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A big reason why I chose to study in England was to be only a few short hours away from other beautiful cities across Europe. While grinding on my coursework, the one thing that kept me motivated was planning a holiday after my submission date. Although travelling can come with a lot of costs and stress throughout the planning process, I always look out at the sun setting on the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean, Adriatic Sea, or Baltic Sea and think to myself about how much it was all worth it. 

One of my favourite pastimes is going on Google Trips and seeing what new city I can explore on a budget! Some swear by Student Universe, Skyscanner, or the plethora of travel websites, but all these different companies offer so much information to compare and generate deals on flights and hotels, so why not try out their free service? (On private mode, of course!) 

There is no greater satisfaction than biting into a local delicacy in the Old Town after spending the day boating around the neighbouring islands, caves, or lagoons. No matter what street you walk through, there will always be a cute background for a photo op! Museums, local boutiques, food halls, and markets, there is a lot to see for all varying interests. 

What I love most about travelling is learning more about the destination’s culture. It’s so enriching and eye-opening to see the different architecture and landscape, hear the local language and music, taste the national dishes, and learn more about the history of how each place came to be and its influence on the world. Coming from a multicultural household, I enjoy noticing differences and similarities between various cultures. It’s truly a humbling experience to see how big and small the world can be. 

From my experience, here are some things I learned and wished I would have known earlier: 

  1. Coach or Railcard 
  • Living in Lansdowne, I am about 20 minutes away from Bournemouth Airport (BOU), or a few hours from several other airports I can train or coach to (Southampton, London Heathrow, etc.). See what mode of transportation you will most often use and take advantage of their memberships. I wish I would’ve gotten the National Express coach card sooner because last-minute coaches can cost up to £30 more without a coach card. Others might benefit from a train railcard, but also be aware of train strikes! 
  1. Email subscriptions 
  • If you swear by an airline and don’t care for a destination, subscribe to alert emails for random ticket sales. Otherwise, you can always search for a specific destination on Google Flights and create alerts that way. 
  1. Always use incognito 
  • Using a private or incognito window can help you search for prices without them fluctuating. 
  1. TikTok and Instagram
  • If you’re not sure what there is to see or what to put in your itinerary, just go to the search bar on TikTok and Instagram for inspiration! The travel blogs that appear on Google are helpful, but as a visual learner, I get a lot out of reels and videos that not only list the activities but really show what it looks like! 

Now what are you waiting for? Go out and explore because you’ll never regret trying something new, but you will surely regret losing the opportunity and not ever going! 

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