It’s 1.30pm on a Tuesday afternoon and, rather than writing my dissertation, I am researching the cheapest and quickest route for me and two friends to get from Scotland to Vienna. We can fly from Glasgow but not on a direct flight; the flights from Edinburgh are cheap, but I’ve now decided it would be nice to head from Vienna to Budapest then eventually fly back home from Dubrovnik in Croatia. I’ve also found incredibly cheap flights from Manchester but if we potentially fly from London that could mean a few extra days of adventure in the capital.
Currently my internet has seven tabs open: Skyscanner, Airbnb, booking.com, Easyjet, a Dutch airline company, Facebook, and a Google images page of the beautiful Croatian coast line. Google Maps is helping me work out interrail routes and piece together the borders of Europe – I have only now discovered how close Austria is to Italy. This project is taking over my afternoon.
Planning a holiday can be stressful. As a student it is vital that you find the cheapest offer and, given the fact that new holiday booking websites seem to pop up every month or so, there is a lot of ground to cover. But, for me at least, it is a labour of love.
I am getting through the darkness of rainy February by discovering the potential destinations I could set off to. You do not have to be a hedonistic backpacker or a confident solo jet setter to enjoy the possibilities of holiday planning. With essay deadlines, long days at work and a to-do-list which demands more hours in the day than 24, life can begin to feel very insular. Your world gets smaller and smaller and it’s easy to forget that there is more out there than a rainy day commute and the fear of midterms.
Being a student, with the long months of summer and the flexibility of time, is the best opportunity to travel. As someone graduating in May, I’m facing the possibility that this could be the last ‘summer holiday’ (in the sense I’ve known it since primary school) that I ever have. So I intend to make the most of it. I can’t afford 5 star hotels and fine dining in the river-side city restaurants, but seeing the landmarks and making the memories really doesn’t cost a lot, especially if you’re willing to sit with your laptop and do the research.
So go forth and holiday plan!
This article originally appeared in Qmunicate magazine