25 Helpful Travel Tips

Hey! Did you miss me?

It’s been months (more like half a year) that I haven’t blogged. Well, I was currently study abroad in Wales for six months and spending time blogging for my university’s study abroad blog.

So now that I’m back, I’ve been gathering tips that I think would be beneficial for someone study abroad or just traveling. I’ve learned a lot about being in a new place and I want to share that information with you!

Just a side note, all my tips are from my experience. You don’t have to be entitled to follow these tips.

Planning

1. Budget, budget, budget. This was the biggest lesson I learned. I did not budget well. So please budget before you go on a trip or grocery shopping or even laundry. Budgeting is so important.

2. Plan trips ahead of time. It’s best to plan a trip a month before. It’s also beneficial to plan every detail, so it makes you trip smooth and simple.

2a. Plan your day trips the day before.

3. Research, research, research! Research the country, the hotel, the food, the culture, etc. This is so important! Don’t just assume anything before you go there.

3a. By researching, you can find discounts especially if you’re a student.

4. Make sure you have all your important documents (i.e. passport, tickets, etc) all together in one folder. It’ll be easier for customs and for your own records while you’re traveling.

5. Plan time to meet with the people you’re traveling with. It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page. I stood in constant contact with friends to set up travel arrangements.

Packing

1. Be prepare for every type of weather. My university sweatshirt was a life saver! I brought it with to every trip I went to. Also always carry a jacket, an umbrella, and a water for all those hot days.

1a. ALSO PACK A PAIR OF COMFORTABLE SNEAKERS. THIS WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE.

2. Β Pack medicine just in case. I resorted to buying Amsterdam medicine and couldn’t understand the language from the back of the box. However, I was glad I brought my asthma pump with me because I had a terrible moment that I had trouble breathing. So medicine is a must.

3. If you’re spending less than four days I suggest ditching the carry on and using a nice sizable backpack. It’s easier to just head to your gate and travel around in case you can’t check in to your hostel right away. Plus it can be both a travel bag for your day trips until you leave.

4. TRY NOT TO OVERPACK! Paying extra or throwing things out is not fun. Only pack extra necessities (underwear, jeans, etc).

4a. Remember travel size toiletries are your friends. Small containers can be found at your local pharmacy store, 99 cent stores, or here, here and here.

4b. Leave the electronics at home. You can spend a few days away from your computer for a while (unless you need it for important business enquiries). It’s also better to leave them at home just in case it gets damage or stolen while you’re traveling.

5. I suggest to pack at least one “event” outfit. It can range from a nice dress to a nice blouse. You never know if you’re going to eat at a fancy restaurant or go clubbing. Your travels can be unpredictable!

Traveling

1. Always carry a map with you. It’s helpful to navigate around a new place. DON’T RELY ON TECHNOLOGY. Some people might have the advantage of having a international plan, but I unfortunately did not have that luxury. So instead of searching for Wifi, we used a map to find our way around places. I developed a greater appreciation for maps.

2. Β Try to arrive to places early. I can’t stress how beneficial this is. We arrived to places early and got to do other things for the rest of the day. Places like the Anne Frank House and the Vatican Museum can have you spending two or even more hours on line. It’s best to get their early, so you can have the rest of the day looking at more places.

3. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Always have your bag close to you or even have a money belt for all your very important things like passport, credit card, etc.

4. Transportation is VERY important. I recommend using it only if it’s necessary. I’ve realized with most of these countries that walking was just fine. However, when it came to going from the airport to our hostel, transportation was very important to use.

5. Invest in a portable charger. I swear it saved my life multiple times while I was traveling or in a hostel with just one outlet. You can find some at your local pharmacy store, technology-related stores like Best Buy or Target, or here, here and here.

Hostel

1. Pick a hostel based on location, quality, and price. That is all.

2. Email a hostel a head of time if you want to room with your friends. If you don’t, you are at risk of being separated. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but if you don’t book a private room, you’re forced to room with random strangers. So it’s up to you really.

3. Bring your own towel and flip flops. It’s just like dorming in college. You are surrounded by strangers from around the world. You want to be safe and germ-free! Also they charge you for just about anything from towels to locks, so it’s better if you just pack those things with you.

4. It’s not necessary, but try finding a hostel with either free breakfast or free walking tours. That can cut cost dramatically. Not only are you saving money on one meal for the day, but you can also make a sandwich and feed yourself for another!. With the walking tours, it’s very beneficial and informative. I had a free walking tour in Paris and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made while traveling.

5. Be mindful of others. You are sharing a space with people from around the world. You’re not the only one traveling.

Misc

1. Travel with friends and listen to each other! It’s great to create those memories with friends, but be mindful of what everyone wants to do not just you.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I was a tourist in a new place. My friends and I had to ask questions if we didn’t know something on the menu or if we were lost. Questions can help you a lot while you’re traveling.

3. Try new things! Whether it’s food, attractions, etc. I have tried so many different dishes in the world and I got to learn so much about myself because of it. I took chances and you should too!

4. Experience a place before you get ready to take a photo. I remember that I miss the most important piece at the Vatican Museum because I was too busy trying to take a photo. I learn throughout my travels that I need to experience the area and not worry about having the perfect picture. I don’t know when I’ll be able to visit again, so being in the moment means so much more than a photo.

5.Β Always have money put aside for emergencies. You don’t know how many times I didn’t have enough money for things and I had to rely on others. So put money aside that you won’t touch.

Well here are my tips! I have a ton of more tips to give, so if you’re interested maybe you’ll see another 25 in the near future! Also if you want to read up on my travels I wrote for my university’s study abroad website.

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Author: chelseacandelario

Chelsea Candelario is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor's degree in journalism. In the fall, she will be attending City College for a master's in public relations. Currently, she's a freelance writer looking for an opportunity to write and incorporate social media along with her writing. She strives to make a difference in her community through her passion for providing news and culture.

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