So, exams are over, the sun is shining, and you’re thinking about planning a last-minute mates’ holiday with your uni pals.
We’ve all either heard of, or been on, one of those terrible post-school holidays: you might think of a lads trip to ‘Shagaluf’ (as featured in the Inbetweeners Movie), or a girls trip to Ibiza which inevitably ends in drama.
By the time you’ve gone through university, though, the excitement of these kinds of holiday has worn off a bit – getting really drunk no longer has the novelty it had back when we were teenagers – and you might fancy something a bit different. I’ve done my research, and found five affordable ideas for a mates holiday this summer, with minimal chances of bumping into any school leavers.
1) Have a laugh at the Edinburgh Fringe (3-27th August)
If you fancy staying fairly close to home, and on a low budget, you can’t do much better than the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.
With more comedy, theatre, and pubs than you can shake a stick at, the Fringe is a great chance to get your culture fix without breaking the bank. Many of the shows are completely free, and, chances are, your university drama societies will probably be performing there too.
Top tip: book your group accommodation now, as the hostels quickly fill up.
2) A city break in Amsterdam
Amsterdam must be one of the best places to go with your university pals.
With the ideal combination of beautiful city scenery, canals, culture and nightlife there is more to this city than the headline grabbing Red Light District, or their more relaxed attitude to cannabis.
Make sure you go around the city at nighttime on an amazing Dutch bike, visit the Anne Frank Museum, the famous Van Gogh Museum (for all you art buffs) and use their canal buses to travel around.
Basically, Amsterdam is a vibrant, multicultural and liberal city, and you could definitely do a lot worse than to spend some time in the so-called ‘Venice of the North.’
3) An activity holiday in Montenegro
After weeks of sitting at a desk revising, an outdoor adventure might just be what the doctor ordered. One particularly good deal I’ve found for large groups is based at the Lake Skadar National Park in Montenegro, details of which are available via this link.
On this week long trip, you can go kayaking on the stunning Lake Skadar, as well as hiking, walking, swimming, exploring waterfalls and so much more.
You’re only minutes away from Montenegro’s secluded beaches on the Adriatic coast, and it’s definitely worth a look if you love the great outdoors.
4) Try something different in Bolivia
If you’re willing to try something different, Bolivia is worth a look-in. Named by the flight price comparison site Sky Scanner as one of their 12 cheapest countries to visit in 2017, This landlocked country in central South America has a huge amount going for it as a student holiday.
For one thing, it is one of the most affordable countries to visit for food and drink (a beer is only £1.50), so you’ll definitely be able to get your fill of Bolivian cuisine.
You can also explore the major city of La Paz – which is located 3500m above sea level and hollowed into the Andes mountains – via cable car for some stunning views. If you want to go further afield, you can also visit some amazing geological sites, including the world’s largest salt plain in Uyuni (ideal for instagram!)
5) Catch some sun in Cape Verde
If it’s the island sun you and your uni mates are craving (perhaps after watching too much Love Island: guilty), check out the Cape Verde. The Cape Verde Islands are 10 islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, 500 kilometers away from the coast of Senegal.
Each island is slightly different, from the popular Sal, to the less-developed coastline of Boa Vista, and there are so many opportunities for surfing, whale watching, and even opportunities for clubbing on the larger islands if you fancy letting off some steam.
Ultimately though, if it’s sunshine and beaches you want at a reasonable price, Cape Verde might well be the place to go.