8 Cheap Alternatives to your Summer Vacation

By on July 1st, 2016

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Staying at home this summer, with no flight ticket in sight? Relax, you’re not the only one.

If, like countless other students, a summer vacation just seemed too far out of reach for you, don’t sweat it. As much as the pull of exotic beaches and sunshine might taunt you, there’re still plenty of ways to get the most out of your summer break.

Check out these cheap yet incredibly fun alternatives that are sure to give you a summer to remember – so you don’t need to be consumed with envy over your Facebook news feed.

1. Local Music Festivals

Music festivals don’t begin and end with Glastonbury or Reading & Leeds. Almost every city has a number of exciting local festivals right round the corner, touting a mix of upcoming acts and some impressive well-known names.

Try Liverpool Sound City; Live at Leeds; Cambridge Music Festival; South Bank’s Meltdown in London; Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire and the very secretive yet alluring In The Woods in London.
Many local festivals are free, but even the ones that aren’t have pretty reasonable prices for admission and camping.

2. Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking might sound like something people only did in the 90s, or for charity. But this age-old art can actually be a really fun way of getting around, seeing new cities and meeting new people.

Grab a small group of friends, pack a bag of simple essentials and set off on your unexpected adventure. You could also organise two groups of friends and race each other to get to a specific destination first.

3. Couchsurf or Home-Sit

Couch surfing and home sitting can be fantastic ways of grabbing some free accommodation and seeing a place you’re really interested in. Whether you decide to do it with friends or go solo, there are many dedicated sites that enable you to get to know your hosts beforehand, so you can get to know new people and make an informed choice on who you stay with.

Try couchsurfing.com or trustedhousesitters.com to find generous hosts who are opening up their homes to people like you.

4. Camping with Friends

Camping is something that always guarantees plenty of fun laughter with relatively little cost. As long as you invest in a decent tent and some handy supplies to keep you going, a weekend of relaxing by a campfire with friends is sure to make it feel like you’re on a worthwhile adventure.

The UK is full of designated campsites with all the necessary facilities, but you can also decide to really rough in on an unused stretch of countryside. If you don’t feel like going far, try your local park, or even your own back garden! Hey, it’s the experience that counts.

5. Hike or Bike Trip

Hiking or biking to an area of the UK you’ve never been before can be an invigorating experience, both physically and mentally. As well as building up your fitness levels, you’ll get a real sense of adventure from exploring somewhere new and will feel more connected to the countryside.

Take a look at Skedaddle for interesting bike trails or Rambler’s Holidays for ideas on hiking trips. You and your friends might decide to combine it with camping or stay in cheap accommodation along the way.

6. Fruit/Veg Picking

If a taste of the Mediterranean is what you’re after, then incorporating it into your food is a good place to start. Even better is getting to pick the ingredients yourself – ensuring the most fun and practical way of sourcing one’s food.

Many farms up and down the UK allow you to pick your own produce, making for a fun and unusual day out as well as supporting farmers in your local area. Ask around in your local community and make a day of picking your own veg and cooking them into a delicious dish.

7. Weekend at a Theme Park

A day at a theme park can quickly be turned into a mini-holiday when you stay overnight at their hotel. Parks like Alton Towers have a number of packages available for one night stays, many of which involve a second day at the theme park absolutely free. Fish around for theme park vouchers (often knocking around during summertime) and check websites regularly for dates when rooms are being offered at cheaper rates. You’ll be able to enjoy a couple days of thrill-seeking with a night in a fancy hotel, all for a reasonable price.

8. Farming Across the World

If seeing the world is a must for you this summer, then consider offering your services as a farmer at an array of intriguing destinations around the globe.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a worldwide movement which links willing volunteers with farmers and growers to create meaningful cultural and educational experiences. Everything is based on trust – meaning no money exchanges hands – but volunteers are given food, accommodation and a well of lifelong experiences, all free of charge.

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