Desperate to avoid a dull, wet and lackluster summer? Here’s a few fantastic holiday tips for you to consider, which will relax you from all that exam revision and give you something to look forward to.
Ellen‘s tips for budget travel:
Don’t be fooled by the pricey travel agents! Do it independently with your mates and bag yourself a bargain, you’ll be surprised at what you can find!
Avoid the nasty high season prices and make use of September before term starts. It is ideal not only because is it cheap, but you stay clear of families and have plenty of time beforehand to earn some cash or get some work experience.
Book last minute. There are always great deals to be had if you are brave and committed enough to monitor the airline price comparison sites.
Check online. Building on the above point, lastminute.com and even teletextholidays.co.uk (yes, it’s still running!) I’ve found have the best offers.
Tap into iPhone app iFlight to check worldwide flights and even the weather at the airport.
Get hold of your mates and book hostels together! If there are enough of you, you will end up booking a room to yourselves and if not you’ll have a brilliant time getting to know all your new roomies after the legendary hostel bar crawls.
Completely lacking in funds and desperate to head off?
Avoid planes and island hop off by ferry, use the hovercrafts and catch buses. It’s a nicer way to get around as you top up your tan and is often easier to get your bearings.
Hitchhike. An inexpensive and friendlier way to get to know the country. HOWEVER, only advisable if with friends, I would highly recommend especially if a group of girls or just alone to avoid resorting to this.
Interrail. The cheapest way to travel around Europe. Starting at £159 for a Global Pass and £46 for a One Country Pass this is not to be missed http://www.interrail.eu.
Eastern Europe’s undiscovered beauty
Check out Hvar and Dubrovnik in Croatia for beautiful crystal clear coastlines and undiscovered islands. Combine your trip with popular music festival Outlook in late August, or miss the crowds and explore in September. The quaint town of Hvar holds a brilliant food market, secluded swimming spots, reasonably priced motorboat hires for a day of island-hopping with your friends. Treat yourself to the famous Carpe Diem private island party, Prince Harry’s not-so-secret get away.
Dangle your toes into the lapping waves and sip on a freshly made cocktail
I recommend the Hula-Hula Bar, the local’s paradise which is hidden from tourists’ glimpses is an exotic catch. Dangle your toes into the lapping waves and sip on a freshly made cocktail whilst admiring the striking Croatian sunset over the coastline. Jump onboard and experience its beauty and culture before it becomes the ultimate celebrity hotspot. Visit mainland Zadar, Croatia and check out the sea organ, Organo Marino or Budapest for a city break of thermal spas, rent bikes to see the city, for culture visit the Terror Haza Museum, walk across Chain Bridge which connects Buda and Pest, try the famous Hungarian Goulash (a hit with my friends!) and if you’re into architecture I recommend walking to the Parliamentary building, Castle Hill and going up to the top of Gellert Hill for views of the city. Consider Berlin for copious amounts of arts and culture and Prague if you feel like you could stretch your budget.
Don’t fancy Eastern Europe? Try the Greek islands for understated luxury where the summer heat has finally faded and holidaymakers are on their way out. Popular hotspots this year seem to be Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. The calm, cool and crystal clear Aegean Sea is not to be forgotten!
Follow @ThatsEarth and @travelchannel and of course @travel_sparkfor travelspiration and to count down the days until summer begins!