Where to go for Uni Holidays

Magnetic Islands, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Here are a few of our favourite holiday destinations for uni students looking for a bit of fun and adventure that don’t necessarily have to cripple your bank account.

After hitting the books hard and struggling to stay awake through countless lectures, you deserve a break from Uni. 

While you’re no doubt tired of reading, we thought we would educate you on the best destinations to head to for uni holidays. 

Because long distance international flights are often expensive and the Aussie dollar isn’t exactly strong at the moment, we thought we would keep the focus on destinations close to home where your dollar will take you further. 

If you’re looking for a relaxing beachside getaway or to stretch your legs with a jungle hiking experience, check out these epic getaways that can be experienced on a tighter budget. 

While there are a number of ways to skimp on comfort to extend your travel dollars including staying in hostels and flying budget airlines, make sure to never take a holiday without purchasing travel insurance first. 

Whether you’re looking for student travel insurance or backpacker travel insurance, you can be sure there is an affordable policy that will suit your individual needs.


Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia

An ultra-affordable Southeast Asian destination, Cambodia offers both adventurous and relaxing holiday options. 

You’ll find plenty of cheap accommodation options around tourist hotspots like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and even more economical places to stay in rural areas outside the major cities if you’re after a more authentic local experience. 

Visit incredible temples including the exceptionally well-preserved temple complex known as Angkor Wat, best observed at sunrise or sunset. Cruise along the Mekong River, trek into the jungles of the Cardamom Mountains, and visit local wildlife including elephants at places like the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center. 

Whether you’re embracing the local culture in the rural villages and cities or escaping to one of the country’s deserted islands, you are sure to return to your studies feeling alive and refreshed.


Sumatra, Indonesia

Sumatra

Bali may attract the most Aussie uni tourists, but if you’re looking to trade the party scene for an epic adventure, then check out Sumatra. 

This large Indonesian island is a world away from highly populated Java and Bali. Instead, you’ll find large swaths of jungle filled with all kinds of rare and endangered wildlife. 

See tigers, rhinos, elephants, proboscis monkeys, sun bears, and clouded leopards. Get up close and personal with Sumatran orangutans in places like Bukit Lawang and Gunung Leuser National Park. 

Witness the largest volcanic lake in the world, Lake Toba, as well as numerous volcanoes. Several Sumatran volcanoes are active and events like landslides, earthquakes, and tsunamis can occur at any time. For these reasons, it would be wise to make sure you add natural disaster cover to your travel insurance policy. 

The ground transportation in Sumatra can be quite rough going and often takes a considerable amount of time to get where you wish to go, but there are affordable domestic Indonesian flights that provide numerous connections between many areas throughout Sumatra.



Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

Fiji

You might not think of Fiji as being an affordable destination, but a there are many ways to enjoy a Fijian holiday on the cheap. 

While Fiji is made up of hundreds of islands, the key is to base yourself on one or two islands and you will save a bundle on expensive transportation costs. 

Sticking to cheaper hostels as opposed to overwater bungalows in luxury all-inclusive resorts will cut your accommodation costs dramatically. Enjoy quick direct flights to Nadi from many major Australian cities. 

In four to six hours you can transport yourself from the halls of uni to a truly idyllic exotic island paradise. Places like the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Islands are especially popular with backpackers and uni students, but Nadi is also full of affordable accommodation that is very close to the airport. 

Fancy spa treatments and fine dining will drain your bank account quick, so make use of the many free or low cost activities to enjoy around Nadi. Check out the Sabeto Mud Pools, do a bit of snorkelling, visit the colourful Hindu Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple, walk through the lush foliage of the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, or simply relax on the beach.


Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan

With direct flights from Australia to Taipei available, Taiwan is another easy to reach exotic destination to consider for your uni break. 

Much cheaper than nearby Hong Kong, Taiwan offers an abundance of excitement and activities for nearly any kind of traveller. Enjoy Taipei’s energetic nightlife and feast on authentic Taiwanese cuisine at the famous night markets. 

Make your way up Taipei 101, a giant skyscraper that was once the tallest building in the world, or discover one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese imperial artefacts and art that spans centuries at the National Palace Museum. 

You’ll find the Taipei Metro or MRT to be a fast, affordable, and convenient way to see the city. 

If you’d rather take things a bit slower, grab some bubble tea and head to a local Eslite Bookstore which offers one of the largest English language publications and translation materials in Taiwan. 

Of course if books are the last thing you want to see, simply relax at the Beitou thermal volcanic springs or head further field to check out other natural attractions such as Taroko Gorge, Yushan National Park, or the Alishan Scenic Mountain Area.



Coral Reef, Cairns

The Great Barrier Reef

Looking for something even closer to home? 

There’s no doubt the Great Barrier Reef attracts the uber-wealthy, but uni students needing to stick to a limited budget can also walk the same beaches and lounge beneath the same idyllic palms at a fraction of the cost. 

With several access points to the reef available including Cairns, Airlie Beach, and Townsville, visiting the world's largest coral reef system is easy. Basing yourself on the mainland as opposed to booking luxury accommodation on one of the Great Barrier Reef Islands is a great way to save money. 

There are also a number of islands that offer cheap camping options including Snapper Island, Lizard Island, Dunk Island, and at the world famous Whitehaven Beach. 

Trade the luxury and comfort of a 5-star resort for the night-time view of a sky illuminated by an infinite number of stars. Avoid expensive flights to islands by opting for destinations like Magnetic Island or Fitzroy Island, which can both be accessed by way of fast and rather affordable ferry rides. 

Magnetic Island even offers a backpacker hostel, a rarity for Great Barrier Reef Islands. And don’t forget to always inquire about student discounts when considering local tours or reef activities.