5 tips for the perfect vacation or student exchange

Be well prepared 

Capture d_écran 2017-03-15 à 15.10.44Organization is the key to a successful trip or student exchange. The use of a notebook, a planner and smartphone apps will help you to manage your time and use it efficiently. Applications such as Wunderlist, Evernote or Planner Pro give you the opportunity to build your very own planning and add visuals to have a better overview.

Planning will minimize your stress. There is no room left for bad surprises. By meticulously organizing your day you will isolate unknown factors which might influence the course of your trip.

  1. Make a list of things you want to do/visit
  2. Check the opening hours of hotspots or attractions
  3. Analyze the reviews of certain points of interest on specialized sites
  4. Schedule visits ahead
  5. Make a packing list

Bring food in abundance

Capture d_écran 2017-03-15 à 15.11.01Waiting at the airport to catch your flight can be tiresome. Snacking comes in handy. It nourishes your brain. In order to function correctly, the mind needs to be fuelled with sugar. When the glucose levels are low, neurons break down and thus your brain is less alert.

Boarding the plain, train or metro on an empty stomach is not healthy. For once, snacking is permitted. Eating high calorie food will recharge your batteries and erase fatigue.

Carrying your own snacks can save you a lot of money. Shops, bars or grocery stores in airports, stations or subways can bring an extra cost.

  1. Eating will beat the jetlag
  2. Choose high protein snacks
  3. Favor healthy snacks such as nuts, granola bars, dried fruit and rice cakes

Travel light 

Capture d’écran 2017-03-15 à 15.11.14.pngDon’t be a Carrie Bradshaw. It is unnecessary to take 2/3 of your closet with you. Keep it simple. A heavy luggage is always a bit of a bother.

Women tend to have a penchant for runway looks. Achieving the perfect style takes time and requires multiple accessories. When traveling abroad it is impossible to bundle everything into a suitcase. Be selective and pack only clothes with great wearability.

  1. Use a small suitcase to avoid overpacking
  2. Favor clothing pieces which are wrinkle-free, lighter weight and take minimal space
  3. Try to pack casual apparel which coordinates easily with everything else you are bringing
  4.  Take clothes that are versatile
  5. Avoid layers

Take the bare essentials 

Capture d_écran 2017-03-15 à 15.11.27Make sure to bring a (smart)phone, camera, laptop and enough cash. Banks can charge you an extra fee when withdrawing money from an ATM. So bring a reasonable amount of money or spend it wisely.

  1. Keep your cash, debit and credit cards, passport or ID in a money pouch or belt
  2. Exchange foreign currency with a certified trader
  3. Avoid changing currency at the airport
  4. Inform your bank that your are traveling abroad, so they don’t block your card

If you are a digital nomad, you will probably refuse to leave the country without packing a panoply of electronic devices. A camera and a smartphone are indispensable tools.

  1. Do not forget to bring extra batteries for your camera
  2. A power bank is always useful
  3. Get a prepaid card for your phone
  4. Put your phone in flight mode when entering a country

Get accustomed to the local traditions  

When visiting a country for the first time you may experience what we call a culture shock. But you have to keep an open mind and engage with the inhabitants.

Learning common phrases in a foreign language can help. The locals appreciate the efforts made by tourists/students to try to speak their tongue.

  1. Ask the locals for the best restaurants, shops and hotspots
  2. Get out of your comfort zone
  3. Try new things
  4. Meet people
Text & Photos : Morgan Mc Kenzie