Far from I’d planned or imagined, I haven’t documented (publicly online) the first semester of my Year Abroad (YA), for various reasons. Good news however for anyone considering a YA, you will end the semester wiser, more well-rounded and well traveled (If you don’t then it appears you haven’t quite stepped up – the reality being that you need to do the stepping up).
On that last note here are my travel tips (so far):
What to pack:
I always try to pack light but here are my key items, obviously there will be some variance depending on destination/season and length of travel:
- Credit card (that will work internationally)
- Student card (some places offer discounts)
- Plastic Bags
- Correct currency
- Spare batteries (for torch)
- Research but don’t overplan as a tight schedule and strict plan can be stressful and don’t allow for flexibility which is exactly what you will want if you are travelling for a while – of course some things will need to be booked in advance. (Too put it simply, too many plans spoil the adventure).
- Email scanned documents (Passport etc) to yourself.
- Write your name/contact details on things.
- Keep your accommodation business card (with address on it) with you when out and exploring.
- Explore a residential area.
- Pack light.
- Book accommodation at least one night in advance.
- Check you can get from the airport to your accommodation at the time you arrive before you book your flight – a taxi can be a surprise nasty expense (Yes Osaka I’m talking about you).
- Eat where the locals do (rather obviously).
- JUST BLOODY ASK.
A good time, or a good story nonetheless.