Top 5 Tips for Planning Weekend Travel While Studying Abroad
Deciding to study or intern abroad with CEA in Europe (and other places like Africa, Australia, and Latin America) means one major aspect: weekend traveling. Within two hours, you can find yourself in one country to another nearby. Never in my life has traveling been so easy and accessible, which is why I personally find it so important to take advantage of your time abroad to experience a variety of cultures and environments.
1) Research the destination you are visiting and familiarize yourself with customs and culture.
It’s important that, when going to a new place, you know a bit about their culture, customs, and way of living. I took a trip to Marrakech which is a very conservative country and had certain customs important to respect, which meant that we needed to have the proper attire and know how to act appropriately when going.
2) Get a backpack or carry-on bag. Before leaving for Europe I discovered this amazing carry-on backpack which opens like a suitcase but functions like a backpack. You won’t be bringing a suitcase, so wheeling a carry-on can get annoying and inconvenient, so this bag is PERFECT. You also don’t need to pack a lot for weekend trips. Odds are if you can’t fit your stuff in a carry-on, you’re packing WAY too much. Pack light, plan outfits before so you don’t overpack, and definitely invest in a carry-on backpack.
3) Make a Google Docs with everyone going to make a rough itinerary for your trip. I typically start by writing all of the top things to do where you’re going and then deciding which activities you want to do the most. It also helps to stay a little more productive with your time so we don’t have to spend time figuring things out when you’re already there.
4) Make a budget and track what you spend. I track everything I spend throughout the trip and it helps to know where you are spending the most and how to spend less for future trips. While Amsterdam is pretty pricey to fly out of, I know other destinations have round trip flights for CHEAP, and hostels are your friend when budget travelling. It is definitely possibly to travel for very cheap, so just try to do some research and planning to save money in the future.
5) Schedule weekend trips within your host country! While you probably will be dazzled by all the other destinations you want to see and experience, make sure to take time to immerse yourself within your own host country and city. There’s so much to see and do in CEAs 22+ destinations. You don’t want to leave feeling like you didn’t get to know the area you studied abroad in.
Faith Patenaude is the Spring 2022 Alumni Ambassador in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is currently studying at Providence College.