The 6 Best Student Travel Destinations This Winter

The winter break is a fantastic time to have some rest, to recharge your batteries and to put thoughts of university life away for a few weeks. One of the best things to do during your winter break is to look at the best student travel destinations this winter and book a trip for the start of January.

We’ve put together a guide on some of the best places you can go as a student during a winter break, putting a smile on your face, giving you all the benefits that travel brings, and giving you the best chance to return to university rejuvenated for 2024!

Girl wearing pink bag and holding tickets

How to find the best student travel destinations on a budget?

There are a few ways in which you can find cheap student holidays, all year round which especially help during January and the winter break.

1. Book in advance

By keeping an eye on potential destinations and booking as early as possible, you can save money on travel and accommodation. Booking something last minute will always cost you more money unless you book and travel at the drop of a hat in some cases.

2. Be open to different types of destinations

If you’re not particularly fussed about what type of destination you head to this winter, why not broaden your search horizons, and look at various places away from the normal student winter break destinations?

3. Set up alerts

once you do have a location in mind, set up some Google alerts with specific travel bookers and accommodation providers to let you know when certain trips are at their cheapest.

4. Have flexibility in mind

Be as flexible with your dates as you can, and this will help you dig in and find those cheaper holiday deals that are perfect for a student on a budget this winter break.

5. Think about alternative accommodation

You don’t always have to stay in a hotel. Choosing Airbnb when sharing with friends is often a cost-effective option. You can stay in an apartment, home or cottage. If you’re adventurous, couch surfing is a great way to travel for free, to meet new people and to get a local’s insight into a destination!

The best student travel destinations

Now that you know how to plan carefully to get the best deals and to find the cheapest student travel destinations, let’s look at some examples of where you could go for your winter break at the start of 2024.

1. A weekend in Belgium

From just £39 you can take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels, and it only takes a few hours. Taking the train is a cheap, fun, and relaxing way to travel.

Belgium is a great starting point, a friendly city that is small enough to travel around easily and has loads of good bars and restaurants for you to sample. It also has the interesting Manneken Pis and Atomium as must-see attractions.

From Brussels, you can easily travel by bus or train to other beautiful cities for day trips or to stay overnight, such as Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp.

Castle of Grand in Belgium

2. Morocco

Marrakech is just 3 and a half hour flight away from the UK with average high temperatures of around 20 degrees. This provides you with some much-needed winter sun that is pleasant and not too hot.

It’s the perfect temperature to explore the souks and bazaars, the rooftop cafés and food stalls. Marrakech is a fantastic, busy, melting pot, but you can also visit the more restful and chilled-out coastal towns of Agadir and Essaouira, or take a trip to the awe-inspiring Atlas Mountains!

Koutoubia in Morocco - best student travel destinations

3. Berlin

One of the best cities in the world, Berlin has so much to offer in a pretty chilled-out setting. There is the classical, traditional architecture and large boulevards to wander around, combined with the modern fast-paced nightlife and arts scene.

The bars, restaurants and clubs are plentiful if you want to stay up drinking and dancing till 6 am, whilst Museum Island in the heart of the city is one of the many areas where you’ll find some of the best art and history.

The markets and food scene are spot on too, so make the most of cheap return flights from multiple UK airports and get yourself to Berlin in under 2 hours.

Berlin Cathedral in Germany - best student travel destinations

4. Riga

Riga offers you the best of both worlds in the Baltic state of Latvia, culture or party. You can fly directly to the UK from a variety of airports, with the cheapest Ryanair flight around £30. The flight itself is under 3 hours.

Riga has a small and pretty, historic centre with plenty of cheap bars and restaurants to eat in, with incredibly friendly locals and good customer service. There is a lot of culture and history if you want to visit the zoo, the Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum or House of the Blackheads, but it also has a vibrant party scene in the night-time if you are looking for some late nights out.

City Hall Square in Riga

5. New York

Now, hear us out here. This might seem extravagant for a budget student winter break, and it is more expensive than the other options on this list, but sometimes it’s all relative.

For the last few years, Norse Atlantic Airways has been offering cost-effective flights to the USA from the UK, and if you have put away some savings, January is the cheapest month of the year to go.

In fact, in the first week of January, you can get return flights from London to New York for under £600, which for that route is a really good price.

New York is a truly magical place to visit in January, with the snow still falling, the busy streets and the winter attractions still being present, alongside everything you know and love about New York in terms of all the famous cultural attractions.

New York Skyline - best student travel destinations

6. Holiday in the UK

If you don’t fancy going abroad this winter, there is plenty to see and do in the UK too. Stay closer to home and visit some places you’ve always wanted to.

There is a lot of choice if you fancy a New Year trip in the UK, but in January, prices will get a little lower and you often find that train and coach travel can be a little bit cheaper at this time of year.

It’s hard to pick just one destination in the UK, so you could go for city breaks in places like Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Belfast or Cardiff (all with great history, culture, plenty going on and relatively cheap to get to), or you could go down the countryside and coastal route visiting places such as the Scottish Highlands, the West Wales coastline, or the down in the beautiful South West of England in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

Cardiff City Hall

What do you think are the best student travel destinations this winter? Let us know @universalstudentliving.Click here to read our blog on The Best Meal Deals For Students in 2023.

If you would like to find out the Top Newcastle Restaurants Offering Student discounts, click here.

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