March 2, 2021

Traveling: Tips and Tricks

I don’t know about you but I cannot wait until we start all traveling again without the masks, the restrictions, and all. It’s been so long though, I bet we are all pretty rusty but let’s dream a little and get ahead of things. Let’s look at the do’s and don’t’s of travel around the world because it’s never too late to learn or for a few refreshers.

I am not going to tell you the obvious, bring your passports and all documents required, get into comfy items of clothing, be organized… No, that’s kind of too obvious so what else is there…

First of all, when you plan your trip, MAKE A BUDGET!

As a student with potentially limited funds, it might seem like it is impossible to travel but it really doesn’t have to be. You probably have exchange programs with your school, but for the sake of all of this let’s assume you do not and want to go on a getaway with friends, there are easy ways for you to save money. Get an excel sheet out, open google: look at destinations where the living expenses are cheap, where the currency exchange will go in your favor, and where hotels aren’t always the go-to. It doesn’t matter if the budget is followed to the T once you are there but when it comes to booking flights tickets, sleeping accommodations, and food budget it is a great way to give you an idea of what you are going to spend for sure so you can save ahead of time. 😉 Also, if you decide to go somewhere that’s on the same continent as the one you are in you can always throw in a little road trip…

When you plan also leave room for NEW possibilities!

For sleeping accommodations, for example, you might think hotels are the best but they might not always be, they could be really heavy for your wallet, but also shady (don’t want to scare you but it’s true). Nowadays there are just so many more options to look at that are budget-friendly, just as good, and more local, such as Airbnbs, Bed and Breakfast, youth hostel, inns… SO leave your choices open.  Once there, you are going to have to move around so inform yourself of the different means of locomotions that are available around you. Don’t be scared to use public transport, they are sometimes cheaper than a taxi (and vice versa), and will definitely put you in the local mood.

One really really important thing is to know the CULTURE AND LANGUAGE!

Don’t go somewhere and be the dumb tourist. The internet is magic and there to help you so inform yourself of the few customs of the country that you can pick up on so as to be the most respectful of everyone. The same goes for learning the social do’s and don’t’s of the culture.

Another nice gesture is to learn a few basic words in the local language like how to say “Hi!”, ”Thank you”, “you are welcome”, “Sorry”, “We’d like to order please”, “The check please”… Rule of thumb: anything you feel like you need to know to survive while on your trip learn it.  Cheat code: bring a friend that is native to the country you are visiting 😉

It might be useless to say that but it is important: PACK WISELY!

Look at the weather weeks prior to see the trend in weather and the day you pack check again. Don’t travel with 8 luggage of clothes and shoes that you will never end up wearing. It has to be a well-thought-out puzzle of clothing you put in there. You can always check out videos online to see how to fold your clothes in the most ergonomic ways 😉  PS: You know you are going to buy so many souvenirs that you might find yourself having to buy another suitcase there so, leave some wiggle room…

And last but not least: DONT’T expect everything to go according to PLAN…

Life always throws balls at you and be it good or bad it will change your plans a little bit, but don’t be mad, if you can’t see one thing go see another if you can’t go to this country find another if you didn’t like the food you tried last night try something else… You can’t always go by the book, you gotta live a little and nothing better than some unplanned adventure to stimulate your wild side!! So don’t be stuck up, don’t ruin everyone’s vacations or your own, enjoy your trip and look around you! 

Now that I have freshened up your mind it is time to start planning! 

What’s your dream getaway?