Here are a few tips, tricks, and resources to make your summer a memorable and adventurous one!
Not sure what you’re going to do with your summer? We’ve compiled some cheap options and resources that you can use this summer that are student discount friendly.
Travelling may be difficult with COVID-19 restrictions, so all of the destinations listed are open to vaccinated travellers leaving from Canada as of April 14.
But first, here are the tools you will need to find the best prices for accommodation, flights, and transportation.
To find the cheapest flight on any airline to any destination, sites like FlightHub and KAYAK are the places to go. Some trips may also have special call-in prices that could be lower than what other sites may estimate. Just remember that these are third-party agencies, so getting reimbursed for a cancelled trip may prove more difficult.
Finding a place to stay depends on the budget of the traveller. For those feeling adventurous or on an extreme budget, the website Couchsurfing allows travellers to stay on a local’s couch completely free.
If that idea is a little intimidating, hostels are also a great option to meet other travellers. Hostelworld is the one-stop site with millions of reviews, and finding a hostel in any city with it is a breeze.
If you prefer privacy, Airbnb or Trivago are also great options for private accommodation like hotels or apartments, at a premium. Although, depending on the size of your group, Airbnb may end up costing much less than a hostel stay.
Depending on where you decide to go, public transit and walking is always the cheapest option, but if you have to hop on a train or want to rent a car, here are some great resources: HappyRail (Europe), Eurail (Europe), and KAYAK (global).
It’s also important to remember that Uber is not global, and if you’re somewhere where taking a cab is a consideration, it’s important to research average prices beforehand — don’t let yourself be the tourist that pays triple what they should. Also, remember city taxis are not always safe at each destination. A quick Reddit search should help you learn from other tourists and even some locals.
With gas prices being at an all-time high, the classic summer road trip may not be the cheapest option. Instead, check out train prices for super cheap round-trip prices this summer:
(prices vary by date of departure)
Montreal to Ottawa: $74+
Montreal to Quebec City: $76+
Montreal to Toronto: $98+
For those wanting to catch some rays this summer, here are plenty of cheap flights to beaches to choose from:
All prices listed were found using Flighthub for the months of May, June and July.
Miami, USA: $350+
With plenty of beaches to choose from, Miami is a great city to explore this summer with its vibrant nightlife. You can grab a room in a hostel for as low as $25+/night.
Cancún, Mexico: $500+
Remember to pack your sunscreen when you go, because the summer heat in Cancun stays around 30 degrees. Even though the heat will get to you, you won’t have to sweat the cost with hostels being as low as $9+ a night.
Montego Bay, Jamaica: $500+
The white sand beaches and crisp blue waters of Montego Bay are a great place to spend your summer lounging around or exploring. Hostels start at $25+/night.
Guatemala City, Guatemala: $500+
Guatemala City has a mix of great food, jungle temples, secret coves, and colourful neighbourhoods for you to explore this summer for cheap with an average cost of $39+/day including hostels priced at $10+/night.
San Jose and Liberia, Costa Rica: $600+
Costa Rica offers plenty to do, whether you want to sit and lounge the whole trip or hike up an active volcano. Both San Jose and Liberia have hostels priced at $13+/night.
Bogotá, Colombia: $650+
If you want to have a mix of city and jungle, Bogotá is the place for you. With plenty of historic sites and culture to experience, there will never be a dull moment on your trip. Hostels are cheap starting at $5+/night.
Belize City, Belize: $750+
If you’re looking to catch some waves and surf this summer, Belize may be the destination for you. The city has an array of activities to choose from, from exploring caves to whitewater rafting — it’s perfect for the active traveller. With hostels starting at $35+/ night, this destination is the most expensive option.
Leaving the tropics, here are some cheap flights to Europe where you could either choose to stay or grab a cheap train or flight with Ryanair or easyJet to anywhere from North Africa to the Middle East and Asia.
Dublin, Ireland: $550+
This summer you can experience the vibrant Irish nightlife or explore medieval castles and the beautiful landscapes featured in shows like Game of Thrones. Hostels start at $28+/night and one way flights out of the country for as low as $22+.
Lisbon, Portugal: $700+
A beautiful city to explore on foot, Lisbon offers travellers a perfect European experience for cheap. Hostels start at $18+/night and flights to other cities start at $41+.
Paris, France: $700+
The daily cost of living in Paris makes this one of the most expensive destinations on the list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to travel to on a budget. Parisian nightlife and art make the city a great destination for those who want to gain some European culture this summer. Hostels start at $26+/ night, and this is a great city to travel from with flights out of the country as low as $12+.
The world is back open for you to explore after the last two years of COVID-19, so take advantage of some cheap destinations this summer and go somewhere new!
It’s important to remember that you do not need to have a lot of money to explore the world. Just because you are on a budget does not mean you have to settle for a staycation this summer!