Studying abroad is one of the most self-rewarding things you could ever do for yourself. It opens your mind and softens your soul, all the while providing you with forever friends and a renowned sense of independency. As a mini-expert in this field, here are my top 5 travel tips, for all you dummies out there (myself included).
Pay more for a hotel/hostel/Airbnb in the city near all the attractions. Though it may seem like a good idea to book a super cheap Airbnb outside of the city for the sake of saving a pretty penny, do not do it. I repeat, do not do it. I did this in Paris, and let me tell you, there is nothing worse than having to get up two hours early to take public transit into the city. Looking back on it, booking an Airbnb near the Eiffel tower would have cost me the same price as all that extra money I dropped on public transit.
Read up on the places you will be visiting. When I visited Glasgow, I was delighted to see the Duke of Wellington statue wearing nine bright orange cones on his noggin. The history behind it? The statue is right in the center of the city and is a famous hotspot for pranksters. In the early 1980’s, a traffic cone appeared on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue. Despite many attempts at removing the cone(s) from the Duke’s head, new cones are continuously being placed on his head. Weird story, but super fun fact. Read up!
Learn the lingo! No matter where you go, the lingo will be a little different. Heck, there are parts of Canada where they say things they don’t say in British Columbia, and vice versa. The faster you learn the lingo, the faster you will feel more at home.
Scan your passport. Take it from someone who is consistently ill prepared and has awful luck at airports. Scan all your important documents and keep a backup on your phone. Things go missing all the time. You add a dozen taxis, a couple flights, and a hotel or two, you’re bound to lose something.
Don’t be afraid to take some risks. Life is way to freaking short not to have fun. Be safe, of course, but kiss that stranger and drink that awful drink and dance on stage with your friends. Real fun begins when you exit the comfort zone.