Brought to you by Circle App.

Pack your bags!

You know when you’re sitting in the library, drinking your fourth coffee of the day, while you work on your fourth essay of the week? No craic whatsoever.

Productive procrastination isn’t really a thing, but if you are going to put off doing work, then you might as well spend your time planning a trip that’s somewhere very far away from college.

Don’t bother with the two weeks in Ibiza. If you’re a student then you probably have the energy to expend on something a little more adventurous.

A brand new competition from Circle the social payments app, is offering to cover your student fees in full or to pay for you to go on a holiday of a lifetime. That got us thinking about where we would love to go.

Backpacking is one of the best ways to spend your summer or gap year. Away from the safety and monotony of a hotel resort, you have to think on your toes, working out where to stay on any given night and how to get from place to place.

The reward for that work is being thrust into an environment that’s completely new you. If you’ve picked a good spot then you should experience amazing scenery, new cultures and cuisines.

To give you a jumping off point, we’ve compiled a list of seven destinations that are suited to the student budget.

1. Albania

Having emerged from behind the Iron Curtain, it took some time for Albania to catch up with the rest of Europe when it comes to tourism infrastructure.

For the time being it’s a much cheaper alternative to neighbouring Greece and Italy, with a similar Mediterranean climate and equally impressive beaches. Despite its improving tourism industry, you can still find places where it feels frozen in time, with very old ways of life still intact.

Now is as good a time to go as ever because it won’t be long before the country becomes swamped with tourists. Cheap hostels are easy enough to come by with rates that vary from €9-15.

You’ll also be treated to a huge variety of food. Albania’s location has made it a melting pot of Balkan, Ottoman and Mediterranean cuisine.

2. Peru

Probably the most popular destination for backpackers in South America and for good reason.

The ancient city of Machu Pichu is Peru’s crown jewel, but before you make the four-day hike along the Inca trail, you’ll be able to adjust to the altitude by spending time in the city of Cusco. It’s located at 3,400 meters above sea level and slap bang in the middle of Peru’s Sacred Valley.

Elsewhere, Peru also has incredible beaches and rainforests. Your best bet is to start your journey in the capital city of Lima and branch out from there.

If you like seafood, then you’re in for a treat. The country’s signature dish is ceviche (raw fish, cooked with citrus fruits and spices).

3. Vietnam

A country that has long overcome the damage caused by the war, Vietnam is now a world-renowned spot for backpacking. Despite its popularity, it’s easy to stray from the more touristy zones.

For those who are low an cash, you’ll feel like a millionaire with the cost of living being so cheap. If you eat at local eateries, you won’t spend more than a few euros per meal, and the beer costs as little as €0.20 a glass.

It’s a country full of contrasting elements. First of all, you’ve got metropolises like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Once you’ve had enough of the urban areas, you can access beauty spots like Ha Long Bay by express bus. The world heritage site consists of giant limestone pillars and islets with little forests on top of them, which rise out of the water.

4. Estonia

While Scandinavia might be too expensive for most student travellers, Estonia gives you more bang for your buck. That’s not to say it’s merely a discount version. The country, which spent 50 years under Soviet rule, has a lot to offer.

The capital, Tallinn, has a medieval town built by German crusaders in the Middle Ages. Much of the structures are still intact, making it one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns.

You can calso heck out the leftovers of a more recent occupying force, like a deserted Soviet army base. Bus companies offer transport nationwide, so getting around is a doddle.

5. Thailand

Thailand is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world, largely down to movies like The Beach, which showed off the country’s breathtaking islands and beaches.

If you want to dodge your fellow tourists, then your best bet is to stay away from the beaches. It’ll also be considerably cheaper inland. You can live off the amazing street food and get by on a budget of 20 quid a day.

Places you should check out include the Grand Palace in Bangkok and the ruins of the ancient City of Ayutthaya.

6. Nepal

Slap bang in the middle of the Himalayas, Nepal has ancient temples, jungles and eh… Mount Everest. Whether you’re rickshawing your way through the chaotic streets of Kathmandu or trekking around Everest base camp, you won’t have to break the bank while you’re there.

You can get a basic room for about €10, and you can get by on €20 for the rest of the day.

Catching the sunrise over the Himalayas while you’re surrounded by the tallest mountains in the world will likely be a highlight. Other activities to do include jungle safaris and kayaking on Lake Phewa.

 7. Mexico

Once you avoid the hotspots like Cabo and Cancun, Mexico is an excellent place for budget backpacking. Beach towns like Tulum and Puerto Escondido are cheaper, less touristy options. With a favourable exchange rate between the Peso and the Euro, your money will go far. So 20 quid will get you a decent room for the night and the street food you’ll find on every corner is cheap and delicious.

Highlights include the Mayan ruins, desert canyons and incredible beaches. If you’re looking for culture and food, then your best bet is cities like Oaxaca and Mexico City.

Get your education paid for or travel the world with a friend. You decide! You can’t lose as everyone who enters the draw wins a cash prize. You can enter the competition hereCircle is a free app that lets you send money as easily as sending a text and is ideal for organising trips.

For terms and conditions, click here.

Brought to you by Circle App.

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