The Travelling World of Little Einsteins – College Student Edition
"We're going on a trip on our favorite rocket ship, soaring through the sky." - Little Einsteins
Many college students today remember the animated series, Little Einsteins. In each episode, four children travel to different parts of the world in their personal rocket ship. College is a time when many students get their first taste of freedom, including traveling with friends for the first time without a chaperone. However, we cannot simply just up and go whenever and wherever we want. For starters, many of us do not have the resources or planning expertise that the Little Einsteins had. And, we most certainly don't have our own rocket to conveniently go places!
But a little creativity and planning can make student travel more manageable. Here are four tips based on some of my experiences in travelling as a broke college student.
1. Factor in transportation costs
When it comes to travelling, two of the most important things to figure out upon determining a location are (1) how to get there and get around and (2) where to stay. Transportation adds up, especially if you plan to drive. You often need to not only pay for gas (think about the rising gas prices!) but also parking.
Even if you plan to use public transportation, it is just as important to consider location as there are limitations to the time schedule for when bus or rail lines are running. For example, when I went to England, because the bus lines were not running at the time I needed to head out, I ended up walking around two miles just to get to the rail station while carrying all my luggage and carry-ons. Not fun, I tell you, but quite an experience anyway. Overall, if the distance between your housing and chosen visiting destinations are close, you can get to places faster and easier, thus maximizing the time you’ll have to explore.
2. Consider where to stay and how to get around
Book housing at least a few months in advance for cost savings. (Yay, price discrimination!) Airbnbs are great for medium-sized parties (3-10 people) and can help save money if your party is willing to cook at least a few meals, as dining out can be costly.
Look into the safety of the area you are staying in and visiting, as well. Do your research ahead of time as to how to access public transportation and whether you need a certain app to ride the bus/train/etc.
3. Plan ahead for places to go explore AND eat
New place. I get it. You want to explore. But you’ll get exhausted if you have TOO much planned on your daily itinerary. Have no more than 3 activities/locations planned, depending on the length of each activity. You’re honestly better off giving yourself more time in one place than less. Also, having less planned allows you flexibility in your schedule. You may discover a place you didn’t really know about when you researched but are interested in, so leaving some room in your schedule gives you the opportunity to explore. Having some dining options in mind ahead of time can prevent frustration when you’re tired and hungry and not sure where to eat.
4. Take note of any important regulations and customs, especially if you plan to go out of country
Did you know that chewing gum in Singapore is illegal? Singapore values keeping their city clean and thus has a lot of different fines and regulations. Check out regulations and customs in your destination ahead of time. The last thing you want is to visit another country and suddenly find yourself in trouble with the law enforcement agency.
Travelling can be stressful and even tiring but it is also very rewarding. So, if you want to go on a trip in the near future, what better time than now to begin planning and thinking about it? Even without the Little Einsteins’ resources, college student travel is within your reach!
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