Maggie Meng

Santorini: 5 tips to help you plan a trip on a student’s budget

Santorini is one of the most famous Greek islands, located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea to the east of Turkey. It is known for its iconic landscapes and its clear sea, but also for being really expensive. However, it is possible for you to have a perfect holiday in the paradise that is Santorini without paying through the nose.

  1. Choose where you stay carefully

The first thing to do to save money is avoid renting a hotel or an apartment in the most famous city areas such as Fira and Oia, and instead stay in a smaller town such as Vothonas or Mesaria. They are in the centre of the island and are a lot cheaper than the larger, more popular parts of Santorini.

Neil Jennings

Whilst it’s usually cheaper to use public transport than to hire your own, Santorini is different. Give yourself some freedom and save some cash by hiring your own transport. (Photographer: Neil Jennings; Flickr)


  1. Avoid using buses and hire your own transport instead

Once here, you can rent a scooter or a quad for only €100 a week (if you’re travelling with a friend you can split — bargain!), that will allow you to visit all the island without enduring the long waiting times typical of the buses. Moreover, a one-way ticket for the bus costs €2.50, and considering that in one day you may want the freedom of moving back and forward from your accommodation more than once, it becomes a really huge expense.

  1. Rent an apartment instead of a hotel

A third way to save money is to rent an apartment instead of a hotel. By doing so, you will be able to cook your meals yourself and save money on eating out all the time. However, if you want to stay in a hotel and eat out to try the local cuisine, you can easily get gyros and souvlaki from anywhere that sells typical Greek fast food. A gyros will usually cost around €2.50 and a souvlaki around €5.

Geoff Peters

Souvlaki — putting UK fast food to shame. (Photographer: Geoff Peters; Flickr)


  1. Go to the public parts of the island’s beaches

Another money-saving strategy that you may want use is to avoid renting an umbrella and a sunbed and go the public part of the beach, where you can put down your towel anywhere on the sand, saving in the region of €100.

  1. Book in advance

Last but not least, do not forget that time is money. Booking 5 or 6 months before your trip can save you between €50 and €100. This is due to the huge number of reservations made in advance — a huge number of tourists choose Santorini as their holiday destination each year, so be prepared and don’t leave it too late.

Pat Guiney

Don’t wait too long to book your trip if you want to visit Santorini, it’s not a destination you can book at the last minute if you want a good price. (Photographer: Pat Guiney; Flickr)

By choosing carefully where to stay, hiring your own transport, renting an apartment over a hotel room, avoiding expensive beaches and booking in advance, you can enjoy an enviable holiday to a location often overlooked by students, without spending all your savings.

What are you waiting for? Your next holiday may be just around the corner, I have just booked mine!

Featured image © Maggie Meng