Top 5 Cheap Holiday Destinations for 2013 | The Student Pocket Guide
by Dolly Garland

Travel is not just restricted to people with regular jobs and vacation time. It’s ideal to travel as a student. Here, we show you the cheapest destinations for 2013, so that you can keep raking up the experiences without breaking the bank…

1. Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a Caribbean paradise on a budget. Whether you want to bum out on the golden beaches, party hard, climb up a volcano, fish in a fresh water lake or just enjoy the landscape, there is something for everyone in Nicaragua.

The more you go local, the cheaper everything becomes. People live in Nicaragua for a month on what you may spend in a weekend. If you are going for the activities that are tailored for tourists, or want to eat in fancy restaurants, be prepared to shell out cash. But even a fancy dinner will only cost you about £10. Go where the locals go however, and your pennies will have more.
2. Thailand

Tourists of all ages have long been attracted to Thailand’s beautiful weather, low cost of living and exotic culture.

Go to Bangkok for the nightlife, enjoy the local beer and food, and then venture out of the city to experience Thailand’s colourful temples, jungles, beaches and the ever popular elephant ride. There is a lot more to this fascinating, budget-friendly country than the resorts.

3. Ecuador

Ecuador has an incredible range of natural diversity, despite being a very small country. Travelling around the country is easy, and very affordable. A bus ride from Quito (the capital) to the adventure capital of Banos will set you back mere £2.20 or so.

You can eat better than what you eat at home, with fresh and healthy meals for less than £4. If you fancy going to a posh restaurant for a change, you can enjoy a ‘western’ meal including a drink for £6.50 to £10.

There is absolutely no shortage of things to do. Ecuador offers you an array of activities, entertainment and relaxing environments. A few volcanos that sprout lava and ash now and again only adds to the excitement.
4. Croatia

You don’t have to go to Asia or Latin America for a cheap trip. Europe has its gems too, and the one that burns brightest at the moment for its amazing value is Croatia.

Dubrovnik, which is the favourite spot for travellers when visiting Croatia, is on the UNESCO heritage list. You can get a room in a hostel for as little as £6.50 per night. If you are staying long-term, haggle to have even better prices.

Enjoy the water sports, and explore fascinating shipwrecks in the clear, blue waters. If you can travel in the summer, don’t miss the Dubrovnik Summer Festival which takes place every year between July and August.

5. Vietnam

For the true adventurous soul, Vietnam is a great choice to explore the unfamiliar. You will find far fewer western options, and fewer western conveniences, but that’s what keeps it exotic. Tourists go to Vietnam every year, but you won’t see a hoard of them all over the country.

Go to Vietnam to explore the rice paddies and visit the contrasting landscapes. Meet the people and explore a culture that is so different from what you may be used to at home. Oh, and eat delicious local food which is also cheap!

Accommodation options are varied. You can get a basic but decent hostel room for less than £5 a night. You can get a nice, comfortable room from about £12.75 per night. If you wanted to go really cheap and can put up with absolute basic, then you can get a room in a local boarding house for less than £1.30 per night – though don’t expect to find English speakers when attempting to book these.

Dolly Garland is an avid traveller, and a writer who enjoys recording her many journeys. She also teaches a Travel Journaling course and writes for GKBC