Surviving Zante – the Beauty of Budgeting

A big part of many 18 – 20 something’s social life is going away at least once on a big, disgustingly messy week with friends. These holidays usually consist of going to a cheap and not-so-cheerful resort somewhere hot and going just a little bit crazy. Some people end up drinking away hundreds and hundreds of £££’s, but this is in.sane.

After a big two month central America trip this summer, my week in Zante was decidedly insufficiently funded. I literally had €200 for the whole week, which had to include all my food and a big night out every single night. It was questioned how much fun I was really going to have on this little amount of money, especially when considering some of my friends took €600 – triple my amount?! It was this questioning that made me wish that the pound was still worth about £1.80 to the Euro, instead of almost exactly the same… but failing to be able to drastically change the strength of currency in any given time, I had to accept that I had very little money. And I had to make the best of it.

I can say right now that I spent all of money (obviously) but I also ate alright food every day, went out for two very nice meals, went on a boat trip, had two massive organised nights out  as well as nights out every other night and still managed to find enough money to drink more than my body weight in alcohol. I also managed to get a very questionable hair braid and a very nice, handmade bracelet. If you ever find yourself in Zante these are amazing, and cheap. Love love love. But anyway…

The trick is to BUDGET. So many people think that sticking to a budget = sacrificing part of the fun you’re going to have. I mean, yeah, it is nice not to have to want for anything, but is it worth spending your life savings?

People are often full of one, looming, all-consuming excuse as to why they can’t have more fun, travel different places and get the experiences that they would love to get: money. But money doesn’t have to be an issue, as long as you’ve got in your mind what you want to do, how you’re going to do it and are absolutely determined to do so, it will happen.

The second trick is to barter everything. In places like Zante, or Malia or Magaluf or Tenerife etc etc etc!, people are paid to get you in to their bars. If you’re in a big group like I was (19 of us ended up going in total…) then by basically demanding what you want to get and for how much, you’re pretty much always going to get it. A perfect example of this is a night where we basically walked down the main strip, and said we wanted 2 cocktails, 6 shots and the infamous fishbowl for 6 Euros each. 6 euros. SIX euros!? With deals like that, why would you possibly need such a crazy amount of money.

The only (debatable) drawback to these silly deals is that you end up too drunk for words. If this isn’t a particular drawback at all, the only regrettable thing is the soul destroying hangover the next day. On the other hand, it is exactly this kind of attitude that gets British people such a bad reputation for being disgusting alcohol fiends. But hey, for a week a year, why not lose all inhibitions and go crazy?



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