You do not need to be rich to travel, explore and to complete your bucket list.
Let’s repeat that.
People are always saying how they’ve never met a student who goes away every few months like I do. However, what they don’t know is I never go anywhere extremely expensive and I write out all my expenses monthly so I know that I’m never overspending.
I am a full time student nurse, living off my student loan and bursary and working part time, sometimes only 7hrs per week. – Yet I managed to save enough to hop on an airplane every few months. How? I made it a priority. If travel is not a priority for you, you will always find some other things to spend money on and you’ll never have “enough” money to travel. I don’t go out clubbing or go out for dinner every week. I never have enough money to go shopping or buy a new electronic gadget because I spend my money on mini breaks, so there isn’t much left over for non-priority expenses. Everything I do is focused on having more money for holidays. It’s all about prioritising what you spend your money on.
anyone and everyone can go on budget getaways and I wanted to share my bucket list with you all, it consists of some beautiful places, some I’ve visited but would love to return to, and some I’m aiming to go to before I hit 30!
- Ski at CairnGorm – Scotland
Cairngorm Mountain has a reputation as one of the most beautiful – and sometimes challenging – places to ski in the UK, as well as boasting Scotland’s only funicular railway. It’s super cheap to ski on this mountain and the flights to Scotland range from £40-£120 pounds during the snow season.
- 1 day pass – adult: £36 per ticket
- 1 day pass – child: £22 per ticket
- Skis, poles & boot hire: £24.75 per person per day
- Snowboard & boot hire: £24.75 per person per day
If you go to places such as France/Sweden, it can cost you around about 4x as much as this. (although they have the advantage of having a much larger ski season than Scotland)
Tips- buy ski wear before you go on your trip (online can be cheapest)
Take thermals with you! (And gloves!)
Get out cash for snacks up the mountain.
Book lessons beforehand if you’re new to skiing, it may give you more confidence once you get up the mountain.
Lip balm is a must up those chilly mountains.
- St Michael’s Mount- Cornwall
Situated just 400 yards off Mount’s Bay in Mara Zion, St Michael’s Mount is an iconic Cornish landmark and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the South West. It’s a castle out in the sea, you can walk over a cobbled path to get to it or you can spend £2 during high tide and get a tiny boat! Can I just repeat- it’s a castle out in the sea! How awesome!
I’ve visited St Michael’s Mount about 20 times in my lifetime. Mainly because my parents used to take me every year as a kid! It’s the most amazing and stunning castle I’ve ever been to. I may be biast because it reminds me of happy times, but I 100% know it’s a must see if you head down to Cornwall. Entry fee into the castle costs £9.50 for an adult and £4.50 for a child – cheap and cheerful for an amazing day out.
Tips- Take waterproof shoes (just in case the tide comes in quicker than expected)
Make sure you have some cash to get the boat back if needed! (also for the gift shop on the tiny island)
The sea can be rough and splash – so take a waterproof coat!
- Thermal Waters – Bath UK
The natural thermal springs in Bath were first discovered by Prince Bladud around 863BC, who was cured from his skin disease after bathing in the waters. The waters were then enjoyed by the Celts, Romans, Saxons and Georgians and are the constant thread throughout the history of Bath. It costs £30 to use the Natural baths for the day! Compared to a normal spa day it’s relatively cheap 🙂
Tips- take a towel if you can! The towels can be tiny and you’ll be so cold when you get out!
Take some change for drinks and snacks when you get there.
- Stargaze on the Isles of Man
The Isle of Man has long been recognised as having dark night skies, a valued attribute of the rural character and tranquillity of the Island. With 26 amazing official dark sky sites dotted around the Island, heading out stargazing is the perfect night time activity for the whole family. £80 is the usual cost of flying out to the Isles of man throughout the year from the airports around London. Well worth the trip! There’s nothing more romantic and amazing than stargazing!
Tips- Tie your hair back (its super windy) so it doesn’t get in your way (or get in the way of your camera shot!)
Take a good camera if you’ve got one– some mobile cameras aren’t too great when it comes to taking pictures of the night sky.
Dress in warm clothes – you want to be concentrating on the skies beauty, not shivering.
- Roseland peninsula- Cornwall UK
Here you can walk the cliffs or riverbanks, swim off the beaches, browse the shops, sail, windsurf, water-ski, dive. snorkel, fish and birdwatch. During the warmer months there are carnivals and fetes, regattas and gig racing, not to mention the heavy horse show and all the wonderful gardens open to the public. What makes it even better is it costs nothing to visit this idyllic countryside! Hop in your car and go!
Tips- take some flip flops in your backpack- you never know when you may go paddling.
The seagulls in Cornwall will take food from your hands, so hold it close!
Try the Cornish pasties- they are so delicious!!!
- Aix-en-Provence – France
Aix-en-Provence is like an open book, don’t miss any of its beauties, discover its hidden decors, learn about its prestigious past, its architecture, its heritage and its monuments, enter its private mansions, enjoy surprising anecdotes, walk in the steps of Cézanne. It’s full of French culture and beauty! Perfect for couples (or a girl’s trip!) The great thing about taking a trip to France is you can just jump in the car and go! If you book a ferry or train early enough it can cost you no more than £40. All the wonders of France await!
Tips- wear supportive footwear – you may be walking to many hidden gems around the town.
Try the French food- don’t be shy! It’s delicious!
Be prepared and get cash out, some places in this city don’t accept card.
- Reykjavik- Iceland
Reykjavik is the world’s most northerly capital and it combines colourful buildings, quirky, creative people, eye-popping design, wild nightlife and a capricious soul. You can get a full primer on Icelandic history right in central Reykjavík, from its Settlement Exhibition built around the unearthed Viking longhouse of the area’s earliest inhabitants to the enormous National Museum, keeper of the country’s most precious artefacts. Flights cost around about £80-£110 from London airports during winter months (which is the best time to see the Northern Lights- due to the dark evenings.)
I am dying to see the beautiful skies of Iceland! Best thing is, hotels in Iceland can be super cheap. Especially if you use Airbnb or stay in a local hostel (£25 per night, tops).
Tips- take a large jumper – it can get chilly in the evenings and the last thing you want to be thinking about if how you wished you’d worn more layers.
Take a camera, you’ll want to take photos of these spectacular lights in the sky.
- Budapest- Ruin pubs
I visited the city of Budapest last year for 5 days and it was the most exciting mini break I’ve been on. The city is full of colour and enthusiastic tourists, ready to bask in Budapest’s culture. The Ruin bars are all the rage in Budapest and have been around for 10 years since the founding of Szimpla Kert, the mecca of all ruin bars. These bars are built in Budapest’s old District VII neighbourhood (the old Jewish quarter) in the ruins of abandoned buildings, stores, or lots. They look like normal buildings from the outside but are accessorised with quirky furnishings and dimmed lights inside! They make the perfect space to socialise. I can’t wait to head back to this exciting city and join in with more walking tours to see Budapest’s sights. It costs about £80- £120 to fly to Budapest from London airports and you can stay at some gorgeous hostels for £15 per night. (they really are gorgeous, and right in the heart of the city)
Tips- don’t wear heels, the floors can be uneven!
People are casual in Budapest, you don’t need to wear your finest dress to visit these pubs!
Keep your bags close by (an over the shoulder one is best), Pickpockets are around in busy cities!
- Llyn Y Fan Fach- Wales
This is a magical little lake set in the Brecon Beacons National Park on the western border, in Carmarthenshire. It is set in a ring of mountains in a wild unspoilt part of the National Park. It can only be approached on foot and the path brings you out on a high ridge overlooking the lake and the lands beyond. I looks like the perfect places to put your feet up and have a picnic. (That’s if you mind a bit of a hike beforehand!) When I went trekking in the Brecon Beacons in 2011 I thought it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. It was so vast and you could see wild horses everywhere. You can drive to Scotland from anywhere in the UK and if you like a good road trip, it’s one that you should do! There’s vintage hostels dotted around the Brecon Beacons that cost around about £14 per night. Bargain! Great place to meet likeminded people over cake and tea!
Tips- wear hiking boots, you never know how far you may explore.
Wear sun cream, the weather in Scotland can go from windy to hot in the space of 5 minutes!
Pack snacks and plenty of water, Brecon beacons is vast- shops aren’t just round the corner!
- Fingal’s Cave – Scotland
Fingal’s Cave is one of Staffa’s most astonishing features and has been billed as one of the world’s most spectacular caves. Formed by a Palaeocene lava flow and sculpted from hexagonally jointed basalt pillars, this remarkable cave appears as though hand crafted, due to the unique structure of the rock column layers. I’m planning on going here over the next few years! It looks like something out of a prehistoric movie! Like I said before it costs £40-£120 to fly to Scotland generally. However you can stay in log cabins nearby this wonderful cave for £30 per night on Airbnb. You can also book a boat tour for £30 so you can get up close to the rock formation. If you’re one for exploring beautiful sites then this is for you!
Tips- wear good footwear, rocks round there can be slippery.
Take plasters (just in case) and snacks with you to keep you going!
And there we have it, my bucket list (to be completed in the next few years, fingers crossed)