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Follow these simple tips and you’re sure to have an incredible holiday or gap year

Let’s face it. After Christmas and New Year are over, the rest of winter is a bit rubbish. Sure it can look pretty and there are some great walks. But there are more exciting things to look forward to in the not too distant summer.

We’ve researched the net, asked around our friends and family, and we’ve basically figured out some of the best things you can do when you finish for the year. Let’s go.

Three Fun Things

Check out these great things that you can do abroad this year.

1. InterRail, baby

When I was a student I hadn’t seen many countries at all and I hadn’t the foggiest idea how to get around them. Well perhaps the easiest way around this problem is to go by InterRail.

With just one ticket you can travel all around much of Western Europe, over 30 countries in total. This covers popular destinations such as France and Spain but even allows you to get out into some slightly less-trodden destinations such as Romania and Montenegro.

Advantages  – From £157 you can access 30 countries. It’s easy to get around, lots of fun, and super safe.

Is it for you? – You might not spend long in one place if you want to make the most of the ticket. Budget can be an issue if you want to spend a lot of time in the western countries.

2. Travel handsfree

If you want the most freedom to travel wherever you wish and you like independence in your adventure, then perhaps you should go handsfree. What does that mean? Let’s explain.

On a package holiday, the journey, the hotels and even the entertainment can all be mapped out for you. It’s a little bit like having your hand held by the holidaymakers, who do everything for you. Now to go solo, you let go of that hand, choose the destination and then figure out the rest yourselves. It’s all part of the adventure.

Plus it’s usually much cheaper. The guides like Lonely Planet’s fantastic shoestring series help you make the most of any country and guides like Wikitravel can help you to stay safe. The main thing is to be smart about your choices – a three-week visit to Somalia is probably not a great idea. On the other hand, Hungary in Eastern Europe is incredible.

Advantages – Freedom to choose exactly when and where to go, usually cheaper, budget flights can be less than £100, more exciting than a package holiday.

Is it for you? – More organisation, some care needed for decisions.

3. Work abroad for a while

This suggestion is great for short holidays, gap years, and graduates who want to gain some life experience while abroad.

Examples include the time tested teaching English abroad. This is a great opportunity to really live in another culture while earning, and many students do this as a gap year or after graduation.

Other examples are less time demanding, but won’t earn you an income, though you often get a place to stay. You could work in a camp over the summer, help out on organic farms around the world, or work a paid internship abroad to boost your skills. Again, it all depends what experience you’re looking for.

Advantages – English language skills make it easier to find employment, skills for your career, more involved with local culture.

Is it for you? – Some work can be a little bit irregular, budget might be an issue for some internships.

An Extra Alternative for Students

What about seeing more of the UK over the summer? There’s exciting stuff happening here too.

In fact some cities such as Edinburgh and London have so much to offer that you can’t really get everything out of them in just a couple of days or weeks. So it makes perfect sense that you might want to find a way to stay a little bit longer.

Many of our residences have spare rooms over the summer, often between July and September. You get a lovely room to live in, stylish kitchen and living room space, TV and more. So if you want to stay in a place for a month or two, then it makes sense to check out our summer groups.

If you have any other questions about staying in our accommodation, please get in touch with us soon.