Helpful Tips for Day Trips

It goes without saying that one of the coolest things about being abroad is the opportunity to visit new places.  Aspire by API includes a lot of excursions in its programs, and you will likely make many separate trips with the friends you make overseas.  Use these tips to make the most out of your mini-expeditions!

Le Grand Petit Prince

One of my favorite novels

  1. Footwear first The kind of shoes you wear can seriously make or break your weekend excursion or day trip, and comfort should be your number one consideration in this department.  Don’t count on wearing sandals or high heels, because if you’re planning it right, you’re going to be walking around a lot.  Hint:  If you want to blend in better while in Europe, consider buying a darker pair of low top sneakers.  Asics Tigers or Pumas should be good.
  2. Pack light! This is really a general rule for your entire time abroad, but it is especially important when going on weekend or day trips.  Carrying around a full suitcase makes you look like a tourist, which is an open invitation for pickpockets.  Try to fit whatever you need in a backpack, and don’t be afraid to improvise or go even without something for a weekend.
  3. Think smart, be safe On the topic of safety, I would definitely encourage you to think about investing in a passport pouch.  Sure, they look a little goofy, and they may irritate your neck at first.  But there’s nothing worse than traveling in a foreign country and finding out that your passport is missing.  Stick some cash in there too, just in case.  Besides, it’s better than wearing a fanny pack.
  4. No lunch? No problem! This tip fits right into the whole “packing light” idea.  Instead of planning to eat every meal at a restaurant in town, consider running into the nearest grocery store and picking up a few essentials.  You can have an awesome picnic lunch on the town square with just a loaf of bread, a package of chorizo, and some cheese.  Just make sure you plan at least half an hour ahead, and don’t try and buy anything during siesta time—things will go slower than you expected!
  5. Plan out where you’re going… You’ll want to have a pretty solid plan for your excursions.  What are you going to check out in the city you’ll be visiting?  Any famous cathedrals? Art museums? Monuments? Buy a map and plan it out!
  6. …but leave time to explore All of these are great, and you should plan to devote some time to them.  But don’t be afraid to factor in a little “unstructured time,” in order to explore unexpected surprises as well.  Turning the corner and discovering the odd landmark here and there can lead to some of the most memorable moments you will have while abroad.  Safety is important here too, so be sure that you are keeping track of where you are in relation to your final destination (you’ll develop great map-reading skills), and that these mini-detours are in well-lit areas with enough pedestrian traffic.  Ask your RD if they know of any interesting neighborhoods where you are going!  If they don’t, they will certainly help you do some research.

Cool graffiti

      With that, take a look at these pictures of some of the most curious items I discovered at random.  Happy traveling!

Two words: modern art

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