The pressure on students to earn money on top of their student loan is reducing their ability to cut loose and enjoy a good, long break.

Our summer survey reveals where UK students are seeking out their slither of summer fun, how much they spend on holidays and how they plan to pay for it.

We surveyed 2,000 students to find out what they had in store for the summer months. Four in five said they felt pressure to work over summer to get experience or save up for the next academic year but there was still time for most to have some downtime – only 6% said they wouldn’t be taking a holiday.

Beach girls

Beach holidays are the most popular type of student getaway – 54% said they’d be seeking out some sun, sea and sand this year – followed by European city breaks (44%), weekends in the UK (34%), adventure holidays (33%) and festivals (32%).

Female students are far more inclined to hit the beach it seems – 60% compared to 44% of male students. Females are also more likely to go on long weekend breaks around the UK (36% versus 30%) and go to festivals (34% versus 29%) while males favour far-flung trips outside Europe (21% versus 17%).

Holiday money

Nearly half of students (42%) say they’ll stick to a tight budget and spend less than £500 on their holidays, including spending money. A lucky 22% – more than one in five – plan to spend over £1,000!

A substantial 49% will be working over the summer to earn the money for their holiday, while nearly a quarter (23%) are well prepared and already have their holiday money saved up. But almost one in 5 (19%) will rely on bank of mum and dad to pay for their trip.

Students in the North East are least likely to rely on their parents to cough up (7%) where as those in Wales are most likely (29%). Students in the South East are most likely to have existing savings they can use to pay for their holiday while students in London are most likely to use their government student loan to pay for their holiday.

Money advice – our 5 top holiday cash tips

  • 1. Get the best deals on your currency

There are now some smart ways of getting good deals on your foreign exchange. Make sure you’re on top of the latest apps for currency transaction and overseas payments.

  • 2. Avoid the peak season

Plan your holidays right at the start and right at the end of your summer break to get better deals. The middle weeks, when the schools are shut and the sun is blazing, are when prices get red-hot too.

  • 3. Skip the bank holiday

Similarly, don’t book anything around the late August long weekend when every man and his dog is looking to book an escape and prices nudge northwards again.

You don’t need an expensive hotel room. Check out house-share options on the likes of Airbnb, or try house-swap sites for a super-cheap way to get a holiday.

One of the few sites that lets you search by price alone. If you’ve got a few hours to kill, just leave the destination field blank, search by ‘cheapest month’ and you’ll get a list of ultra-low flight prices that are barely into double-digit territory.

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