Studying abroad is awesome in that you get to pretend to be part of a culture that you are, in fact, not part of. For me, that meant pretending to be European and pretending to be European meant traveling all around Europe during my time as a resident of the European Union.
No one really talks about how to how to actually do the planning a preparation required to be a European jet setter. (note: you’re probably traveling on the cheaps so jet setter may be a bit too posh for what I’m talking about)
This is the first post from a series I’m doing on how exactly to plan weekend trips or spring breaks while abroad, mostly focusing on Europe.
The very first thing to do is make some lists. Yes, lists! They are the best way to figure out where you actually want to go.
1) Destinations List :: I made a list of places and activities I wanted to see and do in Valencia, where my program took place and set that aside. Next, I focused on what cities I wanted to go to in Spain, and then branched out to all of Europe. Do not hold back here! Write down literally every place you want to see, knowing that you won’t get to them all and you will have to come back to Europe in the future.
2) Dates List :: The next thing to think about one you have your lists is how much time you actually have. My program had some weeks without class on Fridays and we also had a spring break. It’s really important to spend time in your new home city as well. I listed out all of my possible travel dates and set that list aside, going back to my mega list of locations.
3) Prioritization :: Are there any places that you would be upset with yourself if you missed? For me, those places were Rome, Paris, and Barcelona. I highlighted those destinations on my list so I knew to look into tickets there first. Then I went through and numbered the remaining places in order of how much I wanted to see them.
4) Talk to friends in your program :: Does anyone else want to travel with you? Are there places you forgot you wanted to go or places that sound cool now that you hadn’t thought much about earlier?
5) Make a Pinterest Board :: for your Adventures Abroad where you can start pinning ideas for sight seeing and cultural tips, packing lists, food guides, everything!
Stay tuned for how to decide when to go where!