As my study abroad trip comes to a close, one thing I have thought a lot about is how well I did or did not prepare for my time in each city. Luckily for me, the first half of my trip was in London and I got to share the experience with a friend that had already been before. She planned this leg of the trip in the sense that there was a general outline for each day. If we needed to catch up on sleep, we could do that and have a later start. We bought a lot of our tickets for things once we got here – always check for a student ticket. A lot of our plans included going to a general area and just exploring, walking into shops and trying different restaurants.

Our second half of the trip has been in Lisbon, with day trips to Porto and Madrid. This portion of the trip has definitely been a little less structured, but it honestly better matches the pace and vibe of Portugal. On our first day in Lisbon, we went out and just walked our way down to the port. We ended up seeing a lot of places we wanted to go back to when we had more time and were able to plan off of that.

It is important to remember that every city is different and most places have a metro or train system that can get you anywhere you might want to go. I recommend getting the city mapper app and looking up the main things to do for any of the places you are visiting on your trip. If your trip is like ours, we have done three day trips to other cities, which meant we needed to pick and choose a few things to see during our limited time. The good news is, if you feel like you don’t know what to do or where to go, all it will take is one google search for endless possibilities.