A student traveller’s handbook

As many of our officers jet off to all corners of the world, Spain, New York, China and etc., the summer holiday mood is well and truly kicking in at UKEC.

the_norwegian_national_opera_ballet_oslo_norway_2_1_516d1910-7fb8-4b87-8670-c1288f824cf0

Personally, I’m going spend a long weekend in the Norwegian capital next month and this is all made possible by the UK’s convenient location on the map, especially if you like travel because the great nation is commonly considered the gateway to Europe (or even the world) with airports in all major cities connected to pretty much anywhere you can think of.

 

Studying in the UK is genuinely a brilliant life experience. Most of us at UKEC can attest to that as we have all done it at some point in our lives. So we understand that as a student, you might want to do everything as cheaply as possible, which is why we have compiled a list of handy tips for fresh-off-the-plane students in the UK like you, who are spending some time getting acclimatised to the environment and maybe even exploring Europe a little before your first semester begins. So here are the things you must know when planning your trip:

 

b61f7d87e44f162726256b469acdcf3d_largePrague | Image source: http://svstatic.com/

Flights

The flight tends to be the costliest element of the trip, in most cases! If you are on a budget, then the number one flight-finding website you need to consult is Skyscanner. This website’s unique feature doesn’t only tell you the cheapest time of the year to travel, which may be sooner than you think, but also the cheapest destination you can travel to if you select “Flexible?” Now this is perfect if you simply want to wander around Europe or spend some time away.

paris-travel-guide-ledeParis | Image source: Architectual Digest

Other budget airlines you should definitely have a look at are Ryanair, easyJet, Jet2, Monarch and Flybe – some of which offer all inclusive package deals during holiday seasons.

 

Accommodations

Another necessary part of the trip is accommodation and again, if you are flexible and not too fussy about where you stay, there is a lot of money to be saved using Airbnb. This is a revolutionary idea for budget travellers who want to meet locals and have the authentic experience staying with them.

If you are not comfortable with staying in a stranger’s home, then Booking.com is the website for you. Wherever you’re going, there are daily deals dotted all over the site, otherwise you can still enjoy ‘Free cancellation’ on most bookings which allows you to compare and weigh your options without the fear of missing out on anything.

 

Night city view of Amsterdam, the NetherlandsAmsterdam | Image source: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

 

Attractions

Now you’re in the city, all ready to do some exploring! Most cities offer a special ‘pass’ that grants you access into museums, other popular attractions and sometimes even free public transportation. Another tip, don’t forget to bring your student ID with you wherever you go and use and abuse that valuable student status of yours to bag all the discounts you can.

 

Stay connected

Yes, we know when you’re on holiday, one of the obligatory rituals is to Instagram every single meal and Snapchat every single moment! You can do that, but it may cost you a fortune if you’re not savvy with using your phone abroad.

colosseum-rome-largeRome | Image source: Telegraph.co.uk

Here are a few tips for even the most seasoned travellers:-

1) Turn off your roaming, otherwise you may find a surprise phone bill (not the good kind) upon your return.

2) Always use Wi-fi rather than your own data – most restaurants and cafes in Europe provide free Wi-fi so be sure to make good use of that!

3) Ask your friends and family to text you instead because you pay to make and answer calls (including voicemails) but it’s free to receive texts… then you can respond to them via Whatsapp when you get Wi-fi!

4) Maps are essential when you’re in an alien country, so download them before you set off, that way you don’t have to use data.

 

the_norwegian_national_opera_ballet_oslo_norway_2_1_516d1910-7fb8-4b87-8670-c1288f824cf0Oslo | Image source: Cloudinary

 

Stay safe!

You’re in a foreign country, probably for the first time so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be sensible in terms of where you go, what you eat and drink, who you associate with, what you wear and what you carry:-

1) Avoid dark or non-tourist areas at nighttime for obvious reasons.

2) Know your limit and don’t get too drunk, otherwise you are practically showing yourself as the perfect target for the criminals.

3) One of the best things about travel is the people you will meet but it’s best to do so with a clear head when you can make rational judgment.

4) Don’t cover yourself in jewellery, and never use bags that can be easily robbed, such as open top tote bags, clutches or handbags with thin straps.

5) Finally, do not carry any important travel documents (namely passport and visa) with you when going out. Additionally, always keep your money in different locations – you don’t need all your bank cards with you unless you are planning a big purchase, just in case you do get mugged.

 

brussels_overview_GrandPlace-xlargeBrussels | Image source: Telegraph.co.uk

 

Here you are, all the travel tips from UKEC to keep both your travel cost and risk to the lowest possible!! Travel season is upon us (almost!) and we hope you fill this summer with nothing but pleasant memories. If you have any travel tips that you like to share with us and other readers, please do so in the comment section below, we love to hear from you!

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