Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A guide to your first travel experience

Student travel is exciting, exhilarating and a rite of passage for the young. With little to no responsibility, student years are the best and easiest years to pack up and set off on adventures and expeditions around the world. Whether they are extended backpacking trips or holidays during university breaks, the freedom and opportunity to travel should be embraced and enjoyed.

Setting off into the big wide world, however, can also be daunting as it places young people well outside of their comfort zones and calls for real independence. The challenges of independent travel, however, should not deter young people – stay safe, but don’t stay home! Here’s a basic guide on how to ensure you get the most out of your travel experience with the least incidents.

- Get travel insurance.

While your budget may be tight, travel insurance provides a necessary safety net from the mishaps, crime, lost property and illness that are an inevitable part of travelling. While you may be lucky and experience no drama, the security of knowing that you are covered should something go wrong will allow you to enjoy yourself all the more.

- Be aware and alert.

Travelling is all about experiencing new things, people and cultures. Because travelers and tourists are unfamiliar with their surrounds, they are often the target of petty theft or scams. Do thorough research on where you’ll be staying and be constantly aware and alert. While this should not be a preoccupation or a source of paranoia, it is helpful to keep your wits about you and realise your vulnerability in any given situation.

- Stick to your budget.

Most student travel student travel is done on a tight budget. It’s important, therefore, to not get carried away and exhaust your funds early on in your trip. Live within your means and take advantage of the latest deals latest deals for students and backpackers. Many hostels and travel companies offer significant discounts for student travelers.

a narrow street in Brussels, Belgium. taken last August 2010.

- Be flexible.

Part of the fun of backpacking and student travel is in not having everything planned. When you’re catching cheap international flights cheap international flights, and moving from place to place when the impulse takes you, not everything is going to go to plan. Be prepared to be adaptable and flexible and embrace the freedom and spontaneity of student travel.
- Be friendly.

Your travel experience will be just as much about what you see as who you meet and share those experiences with. Be open to new people and ideas and you’ll end up with friends of different nationalities all over the world.

Student travel is all about getting outside of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to new experiences, situations and cultures. The world is there to explore and enjoy. By following these simple guidelines, you’re bound to have the trip of a lifetime!

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