Sometimes you just need a holiday, right? May is the perfect time to go as it strikes the ideal balance with its pleasant warm temperatures, where it’s not too hot but usually not cold. Plus, it’s a great time for those seeking budget-friendly adventures, as it’s not the peak tourist season. This translates to fewer crowds and more importantly, more affordable holiday options – music to any student’s ears! After the hustle of coursework and exams, what better way to unwind than a well-deserved break? So, for those on the hunt for ‘cheap May holidays’, here are 10 ideal choices that won’t break the bank, perfect for university students looking to escape without splurging.

Where to go on holiday in May?

where to go on holiday in May

May is rolling around and it’s the perfect time to hit the road (or the skies) for a holiday. Especially if you’re in Europe or the UK, where spring’s in full swing, and you get all the good vibes without getting too burned (still wear sunscreen though). Think less about sweltering in line for a gelato and more about enjoying the sun with way fewer people around.

Europe’s pretty much a jackpot for May travels. Whether you’re dreaming of chilling on a beach in the Med or wandering through some cool, historic city streets, there’s a ton to do. And let’s not forget the UK – it’s not just about London, guys. May is when the UK starts to really shine, with seaside towns just waking up for the season.

So, what’s next? We’ve got a list of 10 places that won’t drain your bank account but are still epic for a May getaway. We’re talking about places from the North East English coast to the Balearic islands, and even some awesome city breaks. Whether you’re up for a solo adventure, a trip with your mates, or even a chill family holiday, these spots are ideal for a budget-friendly break in May.

Our top cheap holidays in May for student budgets

If you’re looking for cheap and affordable holidays in May, but still craving some sunshine, then our list of destinations are worth considering. You’ll find everything from capital cities to islands and more, all designed to be doable on a student budget.

1. Turkey

Turkey- affordable holidays in May - best destinations for students

There are plenty of options around Turkey that would make great options for cheap May holidays. You could go visit a bustling city like Istanbul or you could opt for a seaside resort town like Antalya. Flights are a little more expensive, but that’s to be expected as it’s a further distance than some of the other options. But, you can still get from London to Istanbul for just £61. And, thanks to financial difficulties with the Turkish Lira, you can get double the value of the pound compared to the lira, so you’re getting more, with less. 

2. Berlin

Berlin - student holidays in May

One of the typical student holiday destinations, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Flights to Berlin are very cheap, starting from a mere €35 round trip from Stansted. There are tons of things to do in Berlin in the arts, culture, history and more. There are a ton of cheap attractions and open spaces, meaning that you can enjoy all that Berlin has to offer without having to spend a ton of money. 

3. Prague

Top 10 cheap May holidays to go on

Prague has a rich cultural, economic and historical heritage, making it an interesting option for a cheap May holiday. Flights from Prague are quite cheap, you can get a round trip from Stansted to Prague for €62 in about two hours. The city has plenty of museums, galleries, theatres, exhibits and more to do during your stay, with cheap reliable public transit to get around. Plus, it’s a great option if you like beer. Residents in Czechia drink more beer per capita than anywhere else in the world – no wonder it makes our top places for a crazy lads’ holiday

4. Ibiza

cheap may holidays to ibiza

Ibiza, known for its wild clubs and parties, is a great option for cheap May holidays. Great weather and it’s busy, but not too busy. The clubs Ibiza are known for open back up for the summer towards the end of the month, so if that’s something you’d enjoy, go for the end of the month. If not, go for the beginning. There are many things to do in Ibiza that don’t involve clubbing, including visiting its many beaches, restaurants and markets. Ibiza also tops our list of the best clubbing holidays to go on, if that’s your thing.

5. Budapest

Budapest holidays in May - cheap destinations

Budapest is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with a rich, varied and bustling culture. Flights are also pretty cheap, with a round trip from Stansted to Prague starting at €44. While Hungarian is obviously the main spoken language, English is generally quite widely spoken, as is the case in many European capitals. The city of Budapest is generally considered to be quite cheap, so long as you stay away from the most touristy parts along the river. 

6. Lisbon

 

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The most recent edition of The Post Office’s Travel Money City Costs Barometer listed Lisbon as the best-value European centre. It also ranks in our list of the best girls’ holiday destinations. The average cost of two nights in three-star accommodation is £121, but there are plenty of hostels and other more budget-friendly options. Plus, with plenty of bars serving petiscos (small plates), food is quite affordable and there is lots to try out. Alongside that, with the nicer weather, you can explore Lisbon’s many parks. It’s also not too far away from the beaches. 

7. Bamburgh

cheap May holidays in the UK - Bamburgh

If you’re looking to stay a little closer to home, why not check out Bamburgh? The Northumberland seaside town was one of only four seaside towns to receive a 5-star rating for value for money in a 2023 Which? survey. It was also voted as the best and prettiest for the third year in a row. The average evening meal in the area costs about £14, with the average coffee costing £2.50 and the average beer £3. It has top-quality sandy beaches, a great escape from the mundane city university experience, and a magnificent Norman castle Bamburgh Castle. You can even go on a day trip to watch dolphins in the Farne Islands. How cool is that? 

8. Marrakech

Outside of Europe, Marrakesh is a great option for cheap May holidays. It’s outside of Europe, so you get to enjoy warmer temperatures, but it isn’t too far that it isn’t easily accessible. Flights from London to Marrakech start at around £50 per person. There, haggling on every price is generally expected, which means as students, you can try to negotiate for less money (always a plus). Prices are also generally lower anyway, with an average evening meal costing the equivalent of £9.50, coffee £1 and beer £3. 

9. Riga

 

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Perhaps a bit of an underrated option, Riga is the capital city of Latvia. Having been there myself (albeit in September, not May), I would wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s super easy to get lost walking around the Old Town for hours for free and be completely enthralled in the city’s history and culture. There are many museums, parks and activities to do for free or for a very small entrance fee. There are plenty of budget hostels around the city for €10-€20 a night and a good meal costs about €10. If you like beer, Riga is known for its beer culture, with the average beer costing €2-3. 

10. Dublin

Top 10 cheap May holidays to go on

Another one that’s not too far away. Flights from London to Dublin start at around £38 for a round trip. There, you can enjoy plenty of activities at a small price. For instance, the International Literature Festival takes place in the city in May, with guided tours, talks and exhibitions about the city’s rich literature history. Additionally, you can take many day trips from Dublin to see things like the Cliffs of Moher and Kilkenny. Plenty to do, not plenty to pay. 

There are tons of places you could head to for cheap May holidays to go on. Hopefully our list has given you a taste of some fun breaks you could be enjoying. There are many places around Europe (and beyond) that you can explore this May on a student budget while still having a great experience. 

Tips on how to find cheap May holidays

how to find cheap may holidays

Alright, let’s talk last-minute May getaways. You know, those spur-of-the-moment trips that somehow end up being the best stories? They can actually be kinder to your wallet than you think. Here’s the lowdown on snagging those cheap, last-minute deals for an awesome May escape:

  1. Last-minute booking apps: Got a sudden urge to jet off somewhere? Check out apps like HotelTonight or LastMinute.com. They’re goldmines for scoring killer discounts on hotel rooms and flights that haven’t been snapped up yet. The best part? You can find deals just a few days or even hours before you want to take off.
  2. Be a bit adventurous with your destination: When hunting for last-minute deals, keep an open mind about where to go. Sometimes the coolest adventures are in places you wouldn’t have thought of at first. Plus, you might save a bunch by going somewhere less obvious.
  3. Email alerts are your friends: Sign up for newsletters and alerts from airlines and travel sites. They often send out exclusive deals and flash sales that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s like getting insider info straight to your inbox.
  4. Stalk social media (for deals, obviously): Follow your favourite airlines, hotels, and travel influencers on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. They often drop last-minute deals and promo codes that you gotta grab fast.
  5. Use Google flights: This is probably one of our best tips for getting cheap holidays, in May and other times of year. If you go on Google’s travel and explore, you can filter by holiday duration, month of travel, and more to find the cheapest flights from your selected departure airport, and recommendations for accommodation too.
  6. Check out different airports: Sometimes flying into a smaller airport near your destination is way cheaper than hitting the major hubs. Do a bit of digging and compare prices for different airports in the area.

 

With a bit of savvy and some flexibility, you can jet off on an epic May holiday without it costing the earth. Whether you’re planning ahead or just going with the flow, these tips should help you make it happen.

If you’re going on any type of travel, one important thing many students forget is travel insurance. We’ve got the best student travel insurance deals for 2024 to help you out.