One of the best parts about studying abroad? How easy (and fun) it is to pack your bag and head off on a weekend trip. From cultural differences to new atmospheres, your adventure awaits!
However, when traveling in another country, the best
way to ensure safety and to maximize your short weekend is to stay organized.
You will be exploring unfamiliar places, diverse communities and different
languages—that can be overwhelming!
Check out my firsthand tips for
staying organized and safe, and having a blast wherever your weekend study abroad travel
adventures take you! (Plus, check out these weekend packing tips,
Schedule: While traveling abroad, especially in a foreign country, it is important to create a detailed itinerary or agenda. Yes,
there is always room for spontaneity. But when you are on a tight schedule and
visiting for only one weekend, a daily plan is key. From personal experience,
I recommend keeping an accessible folder with all maps, passports, tickets,
bookings and confirmations. In case of an emergency or change in plans, you
will be more than well prepared.
- Prepare: Plan ahead! Be sure to book well before
take off. It is beneficial to reserve all necessary transportation (flights,
trains, buses, etc.), accommodations (hostels, hotels) and activities
beforehand. Preparing in advance will only lead to cheaper prices, better
guarantees and smoother transitions.
- Investigate: Do your research! Your weekend will be far more
enjoyable if you investigate your awaiting adventure. You don’t have to plan
your every minute whereabouts, though it is helpful to be knowledgeable of your
surroundings. Look up reviews of restaurants close by. Check out tourist
attractions to see what is worth the money and hike. Investigation will only
lead to a positive vacation.
- Establish: Planning what to do in your weekend destination? Many
cities offer tours for low prices or even for free. Also, various
travel groups are located in popular cities, especially throughout Europe, and
they offer cheaper excursions specifically for study abroad students. Be on the
lookout for promotions and deals online, too. Finally, hostels often offer
group tours, events and activities for extremely low prices as well. Be sure to
talk to the front desk upon arrival.
Navigate: Map out your adventures! When you arrive, have
directions on hand everywhere you go. It can be fun to wander and get lost, but
be sure to have a map out and ready if your search becomes bottomless. It is
important to have directions on where to go from each location, so print out
directions on how to get from the airport to your hostel, restaurants, main
attractions, and beyond. In a weekend’s time, you want to make sure to be
efficient with your time. You have no time to waste!
Paige Powell is from Miami Ohio University and studied abroad
with CEA in Seville, Spain.