When you travel across the globe, your priority is to soak in every moment and embrace all the new experiences. But let’s be honest, if you’re studying or interning abroad, your time is limited. Throughout the week, you’re busy at the university or the office, so your only real opportunity to explore surrounding areas are on the weekends.
At home, it can be easy to want to stay in and unwind for the weekend, but while you’re abroad, it is important to make the most of the time that you have. Here’s a few tested tips that I used while interning abroad in New Zealand, and let me tell you, I made the most of those three months.
Tip No. 1: Make an Adventure Bucket List
This one is pretty simple and is one of my favorite parts. Get recommendations and look up everything that you want to do while abroad and make an adventure bucket list. That way, you will have a list to pull from when you’re planning your weekends, and you won’t miss anything!
Tip No. 2: Plan Ahead
When it comes to planning weekend trips abroad, it’s important to start early. Look at your adventure bucket list, and decide where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Remember that you have a limited time overseas, so decide what’s doable for each week!
Tip No. 3: Ask for Recommendations
It’s no doubt that regardless of how much research you do, you will always have new recommendations from locals. Be open to suggestions and be curious about asking for new places; whether that’s to visit, eat, adventure, what-have-you.
Tip No. 4: Be Spontaneous and Say Yes!
I recommend having a plan as a mentioned before to be sure that you are proactive and get in as much as you possibly can before heading home. However, be sure to leave a few weekends open for spontaneous adventures and new opportunities that come your way. Traveling is about living a part of life, so take that adventure as it comes and say yes to things you normally wouldn’t try.
Tip No. 5: Get Up Early
This is one of my biggest pieces of advice in regards to making the most of your weekends. Wake up early and start your day! By planning ahead, you’ll make sure that you’re ready to take on all the adventure the weekend has to offer. Figure out what time you’ll need to be up and leaving so that you can prepare yourself and your travel buddies the night before.
Tip No. 6: Find People to Go with You
Speaking of travel buddies, having people to go with you is beneficial on many levels. Number one, you’ll create new friendships and memories with people that can last a lifetime. Secondly, you’ll have other people with you exploring this new place, which is always safer. Lastly, going with others will likely cheapen the cost.
One more thing I want to mention is that sometimes you won’t just fall into a group that invites you on adventures. Instead, you might have to be that person that gets a group of people together and makes it happen. If others aren’t inviting you on their trips, be the person that creates their own. Plus, if you are the head of the trip, you can make sure you visit all the places you have on your adventure list!
Tip No. 7: Check Out Events and Adventures listed at your Airbnb or Hostel
When you visit your hostel or Airbnb, there will likely be recommendations on where to eat and what to do. Don’t forget to look at those and see what nearby offers there are. Also, more often than not, there will be coupons or exclusive deals provided too!
Tip No. 8: Figure Out How to Get There
Once you’ve decided where you’re going and who’s going with you, figure out the cheapest and easiest way to get there. Don’t forget to ask around and explore all possible methods of transportation. Often times people forget that there are other ways to get around that might be cheaper including hopper planes, rental cars, trains, busses, ferries, seaplanes, and more.
Tip No. 9: Eat at the Local Places
Food is a big part of engaging in the culture when abroad, so don’t be afraid to try new types of food and different restaurants. Eat at local restaurants, and take recommendations!
Tip No. 10: Get Ready for the Time of Your Life
With these tips, I hope you’re ready for the time of your life! Don’t forget, you’ve got a limited amount of time to explore, so don’t sleep on it. Get up, start planning and figure out how to make sure you maximize your experience and see all that you want to see.