I WAS COMPLETELY unaware that the university even had a ‘Travel Society’ until the Freshers’ Fair this year. As Lifestyle is all for travel, I only saw it fit to have a chat with some of the committee of the society. I spoke to Rhian Griffiths (Vice President) and Brandon Ribatika (Treasurer).
Tell me a bit about your society.
Rhian: We want to be able to access a lot of nice areas. Not just in the UK, but abroad. We do this whilst simultaneously keeping the trips as low in cost as possible.
Brandon: The social aspect is also important. When we are not on trips we hold socials here. We want people to be able to make new friends from all over the university.
How do you make the trips so cheap?
We do a lot of group bookings. We have access to things like Air B&B and bunkhouses. We book well in advance, and shop around make sure we get the best deal. We have a brilliant committee who are always able to help
How much, on average, do your trips cost?
Our upcoming trip to Vienna, Budapest and Prague is only £225 per person. We are flying, and this includes all travel and accommodation expenses for the week. For our Cardiff trip it was only £15 for the day, and for our upcoming Snowdonia/Port Merion trip it is only £30 for a weekend away. To go on the trips you have to sign up as a member through the Student Union website, and it is a £5 membership fee for insurance purposes. This does not go towards the cost of the trips, but it allows you to travel with us.
Where have you recently been?
We have been to Amersterdam, Croatia (as pictured on the left), and Devils Bridge.
What upcoming trips have you got organised?
The aforementioned trip to Vienna, Budapest and Prague is still in the sorting stages. Sign up will be in January time, and we will go in March. We leave for Snowdonia on the 12th of December so signup is soon. We are also looking to organise a trip to London in January/February time.
Where is the best place you have been with the society and why?
Rhian: I think they were all so brilliant it is hard to pick just one as we always do something of cultural/historical significance. For example, when we went to Cardiff we went to the castle. However, just because of the response people had to it, I would say Oxford and Cambridge because people who went thoroughly enjoyed it. Everyone had such a good time.
Brandon: I would have to say Snowdonia/Zip World. Some people were hesitant about going and came back saying how much they enjoyed the time away and how glad they were they went.
How often do you go away?
We try to go away at least once a month. We haven’t been away since October, but we have some big trips lined up which we are really looking forward to.
Do you get a lot of last-minute sign-ups?
Yes, all the time. But we don’t mind at all. The people who spontaneously sign up last minute are always the ones who enjoy it the most.
What would you say are the best reasons to join the society?
Rhian: We get to go to such amazing places which is a brilliant excuse to have some fun.
Brandon: It is so affordable that it seems silly not to.
Photo Credits: Kristina Dahlgren