Exploring your host country or state and surroundings is one of the most important aspects of an exchange. Use the weekends and free afternoons to explore your city or town and the surrounding area.
Country Profiles and Travel News/Advice:
- Travel guides by Nomadic Matt
- CIA World Fact Book
- National Geographic Countries Profiles
- World Travel Guide
- Travel Advice from US Department of State
- Travel Advice from UK Government
- Matador Network
A few resources for planning your trip(s):
- Travelstart.co.za (online travel agent)
- Hostelworld.com (for youth hostels, backpackers and motels)
- HI USA (American Youth Hostels)
- Deutsche Bahn (for train schedules in Germany)
- STA Travel (online travel agent)
- Tripadvisor.com (reviews and bookings)
- Kayak.com (aggregator and search engine)
- Huffington Post’s recommendation for the best travel websites
- Priceline.com (online travel agent)
- Cool article from Kayak about how to stretch your budget, while you are travelling
- When to Book by Kayak
- World Travel Resources by Legal Nomad (Amazing Resource!)
- Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Forum (Tips and advice from fellow travelers.)
- Your local friendly travel agent
It is sometimes argued that online travel search websites or price comparing websites will always give you the best deal – that is however not always true. Booking directly at the airline or hotel is sometimes still the best choice. For more insight read Why Bargain Travel Sites May No Longer Be Bargains by Doug Garr.
- Many big cities (particularly in Europe) have city passes. The pass will have different options, but will give you access to museums and other attractions. The Berlin WelcomeCard is an example of such a pass.
- Make use of different payment methods
- Check for restaurant specials by using internet sites like Groupon.com
- Make the most of your status as a student. Check all possibilities for discounted rates and freebies! (Remember to take your student card with you to qualify)
- Remember to drink enough water to avoid dehydration
- Get a map at the nearest tourism bureau
- Make sure that the battery of your camera / phone is charged, or that you have a power bank on hand.
- Wear comfortable shoes, that also keeps your feet dry when it is raining or snowing. (The Travel Shoes: Hers and His Edition by the Strategist)
- Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with a friend
- Don’t travel with all your valuables. Leave items that you will not need on the trip with friends or in a safe place.