As someone who spent a semester abroad, I had the opportunity to do a lot of travelling in between studying. It wasn’t always easy living out of a suitcase, but with the proper planning (and a few hiccups along the way) I learned some things that made my trips even more enjoyable. Here are 10 tricks I picked up while travelling that make life on the go a little bit easier.
1. Bring a Travel Sheet
A lot of hostels abroad make you pay extra for sheets. A travel sheet will help you save money and will keep you from worrying about bed bugs while you travel.
2. Buy a Combo Lock
Most hostels provide lockers but not locks. By bringing your own combination lock, you’ll have peace of mind while leaving your things in a hostel locker and you won’t have to pay extra if the hostels charge for locks.
3. Pack a Laundry Bag
Laundry bags are an easy way to keep your dirty clothes separated from your clean ones. Plus they take up almost no room in your suitcase!
4. Have a Portable Charger on Hand
Portable chargers are great for charging your phone on the go, and they’ll save you a lot of headaches when your friends and family are trying to reach you while you’re travelling.
5. Don’t Bother with a Digital Camera
Phone cameras have come a long way and usually work great for capturing memories. They also save on the bulk of digital camera and make uploading photos to social media a much quicker process.
6. Keep Your Own Reusable Grocery Bags
A lot of stores in Europe charge extra for plastic grocery bags. By keeping your own compact ones on hand, you’ll save money and the planet.
7. Print Photos of Your Family and Friends
You can’t pack many decorations when you’re heading abroad. Packing photos saves space and helps your room abroad feel a little more like home.
8. Roll Your Clothes
You may already have seen this trick online and for good reason. Rolling your clothes into tight bundles is by far the most space saving way to pack. You can fit more clothes for long trips and still leave enough room to pick up souvenirs as well.
9. Check Local Airports
Using websites can alert you to airports outside of major cities that you might not have considered. A lot of times it can be cheaper to fly into these smaller local airports and take shuttles into major areas. Not only do you save money, but you get to see areas of a country you might have otherwise skipped!
10. Live in the Moment
It’s great to be money-conscious while travelling abroad, but don’t forget to splurge on some of the fun things too! You’re only abroad for a short period of time so take advantage of every opportunity. Wifi can be hard to come by while travelling but don’t work too hard to find it. Enjoy being unplugged and experiencing the culture around you. You’ll have plenty of screen time when get back to the States and I can guarantee most of it will be spent planning your next trip abroad.
Ashling Murphy, Senior
Major: Communication Studies & English
Studied Abroad in Swansea, Wales UK