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Over the next couple of months I, alongside many other students, am embarking on a plan that should not really exist. It is a bold and dramatic journey in itself, to give up the lifestyle choice that makes us easily distinguishable as full-time-UK-student, part-time-pirate. Drinking alcohol excessively is a social pastime so deeply engrained in our culture that the act of giving it up often garners concerned questions and charity donations.

But what better way to spend these nights out, than to save them for a perfect summer? We all dream of travelling. However much we enjoy and embrace the opportunities we’re lucky to have at university, there are weeks when stressful deadlines and tight student budgets harm our wellbeing. Unless we have an overdraft and a part-time job, spending our time in bars isn’t the best idea anyway. If you do believe that you spend far too much money on nights out you can’t remember, perhaps you too would like to save it for a getaway that’s unforgettable, instead.

Here are some travel tips that should suit your student budget:

Plan your trip accordingly.
The beautiful thing about being a student is that we are lucky enough to have time off after exams that nobody else has – in this time, we’re usually either looking for jobs to fund our summer, moving back to our home-towns, or celebrating the end of the term with our friends. But this peaceful moment, before the rest of the UK starts floating around the world too, is a good chance to make a break for it, and take a cheaper trip somewhere beautiful – April, May and June are great times for this, but a weekend away in the winter months works too.

Get a part-time job to fund your travel plan.
Not only will you be able to pay for longer stays, it’s easier to put aside your money when you know how many hours you’ve spent serving drinks, folding clothes or designing a website. Not only does it look great on your CV that you can juggle university commitments with a job, you’ll be less tempted to spend the money you’ve earned yourself on indulgences like alcohol and clothes. For DMU students, there are lots of jobs advertised on the MyGateway website, which can be accessed using your student login. There are also plenty of opportunities for paid work with the University itself, as Student Ambassadors, and with the Frontrunners Schemes.

Have a look on the #DMUGlobal website.
De Montfort University offers travel bursaries for student-trips, and there are lots of amazing opportunities, from course-relevant excursions to options that are open to everyone. This year, there are opportunities like teaching English in Japan, so these options would look great to future employers too, as they show initiative.

Travel in groups.
This isn’t suitable for everyone, as some like to travel alone, but by including others in your plan, it will boost the morale needed to save up – particularly if it’s your group of friends who like to go out all the time! Plus, with the added extra pair of eyes in terms of safety, you might be more inclined to book a hostel – they are often £10 for one night.

Shop around meticulously, using deals you find online.
Paying extra attention to detail goes a long way – there are travel websites that save points every time you book a flight or hotel, such as ‘Avios’, and you can redeem them at a later date to save money. Also, there are safe ways to travel to and from airports, with deals on http://www.dealslands.co.uk/stores/terravision-promo-code/!

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Posted by Elizabeth Gough

Lifestyle Editor, English Literature and Creative Writing student, feminist, friend and tea-lover. Contact me to appear in the Lifestyle section: smilellie@live.com