The Christmas break is almost upon us, and most of us can’t wait for some time to relax and step back from packed schedules and deadlines. Going home to spend time with family, do some Christmas baking and see old friends might be enough to help you recharge.
However, if there’s some money left over from this term and you long to experience something new, here are some fab travel opportunities for you to do this festive season!
There’s nothing more relaxing than the silence on top of a mountain, surrounded by nothing but white views and blue skies. What people don’t tend to know is that you can actually make skiing quite cheap, and that it’s even achievable to do within a student budget.
“It’s no secret that EasyJet offer very cheap flights to many European destinations throughout the year”
If you look into cheaper ways to travel (such as coaches and trains) outside of school holidays and research Hostels, student skiing can be made quite affordable. Here are some examples, starting at £16 per night! My biggest tip for skiing cheaply would be to stay away from commercial resorts and explore some lesser known ski areas that are more popular for European holiday-makers, rather than Brits. This has the potential to make prices for most expenses plummet, but also means that the slopes will be much less busy.
Contrary to popular belief, lesser known ski areas are just as lovely and offer just as many amazing ski opportunities!
It’s no secret that EasyJet offer very cheap flights to many European destinations throughout the year; the Christmas markets are a great chance to utilise them! Salzburg is possibly home to the most famous European Christmas markets. As a city nestled in the alps, Salzburg is not a stranger to snow at this time of year and is guaranteed to make you feel festive.
As well as this, the city is famous for being Mozart’s home town and the filming location for ‘The Sound of Music’. It’s a very small city, and could comfortably be explored in a weekend, but its mountainous surroundings make it one of my favourites.
However, if travelling abroad isn’t a possibility for you this festive season, there are plenty of Christmas markets to visit in the UK, too. Whether it’s London’s Winter Wonderland, Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets or Portsmouth’s Victorian Christmas Festival, these events are the perfect excuse to adventure into a new city inside the homeland this Christmas!
“The perfect escape from the ceaseless wind and rain in Nottingham”
If you’re looking to reach a bit deeper into your pockets for a Christmas mini-break this year, Lapland could be for you. While this destination is associated with middle class children going to visit Santa in his natural habitat, viewing the northern lights from your very own glass igloo makes for a very romantic getaway.
With activities including staying in an ice hotel (with an ice bar!), dog sledding, riding in a sleigh led by reindeer or a horse-drawn carriage through the snow, this trip would be the definition of wintery fun. The easiest way to book a trip like this would be through a holiday package, which will always be pricey, but would no doubt be the trip of a lifetime.
If you’re nothing like me and frosty weather makes you want to jump on a plane to a beach hotel with a swimming pool and tanning weather, look no further. While finding winter sun means travelling slightly further afield, there are also cheaper options available such as hostelling.
My top pick for this is Cape Verde. Heading towards the equator, off the coast of West Africa, Cape Verde can be up to 26 degrees in December and seems like the perfect escape from the ceaseless wind and rain in Nottingham!
As well as this, there is accommodation available on hostelworld for as little as £13.45 per night. From it’s stunning volcanic landscape, to tropical beaches and intriguing colonial-African culture, this trip also has the opportunity for water sports and island hopping. If you’re missing the summer months and feeling downtrodden by British weather, this one could be for you.
“The importance of escaping to the countryside is completely undervalued”
Escape to the Country
Living in a city during term time can be wearing. The Christmas break is a perfect time to get away to the countryside and immerse yourself in nature. Getting out into the natural world is a great way to relax and slow down before returning back into the fast-paced atmosphere of university life.
While most places in the UK have walking trails within distance to do as a day trip, it could also be nice to head a bit further afield and extend the getaway to a few days. Although I wouldn’t recommend camping at this time of year, there are many cheap holiday rentals dotted around the UK in more remote places.
“Getting away from people, pressures and cities is no doubt one of the best ways to gain some grounding perspective while at university”
Whether it’s the Scottish Highlands for idyllic walks in the snow, the Lake District, the beaches of Wales or the Moors of Devon and Yorkshire, the importance of escaping to the countryside is completely undervalued. Getting away from people, pressures and cities is no doubt one of the best ways to gain some grounding perspective while at university.
That concludes my top picks for travel this winter. Whether you head abroad or stay at home, I wish you a happy and relaxing Christmas!
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