Summertime Madness

Most of you have already passed the last exams while the rest is about facing them very soon. Have you written down your application letter? Do not worry: you will hit it! Now, it is time to have a vacation. You really deserve a seaside party or breath of fresh mountain air. It’s up to you to decide whether you would like to visit hot spots and pay Santa a visit. So many options, so limited budgets… With our new rubric dedicated to the most appropriate choice of recreation, you will keep in touch with all the best offers and top discounts.

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You may put down the country of your dream in comments to this post so that we know for sure what our next review will be about. Every review will be based on the own experience of the members of our team, as well as the leading travel agencies and their hot tours.

As for the first time, we will post two reviews as a special gift for your holidays. Stay wild and restless by having summer fun with StudentShare!

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Scotland: The Land of Loch Ness


My heart's in the Highlands; my heart is not here,

My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;

Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,

My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

© Robert Burns


Summertime Madness-3If you can’t stand high temperatures, but still don’t wish to miss a summer atmosphere, this country, part of the United Kingdom, is exactly for you. You won’t suffer either from cold or heat over there. The greenery and lawns are softly cooked and start boiling, spreading the special smell of leaves over the landscape. You won’t ever forget this bouquet of flavors. The water is extremely clean while the air is always fresh.

Our tour managers who met us off the plane in famous picturesque Fort William guided our group for two days and nights kayaking somewhere in the wild.

Have you heard of Loch Ness monster? That’s the hint: gliding over Loch Ailort and other lakes was the swish of my paddle. We did not pay for any hotels – camping is the best alternative for places like Scotland. Besides, we spend most of the time in the wild. The nature and rare animals like local red deer, pine marten, and adder were following us all the way through. Those landscapes reminded me of a well-known poem by Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns.

Summertime Madness-4Despite the ache in our muscles and peeling noses, we were excited I the end of our journey. The springy chilly ground and warm beach with cold water were exactly what we needed at the time of our return to the camp. We noticed the islands of Eigg, Muck, and Rum, which sat out to sea. The Twilight contrasted with the sunburn; it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Keep away from the hotels in Scotland. You better catch some fish and eat almost uncooked as it is very healthy there.

Note: the prices are shown in pounds, but you can pay in dollars and euro as well. Two-day kayak-camping trips are offered for £195 with Fort William-based Rockhopper (+44 (0)7739 837 344, rockhopperscotland.co.uk, all gear and meals provided). If booked 12 weeks in advance, tickets on the overnight London Euston to Fort William Caledonian Sleeper are available from £19-£39 with scotrail.co.uk

Ecuador: Keep Calm and Study Spanish

If you are more that sort of sunny beach guy, think of attending Ecuador with its relatively cheap option in the shape of Secret Garden Hostel PR.

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We also recommend this trip for students who strive to improve their knowledge of Spanish (version of Latin America). Summertime Madness-6People here do not speak that fast. It is a good option for unemployed students due to extremely low prices.

My friend enjoyed the stay at the modest but cozy hostel mentioned above for its terrace's panoramic views over the old historical center and the Andes beyond. Right, you can also pick a special trip to Andes and have a rest in the mountains. That is how you can capture two birds at a time: swimming and hiking.

Here you can find a local Spanish school with a high level of Spanish language and literature. In case you have a plenty of time and desire, you can apply for its one-month volunteer program which allows working in the hostel. You will receive a free bed, food, beverages, about ten hours of Spanish classes, and one night with its partner, a pretty hostel by Cotopaxi volcano.

Work requirements at this eco-aware place might seem rather high. However, you can try other similar organizations in the surrounding region.

Alternative options include participating in some domestic environmental projects or assisting in programs dedicated to the safety of the rare Andean bears.

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All details are on the Secret Garden Hostel website (secretgardenquito.com). Dorm rooms are roughly £6 per night; Spanish lessons go £60/20 hours.

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