4 Tips for Making the Most of Weekend Trips

Alyson Russo is a student at University of South Carolina, Columbia and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Gold Coast, Australia.

Studying abroad allows you to see the world. Not only do you immerse yourself into a new culture, but you also have the ability to explore surrounding towns, cities, countries and maybe even continents, depending on where you are located. To make the most of your weekend trips while abroad, here are a few tips I’ve learned through my travels:

1. Do your research

It’s always best to know what you are getting yourself into before traveling to a new, unknown place. Some cities have dangerous areas or streets that are easily confused, so talking to people who have traveled there before or reading about the place you are going is always a good idea. There is so much to do and it helps to research the best hostels or hotels, restaurants, tours, sightseeing opportunities, and shopping. Make sure you know about it!

Even the little things – like knowing which way to look – can be very confusing in a new place!
Even the little things – like knowing which way to look – can be very confusing in a new place!

2. Plan with your friends beforehand

Know what you want to do! There’s so much around and you’ll see things you didn’t even know existed. After learning about what is in store, try getting an idea of what you are interested in seeing and doing beforehand to make sure it gets done. Also leave time to explore all of those amazing places you found!

3. Pack light

You’ll most likely have to carry your luggage around for a full day and you don’t want anything bringing you down! Leave room for souvenirs, new clothes, and discoveries you find in your travels. It’s always harder to repack coming home than it is to shove everything in your bag before leaving for a trip.

4. Get a token from each destination

The trips you take and experiences you have will never be forgotten, but it’s still nice to take something physical away from each. Try to get into a pattern: buy a postcard from every place you’ve visited, get a sticker representing where you went, or take a similar photo with a landmark or your favorite spot. You’ll be happy to have something to look back on in the future, allowing you to relive every detail of the unforgettable memories!

'Postcards from Travels' Australia-Russo-Photo 2
In my first two weeks abroad, I traveled to New Zealand, Cairns and Byron Bay!

Want to read more about the Land Down Under? Check out “A Glimpse at Australia’s Wildlife.”