Right guys, the summer is fast approaching and it’s time to start making some travel plans! You’ve got the student perks of long summer holidays and cheap ‘student-exclusive’ flight deals. So no excuses.
Forget the destination you had in mind. Why not go for something a bit different this summer? While tourist hotspots have a lot to offer, beaches packed full of sunburnt brits can take away a little bit of the charm. Try a more offbeat location. You’ll discover incredible parts of the world that are full of Instagram-worthy hidden gems which will fill your friends with pure envy!
Here’s our top 6 alternative destinations to add to your travel bucket list:
The beautiful Caribbean island of Cuba is known for its tropical climate, mountainous landscape, white sandy beaches and world famous tobacco. The capital Havana is vibrant, cultural and full of historical treasures. In this city past and present uniquely coexist; vintage cars line the cobbled streets. You’ll find breath-taking colonial architecture, lively rumba music playing on street corners and friendly locals. Hurry before it all changes!
TOP TIP: Head to Bodeguita del Medio in Old Havana (alleged to be one of Hemingway’s favourite haunts) for a refreshing mojito!
2. THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippines refers to a cluster of over 7,000 Pacific islands in Southeast Asia. This tropical paradise is home to idyllic beaches, active volcanoes, coral reefs and rainforests full of exotic wildlife. Check out the tiny island of Boracay not only for its exquisite beaches but for its adrenaline-fuelled activities (including kite surfing and scuba diving!) and buzzing nightlife.
TOP TIP: Visit one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Underground River!
Oman is a wonderful destination if you’re looking to explore the Middle East. As the oldest independent state in the Arab world there is plenty to see and do. Wander through the captivating alleyways of the Muttrah Souk (an Arab market), take a hike in the spectacular Hajar mountain range, discover traditional Arab architecture in the capital city of Muscat, or spend a night under the stars in the Wahiba sands desert.
TOP TIP: Go turtle watching at the remote Ras Al Jinz beach.
Located in South America, Colombia is a country full of character with majestic jungle, pristine Caribbean coast, enigmatic architecture and coffee plantations. You’ll be seduced by its rich culture and easy-going lifestyle. The Northern coastline is stunning, relax on the beautiful beaches off the coast of Cartagena. Visit the island of Providencia, chill out on the beach and swim in crystal clear waters. Pure bliss. Too much relaxing? Take a cable car ride over the Andean city of Medellin and experience a Colombian carnival.
TOP TIP: Trek to Ciudad Perdida also known as the ‘Lost City’ to see indigenous tribes and jungle ruins.
5. SRI LANKA
As a small island off the south coast of India, Sri Lanka is a country of stunning scenery, cricket-obsessed residents, delicious food and lush rainforests. Be sure to jump on a safari tour to Yala National Park, you could spot a leopard! Or visit an elephant sanctuary and bathe a baby elephant. Definitely check out the hundreds of magnificent Buddhist ruins Sri Lanka has to offer.
TOP TIP: Feast on Sri Lankan curry and visit Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress which locals refer to as The Eighth Wonder of the World.
6. SOUTH KOREA
The East Asian destination of South Korea provides you with the opportunity to explore peaceful Buddhist temples, unspoilt green landscapes and charming coastal villages. The energetic metropolis, Seoul, is a stark contrast to the serenity of more rural areas. Visitors are drawn to the country for its modern and traditional aspects. Check out the Insadong district for traditional tea, peruse the guinsa temples, get dirty at the Boryeong Mud Festival and unwind in the Huwon ‘secret garden’.
TOP TIP: On a night out go to a “Noraebang” a singing venue and experience South Korea’s take on Karaoke!
Feeling inspired but on a budget? Travelling somewhere alternative doesn’t mean it has to cost more. As a student you have access to hundreds of cheap flights. We’ve teamed up with STA Travel to get you £10 Off Student tickets! All you have to do is pick your destination and flights and then enter our exclusive discount code to save money on your ultimate summer getaway.
STA Travel is one of the best websites for student travel. With affordable flights & accommodation, adventure tours, gap year travel and volunteer projects there is something for everyone! They know because they go.
Holiday planning is the best procrastination activity. Take a break from revising and start organising your next adventure now! (You’ll learn life lessons).