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Students often manage to travel long distances on very limited budgets. The secret is to find cheap travel, food and accommodation.

In the 1960s, British students did this through hitch-hiking and youth hostelling. It can still be done today, though drivers are much more reluctant to offer lifts to strangers.

Youth hostels are also more expensive as they tend to offer a greater level of comfort. Hostellers used to carry their own sheet sleeping bags and would expect to sleep in bunk beds, often within large single sex dormitories. A long walk to one of few outside toilets was not uncommon.

Today, other possibilities present themselves to people living near one of Britain's international airports. The cost of international rail travel has become prohibitive, but hopping around Europe on charter flights can be done very cheaply. The chief snag is finding reasonably priced accommodation when you arrive at your destination.

Cheap flights are advertised on Teletext, in most Sunday newspapers and on the web sites of budget airlines such as "Go", "Easy Jet" and "Ryan Air". Tickets can be purchased by credit card over the phone.

The very cheapest flights are to be found on the Internet where you can look for special offers, specify what kind of meal you want and even choose your exact seat, providing it has not already been booked. Payment is by credit card over a secure page and you will receive confirmation of your booking by e-mail.

Whether your reservations are made by phone or on the net, you will be given a booking reference number. If it is too late for your tickets to reach you by post, you can collect them at the airport on your day of departure by quoting your reference number.

Many British people own holiday apartments in Spain and let their properties to holiday-makers when they are not using them themselves. The apartments are usually well maintained and in beautiful locations. The owners advertise in Sunday newspapers, in journals such as "Dalton's Weekly" or "Exchange & Mart" or in exclusive magazines such as "The Lady".