What to do with so little time/money! Advice needed!

Travel Forums General Talk What to do with so little time/money! Advice needed!

1. Posted by alibaby (First Time Poster 1 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone,

Okay I'm seeking some advice here. I have three months off on my last summer holiday as a student. When I graduate I reckon I won't be able to take a lot of time off from work etc so would like to take the chance of going out of europe somewhere.

I have a budget of about £1000 (which I know would never last me three months abroad including flights!) so was wondering if anyone knew of where it could get me realistically for four weeks? It seems that flights to south america and thailand start at around £500. Is it poss to live off £500 for a month away?

I would def consider working abroad but I know it's quite difficult to come by short-term jobs. I would also consider volunteering but I don't want to have to pay an extortionate amount to do a "feel good" project. Ideally, I would love to volunteer for a few weeks and then travel after that (saving money whilst volunteering if accommodation was provided). Is this totally absurd?

Anyone got any ideas? Anything would be greatly appreciated


Oh- I don't really fancy doing BUNAC or camp america etc. I'd rather go somewhere that isn't wester

2. Posted by lawrence_n (Budding Member 15 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

Well i dont know about the working side because ive only heard of BUNAC which do seem quite good but you would have to get a work permit which cost aswell. Ive seen flights to New York very cheap ranging from £200 upwards but its a matter of looking around but as you said you dont really want to be on the west coast.

It also depends on what you want to do, a long month holiday or do you want to work experience?

Have you considered Canada at all? Once again you can get out there for around £300 but the main cost where ever you go is accomodation which is very dear. For example, im going to Mauritius for a Month in November which everything is sooooo cheap and the accomodation is costing me £600 for the time out there (and this isnt in a tourist area or a hotel!). So North America would most likely be more expensive. Are you flexible on budget aswell? because if you can add a few hundred on there, the options to you open up abit more.
My friend and i are hoping to do a month round Europe, not working and just getting a train everywhere and we have got a rough price of £1500 and a good amount of that is spending money.
So there are many options but it really depends on what you want to do holiday or work?

I hope i helped

Lawrence xxx

3. Posted by Kat_M (Budding Member 7 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


Check out this website:


I just wish I'd found it sooner while I was still a student and had long summers!

If you're wanting to do something a long way away and can get cheap flights to Thailand I would recommend hanging out in Cambodia. It's amazingly cheap and is my favourite country in the world!!

Hitchhiking round Europe is pretty damn cheap and you can camp along the way so not worry about accommodation costs. Also, you can be paid to work anywhere in the EU so check out natives.co.uk or any of the tour operators to see if they've got anything going.

Hope you have an awesome time whatever you get up to


4. Posted by miny234 (Budding Member 10 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

You could go anywhere u wanted....

Look at Au pairing jobs (nanny jobs) the money is pants but you get free accomodation and food, you could spend the whole 3 months away and not spend a penny (apart from flights!)

send me a PM if you want to know more and ill send websites and the type of offers ive had.

Let me know



5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Instead of looking to go to South East Asia or South America you should look at the Middle East. You can get flights to Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey for about 200 GBP return if you are lucky, that leaves you with roughly 800 EGP for the rest of your trip.

800 GBP would work out to about 3 weeks around Turkey or Tunisia or to 4-5 weeks around Egypt or Morocco.

Turkey is also a great gateway for both Syria and Iran. Catch a cheap flight to Turkey, then take the bus or the train to Iran or Syria. Bus or train will be around 35 GBP one-way to Iran or Syria. Works out cheaper that a flight to Tehran or Damascus. Syria is pretty cheap, you can live there on 15 GBP per day easily. Iran can be cheap too, but in summer in the tourist season prices go up and you have to budget around 20 GBP per day. With so much time on your hands it would be easy to do a trip that combines 2 or 3 countries out of Syria, Iran and Turkey. Just make sure you do not spent too much time in Turkey because it is relatively expensive. Logistically the only problem is getting the visa for both Iran and Syria, apply way in advance.

If Syria, Turkey and Iran are not to your liking: From Egypt you can venture into Jordan and Israel. Morocco can be combined with Spain and Tunisia with Sicily.

And for something completely different: Have you considered cycle touring? If you got a decent bike (= relatively new or very good quality used) you could see a bit of Europe that way. If you have camping gear all you have to pay for with a cycling trip is food and entry to sights and maybe some transport. You can safely budget around 20 GBP per day for cycling in Europe, if you spent 100 GBP on transport you'll have 45 days for your adventure.

You could book a cheap flight from Geneva, Berlin, Bratislava or Budapest to the UK at the end of summer and spent your summer leisurely cycling to your destination. Even a total couchpotatoe who hasn't done any exercise in years can easily cover 40 kms per day on a bicycle. If you are used to cycling about 10 kms per day you should be able to do 60 kms. Amsterdam-Berlin for example is roughly 700 kms, it would take you about 15-20 days to cover this distance if you have never done this before.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Apr-2009, at 16:25 by t_maia ]

6. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Alibaby,

I would recommend you go to Patong Beach which is a beach resort in Phuket, Thailand. Provided you can go between 1st May to 31 October, I've calculated that you'll be able to live on £500 quite comfortably.

The flight will be between £400 and £500 depending on when you go and accommodation will set you back about £335 which will get you an airco room with a double bed and en suite bathroom. This leaves you £165 over for food. It doesn't sound much, but it will buy you two meals a day if you eat in cheap restaurants. A main course will only set you back 80 Baht which is about £1.50 and you get huge helpings!

Patong Beach is a bit of a den of iniquity by all accounts, but it has some great restaurants and beautiful beaches. Being a top tourist destination, it's easy to meet people and have a good time at very little cost.

The forum rules state that websites for promotional purposes aren't allowed, but the following links are merely intended as a guide to help you calculate the costs, so I hope the mod squad will allow them:

http://phuketdir.com/directory/category/#guesthouses You'll find a list of guesthouses here which you can also use to book a room through. I'd advise you to avoid those which include "Nanai Road" in the address because that's some distance away from the main resort and would require you to take a motorbike taxi into town every day. Because you're a tourist, you'll be charged double what the locals pay since all Westerners are perceived to be immensely rich!

But if you do decide to make the trip, send the hotel an email and ask them if they would be willing to offer you a discount and free airport pickup if you stay for 3-4 weeks. Generally speaking, you should be able to get around 15% discount plus a free airport pickup into the bargain. Or at least, that has been my own experience.

http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/flights/Phuket-HKT/Heathrow/ You'll find a list of airfares here with flexible dates.

The UK is one of 34 countries which are part of the Visa Waiver program. This means you can remain in the country for 30 days without the need to obtain a Visa beforehand. They merely stamp your passport with an entry and an exit date.

Places to eat cheaply: "No 6 restaurant" located on Rat-U-Thit Song Roi 200 Pee Road just around the corner from Bangla Road, the latter of which is the main entertainment centre.
"The Sweet Restaurant" located in the walkway leading to Patong Tower which is the only skyscraper on Thaweewong Road a.k.a. Beach Road.
"Sabai, Sabai" located on Soi Post Office. All three don't cost more than 80 Baht for a main course.
There's also a food alley opposite Soi Crocodile in Bangla Road which is very cheap.

Bottled water costs 6 cents a bottle if you buy a 12-pack in any 7/11. That's less than 1p a bottle.

You might want to cut down on the number of days you can stay there to give yourself a bigger budget to play with, but you'll have a whale of a time while you're there I promise you! It really is worth the grueliing 16 hours flying time to get there.

Most flights usually mean flying via the hub of a particular airline. For example, if you fly Cathay Pacific, you go via Hong Kong and then take a connecting flight to Phuket on Dragonair.
Singapore Airlines flies to Singapore Changi Airport using the A380 Airbus double decker, so you might want to consider that one too. The onward flight to Phuket takes less than 2 hours and the connections are usually pretty good.
Flying via Kuala Lumpar (Malaysian Airlines) usually means hanging around the K/L airport for 12 hours before being able to take you onward flight to Phuket, so check departure times.

Last but not least, you can take a virtual tour of Patong Beach using this site: http://www.mapjack.com/?jEjwT3htWcEF It works the same way as Google Street View so click anywhere on the map and then click a blue circle to proceed. The direction you're facing when you launch the site will take you to the beach. Hit the End key to turn reverse the direction you're facing. If you zoom in on the Google map in the bottom view, you can click a blue dot to jump to that location. Full instructions are in the "Tips" menu though.

But to reiterate, this is not an opportunity to be missed if you're the adventurous type!