October 16, 2012

Using Foursquare Abroad

To say Foursquare is a popular app is an understatement. Within three years, it has grown to a community of 25 million registered users worldwide. Due to its popularity and breadth, the location-based app is filled with countless check-ins, specials and tips. While checking in may be second nature to you here in the United States, you may not expect to get much mileage — if any at all — with the app when you’re studying abroad.

But you’d be wrong! Aside from the obvious badges and mayorships, Foursquare can actually be useful during your time abroad, for obvious reasons and some not so much. Here are five ways in which Foursquare can enhance your study abroad:

August 20, 2012

How I Struggled With the Decision to Travel Abroad

If you’re a college student considering a travel abroad program, I strongly encourage you to sign up for it.

I can tell you from personal experience that traveling abroad—especially during your college years—can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. During my tenure as an undergraduate I traveled to several countries in Western Europe, an amazingly eye-opening time that helped make me the person I am today. I learned to appreciate different cultures and peoples, I learned a heck of a lot about myself, and I made some of the best friends of my life.

And to think that such a transformative moment in my youth almost never happened.

July 30, 2012

5 Ways to Travel Cheaply

Whether you are travelling aboard or domestically, travelling is expensive. It is a luxury for those who are able to afford it, but there are 5 ways that you can cut down the cost before you hit your next destination. 

Timing: Consider the location that you want to visit and find out when their off season is. An off season is typically a time period where the destination doesn’t see a lot of travel and money coming in. A lot of different destinations try to keep travel going through these times to bring more money into their economy, so costs are dropped considerably. Tropical destinations tend to be slower during their ‘cooler’ months and cooler places like Colorado, typically offer discounts during the summers. 

July 5, 2012

5 Things You Should Know Before You Board

Traveling isn’t always easy, especially if you plan on going abroad. There are all sorts of odds and ends to check before you head over. Here are 5 things you should take notes on before you get to your destination.

Weather: Check the weather. Believe it or not, a lot of travelers forge to check the weather, which makes packing interesting. Check the forecast for your time you will be there and pack accordingly. Remember if you forget something not to panic, that most places you will head too will have some sort of market or store you can get that missed item. 

July 4, 2012

Tips for Daily Living in a Foreign Country

After you’ve gotten your tickets, packed your bags and leased your foreign apartment; you may be surprised to find the little things in life may be more complicated than advanced grammar. 

Grocery Shopping
You will soon discover that the student budget doesn’t cover dining out for every meal and a trip to the grocery will be in order. Many countries have street markets, like Rome’s Campo dei Fiori. The market is a perfect place to practice your communication skills as you haggle price and discover new foods. Bring cash and a sturdy bag to carry your goods. 

Walking down the aisle of a foreign grocery store is an interactive vocabulary lesson, but it could present cultural challenges as well. Some grocery stores require communication over deli counters, and you may also may be required to weigh and price your produce selection. 

April 5, 2012

How to Save Money When You Travel

We all know the feeling of saving up for months before taking off on your travels or even just scrimping and saving before your holidays. We have asked and blogged about many tips and techniques on how to save money so you can enjoy a future trip without worrying about your financial state. However, for some the money saving continues on the trip as travellers who want to see the world will do so despite any financial restraints.

So, that got us thinking, what is the best way of saving money when travelling? How can you see all you want to see on your trip without sacrifices because of limitations on your wallet? Here are a few suggestions as to what you could do to take out your wallet less and help you save money while travelling.

February 17, 2012

Going Abroad - Helpful Tips

Studying abroad and travelling abroad comes with a lot of rules and suggestions. You may get all your information that you need from a school counselor, a friend with experience or a website but there are a few things to consider that most people forget to mention, here are a few:

Communication: Depending on where you decide to study, your communication methods may be limited. Overseas calls can add up on your cell phone if you don’t have an international plan. Before you head abroad talk with your phone carrier and see what options they offer and be aware of internet usage on your phone as well, high charges may apply. Internet on computer can be hard to come by depending where you are. There are many internet cafes that you can use; a lot of these cafes have a timed session. So carry coins and plan ahead. 

January 30, 2012

Top 10 Best Reasons to Travel Solo

10. You can be totally selfish and do whatever you want, without having to compromise with someone else, for the entire trip.

9. You can be whoever you want to be on the road. I’m not talking about aliases, here. I mean that in our everyday lives, we tend to get in a rut. Sometimes we’re afraid to try new things for fear we’ll look silly in front of people who know us.  Solo travelers don’t have to worry about that on the road. Who cares if you make a fool of yourself singing in a karaoke bar? You’ll never see these people again! Live it up!

8. Humans are more observant of their surroundings when alone, without a companion to distract them with conversation. Solo travel will allow you to soak up so many more details—and you’ll have more time to record them in a journal or in photographs.

January 29, 2012

Ryanair Opens New European Routes in Spring 2012

The leading European low-cost airline Ryanair has recently announced opening of several new routes starting from spring 2012. 

5 new routes will operate from Budapest to Birmingham, Bologna, Bristol, Dublin and London (Stansted) from March 2012 which will deliver 200,000 passengers p.a. and create up to 200 local jobs at Budapest Airport.

19 new routes will operate from Girona to Aarhus, Bydgoszcz, Cagliari, Cork, Doncaster, Dusseldorf, Gdansk, Ibiza, Knock, Krakow, Madrid, Malmo, Nador, Perugia, Poitiers, Skelleftea, Stockholm, Thessaloniki and Turku from March 2012.  Ryanair’s Girona based aircraft will grow from four to nine for summer 2012, as its new routes (59 in total) increase its Girona traffic to 3m passengers p.a., sustaining up to 3,000 jobs at the airport and in the Girona region.

January 27, 2012

Happy Days Hostel, Rome

Happy Days Hostel, Rome, is currently ranked nearly 70% on HostelBookers website. Located at  Via Cola di Rienzo 217, 5th floor, in 10 minutes walk from the Vatican City, it's a good option for non-fastidious budget travellers, who look only for the place to sleep at reasonable price. Although there are a few shortcomings to mention, Happy Days is now under new management and promises to improve its service.

Free Admission to Rome Museums - Culture Week 2012

The city of Rome can certainly be called the cradle of the European history and culture. One of the oldest and most-visited cities in the world, the Eternal City is simply stuffed with numerous architectural and cultural monuments, museums, ancient churches, and other things that are certainly worth seeing. Roman Forum, Palatine, Colosseum, Vatican museums, to name the few, and many many more. However, visiting all Roman museums maybe too much expensive for budget travellers. For example, the full admission ticket to Vatican museums currently costs 15 EUR. But if you're lucky enough to be in Rome during the annual Culture Week in Italy (Settimana della Cultura), you can save dozens of Euros on visits to all state-run (and most city-run) museums and archaeological sites.