We’re all going on a … post exams vacation!
The library is full. Students trail hopelessly from one exam to the next. It’s a bit drizzly. But just because you’re in the middle of exams and revision, don’t feel as though you should neglect the search for the dream summer vacation. Whether it’s you’re desperate to build up global experiences, or whether it’s the last long vacation before the graduate job starts, mid-May is a great time to start searching for some holiday bargains.
Budget carriers such as Easyjet and Jet2 often have inexpensive flights for September: catch the last rays of summer sun and nab some cheap seats now. Morocco, Iceland and Athens all have seats priced for under £70 return today from various airports around the UK, so if you can afford to book it, go for it.
If you’d prefer to search for an immediate holiday, don’t rule out flying to and from different cities. Fly out of London to Zagreb, head down to the Dalmatian coastline for a bit of sun, sea and rocky-outcrops, and then catch the bus to Ljubljana to catch your flight home. It can save hundreds.
If your heart is set on a friend-filled vacation to a Mediterranean island, you haven’t necessarily left it too late. Travel agents regularly get last minute cancellations and companies such as Thompson and Thomas Cook are keen to fill up empty seats on planes. If you’re not fussed where you go or when you go, pop into the travel agents and get ready to do some old fashioned, off-line bargaining.
Be prepared to fly at some pretty unsociable hours. Last year I ended up flying from Newcastle at 5.30am to holiday on an 18-30, all-inclusive package in Cyprus with my boyfriend. The hotel was a dump and everything was super trashy, but it was 45 degree weather, there was a beautiful pool and, let’s be honest, super-trashy is just what you need after any exam period.
For the more morally conscious among you, there are a lot of last minute volunteer projects available. Concordia projects (www.concordiavolunteers.co.uk) is an example of an organisation where the money you pay (£160 for pretty much every project) goes on your living costs. This leaves you able to spend less time worrying about cash, and more time getting sweaty building a library for a tiny Albanian village.
Example of the projects available range from organising a cultural festival in Iceland, building nesting boxes for birds around Madrid or working with mentally disabled adults in New York City. Although the cost of flights are not included for any of these projects, there is sure to be a project you like the look of. Take your pick out of 1003.
If this hasn’t whetted your appetite for a taste of travel after exams, then enjoy taking it easy in Durham, and keep your eyes peeled for the next issue of Palatinate, where Travel will look at the most fun you can have in the UK this summer.