Inexpensive ways to escape the Lent term blues

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Christmas is over, Lent term begins and it’s work, work, and more work! With gloomy days and early dark nights, January felt much longer than 31 days and summer feels like a distant light at the end of a long tunnel! So why not cheer yourself up with a cheap midterm getaway before exam period begins?

Although described unflatteringly as ‘buses of the sky’, flights through budget airlines are cheap and cheerful. With cheap flights to cities all over Europe, including all the major cities such as Barcelona, Krakow, Dublin and many more, companies such as Ryanair, Easy Jet and Jet2 are your new best friends! Remember to plan ahead and shop around for the best deals. Prices can go up nearer to the depart dates so it can pay to be organised, and less money on flights mean more to spend on what you like during your weekend retreat.

Save money by packing light and only taking hand luggage as most of the budget airlines don’t charge to take one bag on board with you. However, remember to check that it fits within the height and weight restrictions stated in the terms and conditions as they may check and it will ruin your cheap getaway if you have to pay the extra money (usually around £40) for being over the limits. Book your train tickets to and from the airport online in advance. If you’re being organised you’ll get them cheaper and also you don’t want to risk getting fined for not having a ticket on board the train! It may seem cheaper to risk it, but it’s not worth your holiday spends if you get caught.

It’s all well and good getting cheap flights, but there’s no point saving on your travel if you’re going to blow your budget on pricey hotels. Staying in hostels is a cheaper alternative and you can look for hostels online in advance to make sure you get the best price. A few good sites to use when looking for a cheap place to stay include Hostel World, Hostel Bookers and Famous Hostels.

A tip to remember is always read the reviews and take some time to look for the best deals available, it may take a little longer but it’s worth your time to choose a hostel bargain (minus cockroaches or bed bugs).
If you want to see the sites during your short weekend do some research beforehand and make yourself an itinerary to get the most out your mini break. If you’re a bit more adventurous then why not go interrailing? There are sightseeing passes for most big cities which give you free or discounted entry to a variety of attractions and tours. Some passes also give you free or reduced travel on other public transport. These passes are definitely value for money if you’re one for getting around!

All in all, if you’re booking on a budget then be organised, book in advance and feel secretly smug when you’re enjoying your brilliant bargain getaway.

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