So, you’re at the end of the academic year, exhausted and excited for time off. What’s next? If, like me, you’ve been saving up, now is the perfect time to go travelling! I’ve always wanted to see the world and experience other cultures. Now that I’m third year, this summer I’m in the unique position before I start work in which I’ve got the time to go. If you are thinking of doing the same thing (first of all, do it!!), here are some tips: Planning It sounds obvious, and a lot of people choose to just ‘wing it,’ but some element of planning is ideal. I’m going to four different countries, each with different customs, currencies, and cultures so it’s very important for me to plan. Plus, if you do, you won’t miss out on anything once you’re there. I’ve gone all out with an Excel spreadsheet (!!) of all the tourist attractions I want to see in each place but even just a basic list of top things to do is useful. Money As a student, I’m a big fan of saving money but travelling isn’t exactly cheap. I found a great student travel agents called STA Travel that give great discounts on flights and tours. It’s a good idea to book ahead – it’s often cheaper and then you can look forward to it more. Currency is always fluctuating in exchange rates. One tip I got from my travel agent is to purchase a card to load money onto which works in all countries (I need to look into this in more detail!). Packing I’m packing early to make sure I get everything sorted early, but, with only 20kg baggage allowance, you have to pack light! Plus, if you want to buy souvenirs, you have to account for that weight so maybe take a mini luggage scale along with all of the standard essentials (sun cream!!) Phone Obviously, certain places are going to speak different languages – a basic translation app will be your best friend. Photos are a must! Big, fancy cameras are expensive and take up a lot of room – your phone camera will be ideal. Another old school idea is taking a notebook or journal to document all of those amazing memories. Be careful with charges abroad. You should look into getting a temporary SIM card, tailored to your trip. Group or alone There are tonnes of benefits to travelling alone, but it’s also great making memories with friends. The main thing, either way, is staying safe. My biggest tip would be to tell someone about your plans – where you’ll be at each time, just in case! Those are my tips for travelling this summer! Now, cue a cheesy quote that will definitely be one of my Instagram captions later this year: “To Travel is to Live” – Hans Christian Andersen Have fun and be safe!