Top Travel Tips On A Budget From A Young Brit Living Abroad
Rubyreadworld is a young Brit currently living abroad in Venice, Italy.
Whether you're planning your first holiday without Mum and Dad or looking for that revision getaway, here are some essential tips for you that I've picked up from my travelling (ad)ventures.
Where to go:
If you don't have a destination in mind, why not visit a faraway friend at their home? Whether they are in the UK or abroad, it often means you have your own free tour guide and you can explore cities that you have never even thought of.
However, if you fancy exploring somewhere completely new, many comparison websites have a "flexible" search option where, if you input your start location and your travel dates, you can find the cheapest countries to fly to - and, often, you can be pleasantly surprised! (I once found flights to Norway for £15!)
Also, when booking accommodation, sites like Hostelworld and Tripadvisor help you see where's good and where's not.
How to get there:
So, it's been decided that the gang are going to Budapest/Ibiza/Glasgow, etc. and now you need to work out how you're getting there.
If you're flying, then as mentioned previously, comparison websites like SkyScanner and StudentUniverse are your friends as they can save the hassle of many tabs. However, it is sometimes worth checking the airline websites themselves as, if your travel dates are flexible, they can show you which days work out cheapest.
It is also worth saying that coaches are your friend, particularly getting to and from airports, as they can be significantly cheaper than trains and can reduce your cost of the flight in some cases (the difference between flying from Cardiff and London can be around £95) However you are getting to the airport, make sure to allow plenty of time to get there and check in bags and such (although many airlines allow you to check in online to save time). This rule can also apply to trains, coaches and such, although less time will be needed as you don't need to go through security and the various other checks.
Before you go:
The saying goes "Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail"; whilst many of us wish we could be free spirits who live off spontaneity, this is not practical in any way, shape or form and doing your research will never hurt you. Before you go, it is always worth looking up things like:
- How to get to your hotel/hostel
- What's the climate going to be like (particularly beware of mosquitoes)
- Some key phrases like "Where is the toilet?" and "How much...", etc.
Also, whilst we live in the wonderful age where phones can do pretty much anything, BUY A MAP. I cannot tell you the amount of times I've been lost due to batteries dying, no internet reception, so on and so forth, whilst paper cannot fail you this way.
Also, remember to tell your bank you're going abroad. It means you can take money out if you need to and your card won't get locked. Also, in terms of money and keeping it/other valuables safe, invest in a lock for your suitcase, particularly for when you are staying in a hostel/hotel, and, if you're really worried, you can get travel wallets that you can wear under your clothes (maybe not the most comfortable, but what's more comfortable than peace of mind?).
Some final thoughts for now:
Whilst research is important, when it comes to finding places to go, you can afford to be more spontaneous; whilst there are various blogs detailing cool places (which are often worth a look at too), sometimes you'll find the best cheap places yourself. It is also worth saying that I recommend not travelling alone, as when something goes wrong, it is always easier if you have someone with you with a spare phone/bankcard/etc. and a lot of the time will be much more fun!
And finally, my top tip is enjoy yourself, explore the world, experience new cultures and send your mum and dad a message that you're okay and you remembered the spare underwear.
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