The 10 best places to travel as a student

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Kiki Deere

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Travel is the best form of procrastination and as a student, with those long holidays full of faraway deadlines, it's almost inevitable you're going to want to get away. Flights are cheaper than ever before, so there's no excuse whatever your budget. Whatever our preference, here are some of the best places to spend your student breaks.

For beaches: Albania

The beaches of the rugged Albanian Riviera are picture perfect, nestled in secluded coves and lapped by crystal clear-waters. The coastline is dotted with traditional villages, and there are budget hotels and restaurants by the dozen.

Travellers inevitably find themselves staying longer than planned, whiling away their days on the beach with an ice-cold beer in hand – after all, this is one of the cheapest places in Europe to enjoy a lager (or two).


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For nightlife: Madrid, Spain

With everything starting so late (don’t expect lunch till about 4pm and dinner certainly not before 9pm), you’ll find yourself partying here until sunrise – at least.

The Spanish capital is home to scores of wild bars, pubs and clubs catering to all musical tastes where you can dance your socks off as you knock down some potent drinks.

You’ll probably find yourself in a café eating churros with chocolate for breakfast – the fried dough pastry is perfect for soaking up that pounding hangover.


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For island life: Croatia

If you fancy sailing, secluded coves and beach parties then look no further than the islands of the Croatian archipelago. They also attract their share of cyclists – there are peaceful coastal routes offering gorgeous views.

Trendy Hvar Island is packed with stylish bars and clubs, while Brac retains a traditional feel with picturesque fishing villages, vineyards and olive groves.

For making friends: Slovenia

Slovenia is a peaceful country with areas of outstanding natural beauty. At tourist farms friendly hosts serve home-cooked organic food. You’ll be able to experience rural events and learn about farm life while making friends with welcoming and hospitable souls.

If you’re after a little more action, the friendly capital Ljubljana, with its bustling restaurants and bars, is a great place to mingle with local students.


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    For the great outdoors: Morocco

    From beaches to deserts, from arid plains to oases, Morocco is one of Northern Africa’s most varied countries. The pretty town of Essaouira offers excellent windsurfing, while the Sahara Desert, which makes up the southern half of the country, is perfect for camel riding and star-gazing.

    Keen trekkers mustn’t miss a trip to the Atlas Mountains, with its awe-inspiring peaks and craggy mountain passes.


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    For bucket-list experiences: Rajasthan, India

    From mighty forts to grand castles, Rajasthan has some of India’s most impressive architectural monuments. And while it may be a bit of a cliché, no trip to India would be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, one of the best examples of Mughal architecture in the world. You’ll also be able to spot tigers in the Rantambore National Park and feast on curries and refreshing mango lassis. What’s not to like?

    For a foodie adventure: Vietnam

    Easy to get around and even easier on the eye, Vietnam is captivating. The big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are frenetic but fun, and the countryside offers enchanting landscapes. Plus, with its tantalizing mix of sweet, salty, spicy and sour, Vietnamese food is sure to tickle anyone’s taste buds.

    Nuoc mam (fermented fish sauce) is used heavily, as are chilli peppers, calamansi citrus fruit, sugar cane and tamarind. Don’t miss goi cuon, delicious spring rolls stuffed with vegetables, coriander, and your choice of pork, shrimp or crab.


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    For local culture: Cuba

    Cuba is a hotpot of cultural traditions, with European, African and Asian influences evident in all aspects of life, from cuisine to religion. One of the best ways to gain an insight into everyday life is by staying in a casa particular (a private B&B).

    Local families will welcome you into their home, lovingly prepare homemade meals and perhaps even smoke a cigar or two with you. This is the country to try your hand at salsa (or how about an Afro-Cuban dance?) and – of course – look the part in a vintage American car.


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    For a big backpacking trip: Colombia

    In recent years Colombia has shed its reputation as a dangerous violent country and is today a backpacker-friendly destination with hostels aplenty. Bordering both the Pacific and the Caribbean, it is exceptionally diverse with snow-capped mountains, white-sand Caribbean beaches and swathes of Amazon rainforest.

    You’ll be able to embark on adventurous road trips, while away on a beach swinging in a hammock, or party until the wee hours to the sound of fiery tunes in Cali, the world capital of salsa.


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    For a working holiday: Northern Territory, Australia

    Renowned for its spectacular desert landscapes, Australia’s Northern Territory is a friendly relaxed place that is popular among visitors – and it’s a great place to live too.

    It has a lively Indigenous culture and is one of the country’s most cosmopolitan regions with influences from nearby Asia. (Darwin, its capital city, is closer to Asia than that other Australian capital cities). Its population is also the nation’s youngest; the average age is just 31 years.

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    Top image © LHamilton/Shutterstock

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