Catarina’s European Travels

Catarina Padilla 2

As you may – or not – know it is almost an obligation do to some travels while you are abroad, especially if you are living in a European country. Being close to lots of different countries makes you want to travel somewhere every weekend or holiday. And since you have 5 or 6 months I’m pretty sure you’ll find some time to go visit a new place.

When I knew I was coming to England the first thoughts in my mind were about travelling. I know I’m young and still have my whole life to travel but it doesn’t matter, I was staying in the centre of the world, where everything happens and in a country that is only 2 or 3 hours away from a bunch of countries. So yes, I was travelling.

That was what I did. Actually, I’m inside a plane right now going to Italy, why? Well… I’m done with all my exams; Uni is done so why not travel? So yeah, I went to a couple places either with friends or by myself. So yes, I’m going to give some tips and advises for those who wants to travel.

The first thing is to plan – obviously. Where do you want to go? A specific place or a cheap one? What is your budget? How long do you intend to stay in that place? Do you want a place with museums or nightclubs? Want to go by yourself or with friends? You need to think about all of this before buying anything. Trust me, the one time I didn’t planed I lost money and was a mess. So please, save 5 to 10 minutes just to think. Won’t hurt, I promise.

Catarina Padilla 5

Second thing is search. Every time I was planning some trip I searched in a few websites (they have amazing promotions, so be aware of that). In my humble opinion the best one is skyscanner, they always give you plenty options, destinations and deals. So even if you’re planning to go to Barcelona, you will find a deal for Lisbon and probably gonna change your mind, why not?

What I usually did was spend ¾ or 5 days in a place since I didn’t had that much spare time or money, and also because I thought would be a good amount of time to get to know one city pretty well. And yes, I’m the type of person that prefers staying longer in one city and knowing it for real rather than jumping to different cities every 1 or 2 days. My soul is old. Sorry.

Another thing is: DO NOT OVERPACK. If you are staying tree or four days in one place you don’t need to bring all of your clothes. A backpack or a small (for real, small) bag will be enough. Also, you don’t need to change the entire outfit everyday day or twice a day. And even if you want, you won’t have time. Besides, you will probably gonna buy a cheap flight and they don’t include check-in bags so you probably will have to may the same price as the flight ticket just for your bag.

You probably won’t need much money too. Since you’re a student I think that you’ll want to save your money so than you can travel more. Bring only what is necessary. And spend your money with food. Typical food is always something that you will never forget about the place and well, is food. Everyone loves food.

Another tip: if you find a flight at 6:40am and at 11am and they are the same price, don’t buy the early one because you’ll be exhausted and won’t enjoy the first day at your destination, so don’t overreact if you don’t arrive at 10am in Rome or Paris. You have enough time.

Europe has an infinite number or cool destinations so I’m sure that you’ll find somewhere that you like to go visit. But if you don’t, that is fine too. You are not obligated to travel, but I can tell by my experience that you will regret if you don’t travel. I said this with such confidence because since I’m Brazilian I always take ages to go somewhere in Brazil, while here I can pop into a plane and in 2 hours I’m in a new country. So that’s why.

So yes, GO TRAVEL! NOW! You only have one life so go enjoy the most of it.

by Catarina Simões Padilla – Rio Pontificia Universidade Catolica – Brazil

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