College years are a great time for traveling. Sure, all students need to study and most of them don’t have much spare money to spend – but they do have time and energy to discover the world around them. And student discounts, of course.
So while you might not be able to visit all seven Wonders of the World during college years, you can still travel freely, be it the nearest city or another country. Being a traveler myself, I want to share with you some tips that hopefully could save your money and nerves, as well as help to enjoy your travels more.
1. There’s always time to travel.
When many people talk about traveling, they usually think about something global. A journey to another country can indeed be a great experience – but only if you have enough time to enjoy it. Meanwhile you can travel short-distance: for example, visit another city during the weekend. It would be great to have a short break from studying and stop thinking about definition essay topics and other college-related stuff for a while.
The best way to travel more is to come up with a list of travel destinations beforehand, including both short and long trips. Research them well enough, so you’ll be prepared to pack and leave as quickly as possible once an opportunity arrives. The more thorough your research will be, the easier you will be able to do so.
2. You can see a few countries at once.
Sure, there is no one way to travel that fits everyone. Some like to spend a week or two in a city, taking their time and exploring every corner of it. However, if you do want to see more of the world, maybe it’s better to use your holidays to see a couple of cities (or even a couple of countries)?
For example, it doesn’t take much time to get from one European country to another: sometimes you only need to travel a couple of hours on a train or on a bus. This way you would be able to see a few different countries in a week – doesn’t it sound appealing?
3. Planes aren’t always the best way to travel.
Low-costs are amazing when you need to travel far enough, but they are still more expensive than buses and trains. That’s why I always recommend checking other options: sometimes a bus ride might take only a couple of hours longer but be three times less expensive, which is pretty important when you’re looking for the ways to save money.
4. You don’t always have to pay for a living.
Couchsurfing website allows people from all over the world find a place to stay in a country they visit. The best thing about it that it’s free: the hosts accept people because they like to meet them and to share a cultural experience. This is also a great way to make new friends in a foreign country.
5. That’s not the only way to meet new people.
If you travel alone, you can always find company upon arriving at your destination. Hostels are the first place where you can do so – I’ve seen plenty of people living in shared dorms, who quickly befriended each other and spend a wonderful time together.
Some of my friends also used Tinder to find the company. There are many locals out there who are willing to give a foreigner a city tour.
6. Always take your medical kit with you.
And make sure that this kit has everything you might need and even more. Sure, you’ll be able to find drugstores even in a foreign country, but there’s a chance that the medicine you need will be too expensive. There’s also medicine that is called differently in different countries, so you might have a hard time finding it. And there could be an issue with a dosage too: my friend, who once got the flu during her trip abroad, bought a local medicine only to find out that it doesn’t work as effectively as she hoped. Spending half of her trip sick was very unpleasant.
That’s why it’s always better to take medicine with you, both for financial and health reasons.
7. If you want to truly enjoy your journey, do something different.
This might seem obvious but actually, I’ve seen a lot of people, who don’t try anything new during their trip to a foreign country. They are wary about trying the local food, participating in local festivals, and spending time with the locals.
While it’s okay to be wary of some things, you shouldn’t let it stop you from enjoying your journey to the fullest. Read the other travelers’ notes and tips about the city you visit, ask your hosts for advice, and so on.
And, of course, don’t forget to take pictures to remind you of your amazing journeys!