UK life Exploring Europe
It’s not just the UK that you can explore. You will also have access to the whole of Europe. Travel is easy, with European cities a lot closer than you might think.
There is an extensive rail and coach network throughout the UK and Europe. Although taking the train is generally a much quicker option, it is often cheaper to take the coach.
Using the high-speed train link between London and France (the Channel Tunnel), you can reach the French cities of Paris, Lille and Calais, or Brussels in Belgium, in less than three hours. There are also trains running through the tunnel on which you can put your car, and numerous passenger and car ferries that run to France, Spain, Belgium, Ireland and some Scandinavian countries.
It also is possible to fly to a wide range of cities across Europe, and there are a number of budget airlines that often offer extremely cheap deals.
There are many discount air fares for students, particularly with an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), and your students’ union should be able to tell you about other special student fares.
It’s well worth finding out a few words and phrases before you go to Europe so that you can use them when you visit:
The Netherlands: Hallo
Germany: Guten tag
Italy: Buon giorno
Germany: Auf wiedersehen
Belgium: Tot ziens
France: Au revoir
There are plenty of cheap deals available on the Internet, though it is still worth contacting an organisation that specialises in student or independent travel, such as STA Travel and Trailfinders.
It is also worth making sure you have an ISIC card, as this is your passport to student discounts, not only on flights, but on accommodation, car hire and entry to attractions throughout the Continent. Find out more at the International Student Travel Confederation website.
Last minute offers are great if you just want to slip off somewhere for the weekend, and flights to Europe have been known to go for as little as 1p! This, of course, is subject to airport tax, which can add a substantial amount to the ticket prices, so beware of amazing offers.
Long holidays at Easter and in the summer are great for planning a grand tour of the Continent, making sure you get the most for your money. One of the best ways to do this is to buy an ‘inter-rail’ ticket, which entitles you to one month’s unlimited European travel for a fixed price.
Find out more at www.interrailnet.com.
Whatever you do, don’t miss out on what Europe has to offer!