One of the best things about being a student is the length of the holidays. If you aren't too busy working to pay off your loan, the summer holidays stretch out invitingly, demanding to be used. The question is, how to make the best use of your precious holiday time without eating into your budget for next term's textbooks?
If you get together with a group of friends, you can enjoy spectacular breaks in Australia and save money. When you are young and not tied down by commitments, it's a great time to see distant parts of the country, so check out these budget travel tips and organise a summer trip to remember.
Pack a Good Laptop and Skype Friends and Family
When you're on the road, it's great to stay in touch with people back home. Social networking is also part of the travel experience these days, so having the ability to post your photos instantly is essential. This makes it vital to pack at least one laptop with a good reserve of charge. Pack headphones as well, and subscribe to online phone services like Skype. It can save you a heap of money and even get you out of tight spots when required.
Pick Up a Second Hand Ute
It might seem cliched, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned Ute for touring Australia, whether you trace the Queensland coast from Brisbane to Cairns or stick to South Australia. Sharing fuel costs will make using a campervan much cheaper. If you don't have access to a suitable vehicle right now, you could pool your money and buy a secondhand van. Some companies will sell you vehicles with guaranteed roadworthiness and a promise to repurchase it after your trip, but this usually entails a hefty loss on the buyer's part. If one member of your party can invest for the long-term in a camper van, it's a much more cost effective option.
Take Advantage of Caravan Park Chains
They might not seem designed for groups of students, but Australia's caravan parks are actually ideal for groups of friends. You can book chalets or mobile homes for much less than an equivalent hotel room and avoid the need to think about guests in the next room along the corridor. With most chains, you can also join their membership scheme and enjoy discounts if you book at multiple sites.
For example, if you need accommodation in Brisbane, caravan parks would work really well. You could book your party into a park in Biggera Waters, just to the south of the city and then head north to a site in the suburbs, then on to Forest Glen on the Sunshine Coast. The more places you book, the more you save.
Group travel is one of the best things about being young and free, so grasp the opportunity with both hands and save money by travelling smart. With the right communication tools, cheap wheels and savvy accommodation bookings, your group can see Australia without sacrificing your standard of living when you head back to University.