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Do it!  Even though traveling can be expensive, this might be your only opportunity to see as much of the world as you can. Obviously, it’s impossible to see every city/country during the semester, so do some research early on and choose a few destinations you really want to visit.

Plan wisely. It’s important to plan out which weekends will give you enough free time to travel, as well as which cities are the best to travel to. I wrote all these notes on a calendar; I marked the three-day weekends and researched where I could go for the cheapest price during those weekends. There are several websites that have been very helpful in my planning process: searches all available flights to show the cheapest cities, usually has some of the cheapest flight options, provides many housing options, and provides joint housing which is usually pretty cheap.

Save when you can; spend when you have to. It’s a good idea to save money by traveling in groups, finding cheap restaurants/supermarkets, and planning ahead. However, I know from personal experience that saving money isn’t always best; my friend and I booked an AirBnB in Paris that costed us 12€ each, and it ended up being in a bad area of the city and impossible to find. Invest in good quality housing from the beginning, otherwise you might have to pay for a hotel anyways.

Pack lightly. With most of the cheap flights, bringing more than one small bag will result in extra charges. I try to bring only a backpack, which also helps if there’s no time to drop luggage off at a hostel or AirBnB.

Don’t travel TOO much. Traveling to new countries is a large part of studying abroad for most students, but it’s also important to enjoy the city you’re studying in. I’ve gone to 4 countries during my study abroad experience, and I feel that it’s been the perfect amount of traveling. If I had been gone every weekend, I would’ve missed out on some of the things I’ve experienced in Barcelona.

Haley Rojek

Haley is from Illinois Wesleyan University, and studied abroad through a Customized Program in Spring 2018.

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