Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Residences for Summer Savings

Summer travel can have its downside--big crowds, often higher prices, sometimes extremely hot weather. However, it is a favourite season for many because it is easier to get around and to spend time outdoors. This can lead to savings if you take public transit instead of taxis, and picnic outside on food purchased from grocery stores rather than dining at costly restauarnts.
It also can mean big savings on accommodation if you stay at university or college residences that are full of students at other times of year. The UK and Canada are particularly well-endowed with budget-friendly student residences that open to the public in summer.
In London there is a big choice--one site for information and booking is www.londonuniversityrooms.co.uk. This site offers bed and breakfast for as little as 18 pounds single, 49 pounds with private facilities. It is just one of a number of Websites with similar offerings-- another is University College London, www.ucl.ac.uk/residences/. The famed London School of Economics is another choice, with a residence, High Holborn, very conveieint to the theatre district. I stayed there once and while the room was basic and the bathroom incredibly tiny, I couldn't complain about the price.
In my town of Montreal, three major universities open their residences to visitors in summer--University of Montreal (www.udm.qc.ca.), Concordia University (www.concordia.ca) and McGill University www.mcgill.ca). Some of them can be reserved through www.booking.com. Concordia has a new, centrally-located offering in the Grey Nun's Residence at the corner of Guy and Rene Levesque. It is set in beautiful grounds and rents single rooms for as little as $49 a night. At McGill, also very centrally located, rooms at the Royal Vcitoria Hall on Sherbrooke Street at University Avenue start at $40 single. The New Residence Hall on Park Avenue, formerly a hotel, has single or double rooms with bath for as little as $99 a night. Some of these places also offer weekly rates.
If you plan to visit any city in the UK or Canada that has a university, it is worthwhile checking into the possibility of staying on campus during the summer. Unfortunately, there do not seem to be any central booking services for more than one university, so research can take some time.


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