When you’re living in Europe, the idea of hopping on a plane to grab a cannoli in Italy or peruse the streets of Barcelona doesn’t have to be just an idea. However, being a student means we often have a limited amount of time for these trips to happen. I found that most adventures I went on had to take place over the weekend. And so, because of this limited timeframe, I had to learn how to make the most of these 24-hour trips. Here are just a few of the ways I was able to do this:
1. See What’s Already Out There
Unless you’re planning to go to some hidden village in the mountains, someone has already been to your weekend destination. Thankfully, with the prevalence of a social media-driven world, a lot of these travelers have either photographed, written out, or made a travel vlog of their experiences. Lucky you!
A travel blog that helped me a lot when I wanted to find out what to see in a particular city is handluggageonly.co.uk. However, there dozens of travel bloggers out there so it comes down to just finding a writer that has similar interests to you.
2. Plan Out Your Day
From the time your feet set on the ground, every minute counts. Through trial and error, I learned that when planning out the day there had to be some room for things to change around or to be added. What this means is to choose some more concrete things like maybe a place to go for lunch that you’ve seen has great reviews or a certain landmark you want to see. The spaces in between these planned things are where you can completely spontaneous or entirely plan out the day, whichever version would work best for you!
3. Make Friends With Locals
Take this one with a grain of salt. I’m not saying that you should walk up to a homeless fellow hanging in the streets. While he may be very friendly, that could be a potentially risky situation.
I had a lovely conversations with man who owned a small coffee shop in Bristol. Not only did they have a calming aesthetic but after the first sip of their delicious mocha, I immediately told the employee who had taken our order how much I was enjoying their shop. That friendly employee ended up being the owner of the shop. We had a conversation about his life and how long he’d been living in the city which then prompted the question for recommendations. Without even needing to pause he listed off some of his favourite places which I would have never came upon without that suggestion.
Although this is how it worked out for me, you never know who could be that kind local for you. Again, be wary of the suspicious folks, but if you have the opportunity to strike up a conversation with a stranger, it just might be worth your while.
The next time you’re on a day trip, why not try out some of these suggestions and see how it impacts your experience. It’s only one day, after all, might as well make the most of it.
If you would like to find out more about studying in the UK, please fill out the “Contact an Advisor” form on the bottom or side of this page.
Published Originally: July 21st, 2020
by Oksanna Shulgach, ATP Student Ambassador
Studying at: University of Roehampton