Having completed a few successful weekend trips around Europe, I am beginning to learn how to travel smarter (cheaper, carrying less, and more enjoyably). Over the course of my trip, I want to compile a list of travelling tips, mostly to help me remember how to travel well, but also to help out fellow travellers. So here are a few ideas that have helped out so far:
1. Pack your lunch! The ten-year-old in me, who always wanted to eat out during field trips really cringes at this one. But when the exchange rate in Europe is as miserable as it is, packing food saves almost half of the travelling cost! And i’m not kidding. A great alternative to packing lunch is finding the markets. Food in markets gives you a good taste of local food, but is typically much cheaper than eating at restaurants. I had some delicious Middle Eastern food in London’s Bricklane market last week. Lamb, feta, spinach…yummy.
2. Load up your Ipod. Or Ipad, or Kindle. My travelling has included alot of inbetween time. 2 hour bus rides, 1 hour waiting for a plane, etc. I have found my ipod to be really handy, as it is chock full of games, music, podcasts, and my bible! When I spend the whole day carrying my belongings on my back, the last thing I want to carry is a heavy book, so an ipod is a great compromise.
3. Bring a waterbottle/mug. This is a big money sucker if you don’t. I make coffee in the morning before I go anywhere, saves about 3 pounds (5 dollars!) each time.
4. Pack clothes minimally. I am writing this specifically for my sister, Kate. Just kidding. But it’s amazing how little you really need. I pack leggings, rather than sweatpants to sleep in, which is a huge space saver. I travel with one pair of shoes, the ones I wear. In my backpack are necessary undergarments, long sleeve tees, one pair of jeans, and travel size hygiene supplies. My back really appreciates the minimalism.
5. Find out what you like, and do it. When you travel, find your niche. Whether it’s art museums, historic sites, the great outdoors, or restaurants. While I was in Ireland, I realized how much I really wanted to see more of Europe’s countryside, so i’m tailoring my future traveling to do so.
This past weekend, I spent Friday hiking the Cliffs of Dover with a new, good friend. Dover is on the Southeast edge of England, and you can actually see France from the cliffs, which is really cool. We were blessed with a gorgeous, sunny day, so we spent a good 4.5 hours walking along the top, and bottom of the cliff.
Also, just booked bus tickets to Edinburgh for the end of October!