as Prague Castle, this massive structure dates back to 880 A.D. and is the largest standing castle complex in the world. After a day of sightseeing, head over to the industrial zone for DJs and live music at one of the city’s hottest nightspots. Cross Club is a student favourite.
If cheap and close to home is more your style, Bude in North Cornwall was officially the sunniest place in the UK in 2013. It makes a great getaway for outdoor sports, whether you are into surfing or fishing, cycling or golf. Cornwall is also a great place to experience beautiful beaches on a budget. Summerlease and Crooklets are both popular with the surfing crowd.
If you like to camp, you can get a tent pitch walking distance from town for less than £10 per night. And a little further south, Crackington Haven offers breathtaking cliff views and a chance to explore an old churchyard where shipwrecked sailors were laid to rest in ages past.
Where will you go for your next break? With some planning and creativity, you can find the perfect trip to fit any budget.