As students, we dream of summer from the moment university or college kicks off. We spend months thinking of those glorious months of no studying, exams and the endless fun plans we make. Then when summer finally does arrive, the SAAS payments stop and the realisation hits that traveling around Europe for six weeks is way out of our budget.
You’ve got some money saved, but it’s not quite enough to fund flights to Bali. You were planning on using it for your usual T in The Park weekend but that’s out the window. So what other options are there for cash-strapped students?
May we introduce you to the ‘staycation’?
As the name suggests, instead of heading abroad you stay put in your own country or even city (you don’t need to go to the islands of Scotland – although we recommend you do at some point) and explore it like a proper tourist.
Luckily for us, there’s so much to do in Glasgow. The city is home to eight of the top Scottish visitor attractions, according to a new study from Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development, with the Riverside Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Glasgow Science Centre all featuring on the list.
If you were abroad, taking in all the local culture, you’d definitely make an effort to check out the museums so make the same effort right here and head to the Gallery of Modern Art, The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens and of course, Kelvingrove Museum. Also, museums are free in Glasgow, so you’ve got no excuse.
You could also explore Glasgow using the City Centre Mural Trail, which you can download here – it’ll take you on a tour across the City, taking in some of the extremely impressive (and very insta-worthy) street art and suggesting interesting places nearby.
Aside from the main tourist attractions, festivals take place every month in Glasgow, which always draw in plenty of visitors and if you see one that interests you, build your staycation around it.
So if you were gutted about T in The Park taking a break in 2017, why not head to TRNSMT instead? Taking place from 7-9 July at Glasgow Green, the fresh, new, non-camping, rock and indie festival features an exceptional line-up of musical talent; Radiohead, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro, The 1975, Belle and Sebastian, Catfish and the Bottlemen, London Grammar, George Ezra, The Van T’s, Two Door Cinema Club and more form the award-winning line-up.
With weekend and single-day tickets available, you can choose exactly how much of your staycation you want to dedicate to TRNSMT. Standard tickets cost: £59.50 (one day), £110 (two days) or £155 (three days). However, if you do have some cash to splash, you could opt for the VIP tickets, which give you access to an exclusive chill out zone away from the crowds with its own bar area, gourmet food, comfortable seats, upgraded flushing toilet facilities and DJ sets. These tickets will cost you £99 (one day), £185 (two days) or £235 (three days).
If you’re local enough you could always make use of the transport links to and from Glasgow but if you’re wanting to properly go all-out with your staycation, book into a hotel in Glasgow. TRNSMT have partnered with hotels across the city to provide great value ticket and accommodation deals.
For £260, you can purchase a three day ticket for the full weekend, plus a single room at Glasgow School of Art or if you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious, you and a friend could stay in a double room at The Grand Central Hotel and buy a weekend ticket, for £402.50 each.
There are so many accommodation options in Glasgow to suit every budget, which is why we’d recommend staying in the city if you’re going to TRNSMT. Not only will it feel more like a proper holiday but it’ll mean you don’t need to rush for the last train or bus home and you can properly explore Glasgow’s bars, restaurants and clubs when the festivals finish for the night.
Speaking of Glasgow’s best bars and restaurants, whether you’re looking to grab some food before you head to the festival or searching for the best bar to head to afterwards, you’re spoilt from choice in Glasgow.
The King Tuts team are likely to be pretty busy with the King Tut’s stage at the festival, which will provide a smaller stage for emerging artists to perform to huge crowds, but we’d still recommend heading in to the legendary venue at some point during your staycation. They offer 20% off food for students, so make sure your bring your student card.
Although there will be plenty of food trucks and bars at the festival, which is open from 2pm on Friday and 12.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, if you’re looking to explore more of Glasgow’s brilliant food scene, head to West On The Green, in the Templeton Building, before make your way into the festival site.
The beer hall-style bar and restaurant offers tours of its working brewery, along with an award-winning German inspired menu using fresh Scottish ingredients.
Or if you’re looking for a late-night munch after the festival’s finished, make your way back to the City Centre sharpish and you might just make it to Paesano before it shuts at 12am (on Friday and Saturday nights). The 20 minute walk will be worth it when you’re tucking into one of their pizzas – it’s really no surprise Paesano topped the list of best-rated pizza restaurants in the UK on TripAdvisor earlier this year.
If you’re keen on heading straight to a bar after the fun ends at Glasgow Green, head back into the City Centre and make your way to Flat 0/1 on Bath Street. It has student-friendly drink prices, it’s always packed, there’s a very quirky vibe about it and Flat 0/1 has hosted some infamous club nights. We suspect a lot of your fellow TRNSMT festival-goers will be heading here to keep the party going.
Or for those of you looking to continue with the indie vibes, head over to Sauchiehall Street and into Firewater. With an indie/rock playlist, a fairly intimate yet bustling vibe at the weekend and very comfy areas to chill with a drink after a long day on your feet at TRNSMT, it’ll appeal to your whole group. Although, if it’s too busy, make your way over to Broadcast, also on Sauchiehall Street, which is generally more roomy and sure to be a great place to keep the party going.
Although you might feel like it’s not much of a ‘holiday’ when you’re staying in your own town, having a change of scenery from your own home (without needing to spend a fortune on flights), looking at Glasgow in a new way and having the chance to experience the biggest new musical festival in Scotland is sure to change your mind.