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  • Gemma Fottles

Student travel: the best of Zante on a budget

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

A big part of many 18 – 20 something’s coming of age is going away at least once on a good old fashioned messy party week with friends. These holidays usually consist of going to a cheap and not-so-cheerful resort somewhere hot and going just a little bit crazy, free from the restraints of parental guidance. Some people end up drinking away hundreds and hundreds of pounds. But this simply should not be the case.

After a big two month central America trip this summer, my week in Zante was decidedly insufficiently funded. I had the grand total of €200 for the whole week, a meagre budget at best, which had to include all my food and a big night out every single night. It was questioned by many around me (and myself, at times) how much fun I was really going to have on this little amount of money, especially when considering some of my friends took €600 for their week away in Zante. Triple my amount?! It was this questioning that made me wish that the pound was still worth about £1.80 to the euro, instead of almost the same… but failing to be able to drastically change the strength of the currency at any given time, I had to accept that I had very little money. And I had to make the best of it.

Summer Holidays for the Poor Student

The trick is to BUDGET. So many people think that sticking to a budget has to equal sacrificing part of the fun you’re going to have. I mean, yeah, it is nice not to have to want for anything, but is it worth spending your life savings? People are often full of excuses as to why they can’t have more fun, travel different places and get the experiences that they would love to get.

The second trick is to barter everything. In places like Zante, or Malia or Magaluf or Tenerife, people are literally paid to get you into their bars. If you’re in a big group like I was (19 of us ended up going in total) then by basically demanding what you want to get and for how much, you’re pretty much always going to get it. A perfect example of this is a night where we basically walked down the main strip and said we wanted two cocktails, six shots and the infamous fishbowl for 6 Euros each. 6 euros. SIX euros!? With deals like that, why would you possibly need such a crazy amount of money?

The only (debatable) drawback to these silly deals is that you end up too drunk for words. If this isn’t a particular drawback at all, the only regrettable thing is the soul-destroying hangover the next day. On the other hand, it is precisely this kind of attitude that gets British people such a bad reputation for being disgusting alcohol fiends. But hey, for a week a year, why not lose all inhibitions and go crazy?


The best way to enjoy a budget week-long Zante blowout

Barter everything

Prepare to sacrifice the luxury of eating out every night

Enjoy the best of the sun, sea and sand - for free!

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