Reading Week Alternatives That Won’t Break the Bank


Reading Week is fast approaching and for those of us that can’t afford the all-inclusive trip to Mexico will be stuck in the cold, freezing our noses off in the crisp Canadian air. Bummer, I know. But the good news is that even if you’re not sipping Piña coladas on the beach or getting a complimentary massage, your Reading Week break is not a waste. There are plenty of things you can do, explore and see at home on a budget!

Be A Tourist In Your Own City

Chances are, there are a whole collection of spots within your city that you’ve never visited, regardless of whether you’ve lived there your entire life or are just visiting for a few years while you get yourself some education. Whether those spots are historic districts, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, museums, heritage sites or art galleries, there’s probably at least one you haven’t been to.

Reading week is a great time for you to check them out! No plane ticket, hotel room or food budget required (unless you’re checking out a restaurant) because you are already there. If you need ideas of where to go and what to do, try looking for a tourist guide or “things to do” list on your city.

Bonus points for using your student ID for a discount (or, should I say, bonus savings). Plenty of activity places have student discounts. In Vancouver, for example, you can head to the Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver Art Gallery or Vancouver Aquarium; in Toronto, you can check out the Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum or TIFF Bell Lightbox; and in Calgary, you can find yourself exploring the Glenbow Museum among other awesome places.

Take A Roadtrip

Not being able to go on a traditional Reading Week vacation doesn’t mean that you can’t get out of town for a bit. Research online to see what cool small towns and places you have within a short driving distance and plan a trip. To save on costs, make it a day trip and choose an activity. Maybe that small town an hour and a half away from you has a cheese museum and a diner that makes a killer burger, or commit to the cold weather and do some outdoor activities. There might be so many cool things to explore right around the corner – just make an effort to find them!


If you want to do some good on your reading week break and pad your resume a bit (two birds, one stone), then you should consider seeking out a volunteer opportunity. Lending a hand at the local food bank, reading to a gaggle of kids at the library or helping clean up a park – find something that inspires you and go ahead!

Volunteering in your community doesn’t only help you feel good about yourself (which you definitely should) but it also boosts your resume by showing that you are community-orientated (employers value this in their employees) and willing to put in some hard work for a good cause.

Make Reading Week Your Own

Just because you’re “stuck” slumming it in the Canadian cold while your friends are off relaxing poolside with warm weather doesn’t mean your reading week is a dud. Not if you choose to make it your own. There are no rules (except for the ones that exist to keep you and everyone else safe).

Reading week is an opportunity for you to relax, reset, and get your head back in the game so you can kick the rest of your semester in gear.