For those of you who don’t know (I feel like I talk about it in every other post), Rob and I will be studying abroad in Prague, in the Czech Republic next semester! We’ll be in Prague from late January to late May. During this time well be taking classes, and hopefully traveling on some weekends as well.
It wasn’t until recently when I realized just how soon we will actually be leaving. I got one of those “oh shit” moments, that we are probably all familiar with, and realized that I had to start getting a move on planning our weekend trips.
Believe it or not, planning weekend trips can be more tedious than you think. There are a lot of factors that go into traveling, especially to places in foreign countries that you have never been to. Here is a guide that I created which will hopefully aid you in planning your weekend trips (or any trips really) when you are studying abroad:
PICK A DATE:
Personally, I think selecting the dates that you would like to travel is the first and foremost important part of your trip. Different areas of the world have different things going on at different times. For example, you may want to visit Amsterdam during tulip season, and you may want to visit Dublin during St. Patrick’s day. Keep in mind traveling during important events like these may lead you to have more trouble finding available rooms, and flights. It’s always a good idea to plan super early if you are looking to visit somewhere at a busy time.
PICK A DESTINATION:
This may be kind of obvious, but a major factor of planning a weekend trip is to actually choose where you will be traveling. There are so so many amazing places across the world, and it can be tough to narrow it down to one single place. My best advice would be to check out Pinterest and see where others went and loved.
PURCHASE A FLIGHT:
You can’t exactly travel anywhere if you don’t have a flight to get yourself there. Some of the simpler ways to save money on flights include:
- Booking the earliest or latest flight in the day:
- The latest and earliest flights during a day are usually the cheapest.
- Book your flight as far in advance as possible:
- This is an easy way to save a ton of money. If you know where you would like to travel in advance, book your flight right away! This especially goes for busy time periods (tulip festival, St. Patrick’s day, etc.)
- Use websites like Skyscanner or STA travel:
- Skyscanner is a website that does the tedious work of searching for cheap flights for you. Skyscanner sometimes mixes and matches flights, so keep in mind that you could be traveling on two different airlines. I also recently found out about STA travel, a site for students and adults that have crazy cheap airline prices. I was able to book a round-trip ticket to Prague for only $400 on this website.
- Sign up for rewards credit cards:
- I have yet to do this, but these rewards programs can hold amazing benefits, especially if you plan to travel frequently. Every mile you spend in the air will add up into points, or essentially money off your future flights.
When it comes to traveling, there are a variety of different places where you can choose to stay overnight. Some of my favorite websites to use for finding places to stay include Hostelworld.com and Airbnb.com. I have found that AirBnB and Hostels are a lot cheaper than standard hotels. If you click this link you can receive $40 off of your next AirBnB stay! Yep, I just basically handed you an $40 gift card– you’re welcome!
CREATE YOUR ITINERARY:
Instead of creating a very specific itinerary, I would just create a few different lists of possible things to do. Some examples of these lists include:
- Cheap Eats (cafes, street food, etc.)
- Things To Do (that cost money)
- Things To Do (that are free)
Obviously, the lists that you decide to create will depend on where exactly you are going, so feel free to adapt them to your destination! I find that Pinterest and Trip Advisor are both awesome sites to check out things to do, places to eat, etc. I also found that companies with weekend trips that are already planned out for you have pre-made itineraries which are usually open to the public. Some of these include Bus2Alps and WSA Travel!
I hope this post eases at least some of the stress that comes along with planning weekend trips. Are you planning to travel anywhere during 2017? Let me know in the comments below!