If you’re a student, about to embark on a travel adventure for the first time, you’re in for one ginormous treat. Because now you can forget the boring study, and the petty lectures, and the crappy weather back home… and welcome in the world!
All of those travel shows you’ve been addicted to will suddenly become real, with you as the star. You’ll get to see incredible sights, meet amazing people and grow in ways you never imagined.
Of course, it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows.
Travel is a daunting thing; which is why so many people refuse to do it. But for us lucky ones, the ones that brave the long bus journeys, unfamiliar (and often intimidating) cities, and the exhaustion of constantly being on the road, the rewards are endless.
You’ll have the experience of a lifetime, memories that’ll stay with you long after you’ve – reluctantly – returned home. Oh, and you’ll probably be a much better person thanks to that ol’ travel bug.
Still, because you’re a first-timer, it’s always handy to be armed with a few tips. Follow these advice for an even better trip!
1. Choose your travel buddies carefully
Going it alone? With your best friend? Your partner? Or a big gang of friends? Whatever you decide, it will make a HUGE difference to your trip.
Because even if you’ve been bffs with someone for years, you don’t truly know someone until a) you live with them or b) you’ve travelled with them.
Their habits might start to bug you. Their lack of organisation (or obsession with planning) might drive you crazy. They might only want to stay in luxury places while you prefer to slum it. Can you be grumpy and tired around them or do you always have to be “on”?
These are important considerations to make before booking anything. You want a travel companion that’s easy-going, that’s up for anything and, most importantly, someone you can be yourself around.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with that person and getting into pretty unusual situations so you want to make sure that you’ll come out the other end with an even stronger bond than before.
Of course, you might want to brave solo travel. In that case, good on you! It can be a scary thing at first but it is also truly liberating. You’ll get to find out so much about yourself and if you ever get lonely, just book into a hostel or do a bit of volunteering… great travel buddies are never far away!
2. Decide on a budget – and stick to it
There’s a reason why backpackers have a reputation for being cheap; they want to see as much of the world as they can, for as little money as they can. The less they spend, the longer they can continue the adventure.
So it’s important to set a daily budget for whatever country you’re in. This will prevent any nasty surprises at an ATM across the world, when you realise you’ve no money to catch that train/stay in that hotel/eat that meal (!!). It’ll also mean you still have savings left when you come home.
Because there’s nothing worse than a case of the post-travel blues combined with being broke!
3. Stay rested on the road
With so much to do and see, we travellers tend to neglect our sleep. We stay up partying on the beach until sunrise. Or we get up well before sunrise to get that epic view from the mountain. Or we just find it impossible to sleep in a new environment, especially when it’s a different one every other night and we might have noisy, snoring dorm mates to deal with!
But it’s so important to get enough sleep; whether you’re at home or travelling around the world. All the snooze experts say that getting enough, good-quality sleep regularly is essential for our health and wellbeing.
It keeps our immune system strong, so we can fight off those foreign viruses should they come a’knocking. Plus it makes us more positive, less prone to traveller’s fatigue and in a better place to enjoy every moment of the journey.
You don’t want to be a sleep-deprived mess seeing Angkor Wat for the first time. Trust me.
So bring an eye mask and ear plugs, choose accommodation that’ll help you sleep well and catch up on zzs by napping on transport whenever possible. And keep seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses because of it!
4. Travel light
This tip normally applies to first-time travellers. Because, if you’ve ever been backpacking, you’ll know the sheer joy of picking up your clothes as you go.
Those cool and colourful cheapies from local markets are a way better idea than the stuff they have at home… Plus, when you do come back, no one’ll have what you have!
Packing a small amount of clothes and traveling light will not only save your back, but it’ll make all those bus journeys, plus wanders to find a hostel, so much easier.
So ditch the 5 books, invest in a Kindle instead and be one of those smug people who doesn’t topple over every time you put your bag on your bag.
Now you’ve got these travel tips to hand, all you need is a blank passport and some sunscreen. You’ll be travelling with the right person… even if that person’s yourself! You’ll have a budget that’s realistic. You’ll catch all the zzzs you need and you won’t be exhausted from an overly stuffed backpack.
Sounds like you’re all set. Your adventure starts… now!
Read other useful posts about travel tips:
- Summer Packing List – All You Ever Need for Every Summer Holiday!
- Winter Items You Can’t Live Without
- Useful Travel Accessories You Must Have
- Is Couchsurfing Safe? 6 Couchsurfing Lessons & Tips From Travelling Solo
- How To Plan A Route On Google Maps (To Use Offline On The Go)
- 10 Student Travel Tips I Wish I’d Known Earlier.
- 11 Lessons I Learnt From My France Exchange
- A Student Traveller’s Camera Buying Guide
- 7 Best Countries to Visit in Europe for Exchange Students on a Budget
- How Do You Get To Travel So Much As A Student?
- How to Fund for Exchange?
- How Much Does It Cost To Do An Exchange in Europe For A Semester?