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6 Tips for Weekend Adventures

Not surprisingly, one of the most essential parts of studying abroad is having the chance to travel. Of my last seven weeks in Costa Rica, I have channeled my inner gypsy and spent six of those weekends away from San José exploring beautiful Costa Rica. I have hiked in the rainforest, attempted surfing in the Pacific, lived in a sustainable tree house, and swam in waterfalls (to name a few). These trips are always an adventure, and I learn more and more everywhere I go. I figured I would share some of my new-found knowledge, so hopefully you can have easier travels. So here is my advice…
 Waking up in a hammock in a treehouse in the middle of the
rainforest. Yes, Finca Bellavista is a must visit.

1)  Pack in a backpack. This probably is obvious, but…you can’t exactly roll a suitcase through the rainforest. That just does not work out well. Instead, make sure you bring a roomy, comfortable, and durable backpack with you abroad to travel with on the weekends. If you are coming to Costa Rica, bring a waterproof one if possible.

2)  Inquire about hostels before you arrive at your destination. While most hostels do not take reservations in advance, it’s always a good idea to have a few in mind before you leave. It’s tough getting somewhere late on Friday night and trying to scope out a place to stay with no prior knowledge of the accommodations in the area. Call some up before you leave (get an idea of there availability).

 Rocking J's was an awesome hostel in Puerto Viejo. Instead of a bed, you got a hammock!

3)  Arrive at the bus station early. You never know if your bus is going to be late, early, or over capacity. You need to give yourself extra time!

4)  Don’t overpack. Leave your laptop home, you don’t need 4 bathing suit options for 2 days, and 3 pairs of sandals is excessive. Chances are you are working with limited space in your backpack. That space is precious so do not waste it! Be smart about what you pack.

5)  Pack some food. Eating out at every meal will add up fast. Even if you just bring some bread and peanut butter, you are saving money on lunch and snacks!

6)  Do your research! This one is the most important for sure. As fun as it is to just figure it out along the way, you need to have some sort of plan for the weekend. If you don’t, you end up wasting time, and you only have two days (three when we are lucky) to do everything you can.

 Loved hiking the La Paz Waterfall Gardens with CEA last weekend.

To me, traveling is the best thing you can do. I’m a firm believer that you should spend money on experiences rather than material items. Every place I have visited recently has been a fun, new, adventure. While I’m no travel expert, and I may have picked up some of these tips by learning the hard way, I would not change the experiences I have had in Costa Rica thus far. I’m looking forward to my future travels around Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua where I am sure that I will learn a lot more.

¡Pura Vida!

Peyton Black is the CEA MOJO in San José, Costa Rica. She is currently a Junior at College of Charleston.


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