Arranging and Going on Trips
Now that you’re settled in a new country, you may want to go out and explore your new surroundings. Personally, I was all for it, and I’ve always enjoyed checking out new places long before I decided to study abroad. If you want to go on some successful adventures, here are some tips that may help:
- Research the area you want to visit. Whether it’s a small town, a big city or even a new country, it will help you to look up the destination you’re thinking of and see what’s there before you book anything. Or just look up places to give you some ideas. Either works! Also, make sure you know your class schedule so you won’t need to miss class.
- Look up transportation. Like many other college students, you probably have a driver’s license and a car, and you’ve grown accustomed to driving yourself everywhere. I know I did, and that’s what I miss most about the US! Anyway, because the driving laws are different overseas, you probably won’t be able to drive, so you’ll need to find alternate ways of travel. In Scotland, the big ones are taxis, buses, trains and airplanes. I usually use the bus to get to and from my overseas University, trains to get to and from major cities like Edinburgh, taxis when I need to get somewhere fast in major cities (if there isn’t time to walk there), and airplanes when I want to go out of the country. However, do research prior to getting bus or train tickets. There has been a lot of construction on the roads around my off-campus accommodation so it takes longer to get to the University some days, and there have been rail strikes some weekends and weekdays, so keep a sharp eye and ear out for major game changers like that. Finally, once you figure out the agenda for the days ahead, book your tickets online.
- Book Tour Groups. If you want to go somewhere but don’t want to go alone, fear not! Arcadia does provide day trips and weekend trips all over Scotland, and take it from someone who has been on a couple of these trips, you will not want to miss these opportunities! They tend to be cheaper for students traveling through the Arcadia program, and you get a chance to meet other Arcadia students on these trips. However, if you want to go other places aside from the trips Arcadia offers, I recommend looking for trips on TripAdvisor. There are a variety of trip options available in various countries at various prices, and they usually aren’t too expensive.
- Reserve Places To Sleep. If you are sleeping away from your accommodation for a few days, you’ll need to book a place to stay in advance. There are various places to book, like hostels, BnBs, and hotels. If you don’t mind sleeping with other people in the same space, a hostel would be best since it is cheap. I personally do not feel comfortable staying in hostels, so I would recommend staying in BnBs or a hotel. The latter tend to be more expensive than the former, but they both provide comfortable rooms for you alone, breakfast, and they have friendly staff available to help you.
- Pack For the Trip. Once you have booked your transportation, tours and place of rest, it’s time to pack for the trip. Because your trips will most likely only be for a few days, you only need a few days of clothes. Research the expected weather in the area you’re traveling to, then pack a small bag that can hold all those clothes. Also, make sure you have your wallet, keys, tickets and passport (if you are leaving the country). Sometimes buying snacks is helpful, so be prepared.
- Brace For Setbacks. No matter how much planning you do, things will happen that will discourage you, but don’t despair! There are ways to solve problems that arise. You just need to stay calm and think of solutions, because panicking will not help you.
Now you are ready to start traveling. Best of luck and have fun!