When I was deciding on where to study abroad, there were two main things that the country of choice had to have:
- Speak English (I have taken Japanese at Howard University, and while it’s an interesting language to learn, I did not want to be there for a whole semester.)
- Be a central location to travel to other countries.
While there were other countries that fit the description, London just seemed to be the perfect match. Since being here, I have had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. I have been to Paris, Amsterdam, Bath, Stonehenge, Cambridge and I will be going to Barcelona, Vienna and …drumroll, please… Morocco, Africa! I’ve definitely been bitten by the travel bug and I hope that others use my experiences as motivation to do the same.
It is seemingly easy to travel (especially if you’re a student) as long as you save and conduct proper planning. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your traveling opportunities.
This has been the most important thing that I have learned while traveling. You have to do your research! If you want to take a trip to Italy next summer, start saving now. Book your flight and lodging early in advance and sign up for emails from traveling companies so you are aware of deals they have. Research what the country is known for so you can have an authentic experience. Even if you don’t do everything on your itinerary, proper planning will make your trip a lot smoother.
Be a Thrifty Traveler
While it would be nice to catch a first class flight to London and stay in a five star hotel overlooking the Thames River, it is not friendly on your wallet.
- Lodging: Cut the cost by staying in hostels or renting a condo or apartment for your stay. Hostels have a bad reputation sometimes but they are usually really cheap and convenient. You may even be able to get a private room or share a room with the same gender. Wherever you decide to stay, just conduct thorough online research about the place. Here are some sites that I used:
- Transportation: Use every mode of transportation available. For instance, if you plan on traveling throughout Europe for a few weeks, you can fly to a central location (France) and travel via bus and train to other locations (London, Amsterdam, etc.) Even though flying will be the quickest way to travel, like hotels, it is not always budget- friendly. Here are some sites that I used when booking transportation:
Enjoy the journey
Just remember, you’re traveling to get the experience. Meeting other travelers in hostels and riding on a bus for 10 hours have been some of the highlights of my trips. They have been a humbling experience that made me appreciate things more. The most important thing is to get out there and travel even if that means sacrificing the luxuries that you are used to.