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Lake Bled, Slovenia by Sarah Kechington

Eastern Europe on a Budget

When summer hits, everyone wants to get away and escape the constant rainy weather that seems to haunt England during our ‘warmest’ months. Living in Europe gives us the opportunity to get away for a price that won’t break the bank, so long as you plan ahead and research thoroughly. This summer, a group of friends and I went to Slovenia and Croatia for ten days for a price that certainly did not cripple us, and would be within the budget for any student. 

Firstly, we researched where in Europe was very cheap, so we would be able to pack in a lot of things for relatively very little money. Eastern Europe is an area I would greatly recommend – it is not as crammed with tourists as, say, the South of France and Spain, and is a lot cheaper than more popular tourist spots, so you are able to enjoy the places you visit even more. We also researched airlines very thoroughly. Flying at 6am with a budget airway such as Wizz Air (which we flew with to Slovenia) doesn’t sound like much fun, but it brings costs down much more than if you were to fly with a safer airline in the middle of the day. Ultimately, if you are flying within Europe, you are only going to be in this plane for a few hours, so a little bit of discomfort is worth the money you will save.

To keep costs down more, we also put a limit of 3 places we would stay in during these 10 days. Obviously Slovenia and Croatia have countless places that we would have loved to visit, but by refining the places it saved money on transport (which really does add up!). To do this, we not only looked at places we wanted to visit, but also looked at the things in the surrounding area. For example, within Slovenia we only went to Lake Bled – but there was so much to do in the surrounding area that this hardly seemed to matter. The same went for the Plitvice Lakes and Split within Croatia. By doing this, our prices were kept down and we could then afford to do some bigger, fun things such as rafting in Slovenia.

Eastern Europe is a really fascinating area of the world, as it really has managed to remain relatively untouched by tourism, despite obviously being a tourist destination. It’s also full of beautiful landscapes (Slovenia’s Lake Bled is the obvious example of this), whilst also having popular culture references – when we were in Split, I took an afternoon trip to the Klis Fortress just outside of Split, as Game of Thrones is filmed there. There is something for everyone there, and is perfectly possible to get to whilst on a student budget.

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