For my spring break I went to Athens and Budapest for about four days each. This was really exciting to me for two reasons: it was my first time leaving London, and Greece has always been my dream travel location. I went with a group of about 8 people but many of us took different flights to get there. We bought tickets from discount airlines and as such had strict restrictions on how much baggage we could bring. My two roommates and I decided to each bring our own backpacks and to split purchasing the ability to bring a carry-on to all share. Since we were just bringing clothes, I figured it would be easy to fit everyone’s belongings into the small bag. However, after sitting on the bag to finally get it to close, we groaned to find out that the bag was 4 kg overweight. We decided to take our chances and as far as I know, we didn’t get charged extra! I’ve heard horror stories of the crazy charges that these types of airlines will give you due to their weird and specific bag restrictions, so this was a huge relief.
Advice that I would give to future study abroad people is to do your research before you go to another country. I kept meaning to look up both touristy and hole in the wall places to go to while in Athens and Budapest, but kept putting it off until it was too late. Also, if you’re someone like me who isn’t used to using public transportation then I would recommend looking up how to get around (bus, subway, etc.). At this point I was very used to taking the tube in London everywhere, but didn’t have any experience with buying tickets or passes for any transportation, as it has always just been provided to me. Luckily for me, a few people we were traveling with had made an itinerary that kept us busy the whole time. Final advice I have for future students is to be spontaneous and keep an open mind while traveling. As I mentioned earlier, I was most excited to see Greece but Budapest ended up being one of my favorite, if not my most favorite place I’ve ever been to. Originally, I hadn’t had any interest in Budapest and had wished that I spent my whole time in Greece. Traveling while abroad is a very unique traveling experience that’s been different from any other kind of vacation or school travel that I’ve ever been on. I’m excited to hopefully come back to these places when I’m older and see what has changed.