Figure out the best location for you and how to afford your trip with Spring 2022 student Talaith Campbell.
***This is an example of a student’s experience from Spring 2022. Specific programming and activities are subject to change semester by semester.
So, you’ve arrived at your Verto Europe semester. Maybe you’re in Prague, Florence, or maybe Sevilla. Regardless, I can almost assure you’ve got an itch to travel. With so many amazing locations in such close proximity it’d be hard to not look at all the amazing possibilities for you and your friends. If you’re anything like me, this might have been the number one reason you chose Verto (other than traditional school of course). Traveling can be an incredible way to enhance your first (or second) semester experiences. But, it doesn’t come without a price… Literally. Looking at photos of the Amalfi Coast certainly looks great… Until you look at the price of a beachside hotel, and a weekend in London certainly seems fun… Until you notice the conversion rate from USD to GBP. EEEK.
Look, it’s fun to day dream and all but things can get expensive out in the real world!
This being said, travel is certainly not out of reach even if it seems so at first glance. With a few simple tips, that dream vacay is definitely plausible. During my time with Verto I traveled to Italy twice, Portugal three times, Prague, and Manchester, all while staying within my student budget! You can too! First, be flexible with planning. It can make things a lot easier if you are able to be flexible on dates and locations. On a lot of flight search engines you can simply put in your departing location and then “Anywhere” as the destination and it will pull up the cheapest options. You can also search with flexible dates to see when the cheapest time to travel is. That goes into my second tip, know where to search. Google Flights is okay for the states but definitely does not pull up the most affordable choices for your European adventures. Check out sites like SkyScanner and Skiplagged for better options. Once you’re on a good site, look out for deals and promotions from the airlines! Seriously, my biggest tip of all is to subscribe to Ryanair’s emails. Often they’ll do 9 dollar flight deals that you’d never know about unless you searched the site everyday (which I suppose you could do) or got their emails! Trains are another great way to travel in Europe that you may not automatically think of if you’re coming from America. Trains are extremely affordable across Europe and offer an alternative when flights are a bit pricey. London to Paris is around $65 year-round on the train!
There’s ways to save money when you’re on a trip too! Groceries are an amazing way to save cash as well. Check out my grocery shopping article if you haven’t yet! As a general rule, I try to grocery shop and cook at least one meal a day. You’d be surprised how much you save just by eating breakfasts at home. Also, look for student discounts wherever you’re traveling to. A lot of cities do student discounts for city transport services or tourist sites (like the Vatican). Finally, and this should be obvious, travel to somewhere with a favorable exchange rate for the American dollar! Your money goes a lot farther in Prague or Warsaw than in France!
No matter what, there’s always a way. What’s the saying? Money is only temporary… But memories last forever?