I have loved my time studying abroad in Scotland. I have also loved being able to travel to other countries. This semester, I was fortunate enough to visit Ireland, Greece, and Portugal. These experiences have taught me a lot, so I thought I’d share some travel tips I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Budget

Studying in Europe definitely makes a lot of destinations more accessible. However, this does not mean that costs don’t add up. Traveling during the off-season is a great way to get lower rates and avoid crowds. Sites like Skyscanner can help you find the cheapest times to fly. Additionally, considering costs like food and activities beforehand is a good way to avoid surprise expenses.

  1. Research your destination 

Good planning goes a long way when it comes to traveling. Research common tourist traps to avoid being scammed or overcharged. Consider how you will get to and from the airport before you leave; public transportation is always a great option. It is also a good idea to have some cash in the local currency, even if the internet says most places accept cards (I learned this one the hard way). 

  1. Explore accommodation options

While hotels are often the go-to travel accommodation, alternatives such as Airbnbs and hostels are worth looking into. My friend and I have stayed in various Airbnbs and had great experiences in all of them. We found them to be more cost effective and spacious than many hotels. Airbnbs can also be a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of touristy areas. When booking, be sure to read the reviews.

Hostels are an even more budget-friendly option and a great way to meet other travelers. Unlike Airbnbs and hotels, hostels are more communal spaces. This is important to keep in mind if you’re someone like me who prefers a bit more privacy.

  1. Find a travel buddy

Traveling can be stressful. I’ve found that having even one travel buddy makes the experience a lot easier and safer. If you’re looking for others to travel with, I would suggest reaching out in visiting student group chats. I’ve seen a lot of people make new friends this way!

  1. Pack light

Budget airlines are some of the most cost-effective ways to travel to new places. The downsides to cheap tickets, however, are strict bag policies and an abundance of potential fees. Packing only essentials in a backpack is the best way to avoid paying extra for cabin bags or checked luggage. Backpacks are also convenient as many streets, at least in the areas I traveled to, are not the most luggage-friendly.

I hope these tips were useful in preparing for future travels, and encourage everyone to make the most of their time abroad!

A street near our Airbnb in Old Town Rhodes, Greece