One of the most exciting things about living in Europe is all the amazing places you will get to visit! Travelling around Europe is easy, fast and, most of all, fun. Italy is centrally located in Europe, and from Rome there is easy access to other amazing European countries like Spain, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Travelling by yourself helps you become more independent and more conscious of your surroundings and yourself – but, of course, it’s also fun to travel with friends! There are so many international people at John Cabot and at other universities around Europe who want to travel the same way as you do. That’s why it is easy to find different ways of travelling (by train, bus, car or airplane), why you can often find a cheap option for getting to the location, and why travelling within Europe is so accessible to budget-conscious students of all ages.
Here in Rome, there are several agencies that help international students plan trips, including John Cabot students. You can also do the planning yourself, for an extra challenge (and to save some money!). Planning a trip isn’t rocket science, but when it comes to travelling with a group of people, it can sometimes be hard find something that everybody will agree on. Here are some tips on planning your European trips:
- Don’t automatically choose the first option you see. There are always going to be cheaper tickets somewhere – you just have to look for them! There are literally thousands of websites where you can search for cheap airplane, bus and train tickets. If you find a pretty cheap ticket with Ryanair, double-check Easyjet or another low-cost airline, just in case they have an even better deal.
- When booking hotels think about the location, give yourself plenty of time to search, and make sure it is in the center of the city where it will be easy for you to go back home at night. Make sure that you have bus or metro stations nearby and that it is in a safe area.
- Sometimes it is easier and cheaper to get an apartment than a hotel. You can search for one on airbnb or other similar websites that offer some great deals.
- Subscribe on travel and booking websites for alerts on offers. Yes, it’s a little annoying to get all the promotional emails (and around 3 of them daily!) but it’s worth it – you get some pretty amazing offers.
- It is almost always better to book tickets early, but if they are too expensive, wait until the weekend. Airplane tickets have huge price reductions on weekends to a lot of places.
- Plan what you want to do before you go. It is always better to get somewhere with a plan and know where you want to go and how. After doing all the things on your list, give yourself downtime to enjoy, meet people, eat local food and relax. Don’t forget to search for any special events that are happening while you’re visiting – there may be an opening to a museum or one of your favorite bands in town!
- Organize your time well and allow for delays. If you are going to a very touristy place such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, keep in mind that these places are super crowded with tourists and there will probably be a long line to get in. If you’re traveling with a group of friends, you will most likely be delayed by at least one person in the group. Pad in an extra cushion of time and don’t pack your schedule too tightly.
Read this post in Spanish!
International Affairs Major
JCU Class of 2019
Hometown: Quito, Ecuador