With a school year consisting of a downpour of tests, assignments and a growing pressure to accomplish looming goals, the summer months are dreamily dedicated to taking in each passing sea breeze and heat wave as they come.

But acquiring the resources for a four-month break is easier said than done.

And although late nights at work and a stricter financial plan may make summer seem more chaotic than comfortable, it is still possible to make this summer more memorable and relaxed than the last. I present to you a few economical alternatives to help satisfy that adventure itch and prevent your weeks from being swallowed by the mundane grind in which student life always seems entangled.

Thrifty Travels

If you’re looking to see the world but are having some troubles booking a flight, instead, why not make the most of public transit and travel the city? It may sound like a dull and grey excuse for an adventurous afternoon, but try challenging yourself to see just how far you can get on a single bus transfer.

Not only will you find yourself discovering hidden gems in your city of residence, but making friends with the transit regulars will definitely provide for some memorable stories. I mean, really, when was the last time you encountered a boring person on public transit?

Get even more involved in this challenge and adopt a new character. Sing to yourself and see how many people will move away from you, or fall asleep and wake up to a surprising new destination; the possibilities are endless.

Dinner on a Dime

If you’re looking for a night out on the town, complete with an international dinner and panoramic view of the city, look no further than the happening destination of IKEA. This lovely big-box furniture store boasts both delicious and affordable meals consisting mostly of Swedish meatballs and soft-serve ice cream. Can’t go wrong with that, right?

In addition to wallet-friendly meals, IKEA provides for a very interesting atmosphere. With most locations featuring multi-level displays of pseudo apartments, spend some time meandering through the halls as you imagine your future. Trust me when I say that there is nothing more humbling and adorable than enjoying a meal with friends surrounded by Norwegian wood and well-organized furniture displays.

Frugal Friday Nights

Let’s face the facts. Alcohol is expensive, especially if you plan on drinking copious amounts of it on a semi-regular basis. Instead, on those occasionally dry and boring Friday nights, try popping open a box of wine. Not only is boxed wine affordable, it’s a conversation starter. Also, its compact size will help control your intake of alcohol, which prevents embarrassing moments that may or may not involve touching people inappropriately or falling down in front of large crowds.

Reap the benefits of red wine’s antioxidants and enjoy a box or two with friends. Please drink responsibly.

Inexpensive Kindness

If you’re looking to put a smile on someone’s face, try pulling some positive pranks. Be it placing a complimentary note on a neighbour’s doorstep or surprising a friend with flowers from a “secret admirer,” get creative and do something spontaneous that will bring joy to those around you. Random acts of kindness excite everyone and require only the amount of cash you personally are willing to shell out.

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