Tag Archives: travel

Staying In Touch While Abroad

Filed under: Social Life/Relationships, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Preparing for my trip to the Republic of Georgia has come with its tradeoffs. I had to leave a familiar town, a great part-time job I’ve had for three years, and most importantly, my family and friends. It was difficult saying goodbye to people who have been my support system for so long. I have gone from seeing them every day, or at least every week, to not seeing them at all. It has made me think of creative ways to keep in touch with them so that it doesn’t seem like it has been so long that I have not seen them.

If you are preparing for your own adventure abroad or doing some traveling, here are some suggestions for staying in touch with those you love:

1. Skype

This is an obvious option for anyone using a computer. Free calls with anyone anywhere and you can see each other face to face! Another bonus, Skype is the perfect way to still have meals together – you can eat breakfast while they are eating dinner!

2. Postcards

Postcards are inexpensive enough that you can stock up on them in craft stores, airports, trinket shops in your visiting country, or you can even make them yourself! Print your photo at 4×6, turn it over and write your message, then stick on a stamp and write your friend’s address where they would normally go on a postcard and pop it in the mail!

3. Email

Since you probably won’t have phone access (unless you pay the extra fee for international service), email is the next best thing. However, if you do have coins, try the payphone at a nearby cafe. Depending on where you stay, there will most likely be a phone available.

4. Video

A lot of people like to keep a video diary which they update weekly or even monthly. This is a fun way to bring life (and reassurance) to what you’re experiencing, instead of just writing words. It will also be something great to look back on when you arrive back home and to share with your friends and family.

Keeping a journal and/or online blog of your travels will also help when you don’t have time to write each individual person. Just send one email out announcing the blog link and let everyone know it’s the best way to stay updated because of your unpredictable schedule. They will be able to leave you comments and follow your day to day adventures.

Happy travels!

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Thank You Gifts For Abroad

Filed under: Money/Budget, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Whether you are planning to stay with a host family, in a hostel, or with friends, it is a good idea to always have some small trinkets to give as gifts to whomever shows you a little hospitality while you are abroad. Not only will you be presenting yourself in the best light, you will also be presenting your country positively, which is something a lot of travelers don’t think about.

Rest assured buying thank you gifts doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many inexpensive things you can pick up that will be sure to satisfy and are easy to travel with!

1. Magnets

Magnets make great gifts because they add life to a kitchen! Plus, anyone who comes over to their house for a meal will most likely ask about them and that makes it a gateway to a great conversation about how a wonderful traveling student gave it to them as a little thank you.

2. Postcards

I have pen pals from Africa, Spain, and even just a few states in the U.S. and postcards are one of my favorite little gifts to get. I love having something to pin up on the refrigerator, around my room, or on my bureau mirror, and your kind friends, hostel works, or host family will too!

3. Homemade Goods

Anything home-made or handmade from your state is always a great gift. People love supporting local businesses and areas. Some ideas could be: jewelry, candles, jams, or chocolate. If there is a local market in your town on weekends, chances are it is a jackpot for inexpensive goodies like these.

4. Keychains

Add a little flair to your someone’s key ring with a unique keychain with their name or a cool design on it. Each time they reach for their keys, they will think of you.

 

 

Still in doubt? Think about what you would like to get as a gift from someone and go with that. As long as you put some thought into it, you can’t go wrong. Mostly it’s the idea of being appreciative to those who welcome you into their space for your extended travels. Show them they have made a difference!

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Travel Insurance

Filed under: College Life, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

One very important part of planning for vacations that a lot of students don’t take into account, is travel insurance. I am currently overseas to teach English and insurance is something that has been on the top of my list. While my employer will be providing me with medical insurance, travel insurance is something else on its own.

1. What Is Travel Insurance?

While medical insurance only covers you if you get sick, or need a prescription or antibiotics, travel insurance protects your property should it become lost or stolen. It can also cover you in the event of a family death that you need to come back to the states for, lost luggage, or a trip cancellation.

2. How To Get It?

First, see if your current health, car, or house insurance provider offers it. If they do, get a quote! If going through an already existing insurance provider isn’t an option, ask around to see if any of your friends or family has ever had to get travel insurance and whether or not they can recommend someone. Or you can use a travel insurance cost comparison website, such as tripinsurance.com, squaremouth.com, or Lonely Planet. Also, the U.S. Travel Association ranks travel insurance companies in good standing.

3. What To Include?

What you decide to have included in your insurance is up to you. Keep in mind, though, the more you have included, the higher the monthly price will be, so be sure to tailor it specifically to your trip and budget.

Travel insurance is great to have no matter where you are going. The longer you plan to travel, the more highly I would recommend getting it.

Good luck!

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Preparing To Travel Abroad

Filed under: College Life, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

After graduating college, a lot of us students don’t know what to do with our lives. We may have been so caught up in making sure we passed our last few classes that we needed to graduate that we didn’t really prepare for what would happen after. Or, for those of us who applied for a job that we didn’t successfully land, we now wonder – now what?

For me, it was clear I wanted to travel. Because I was on a budget, I looked for programs that would chip in for the cost of flights to and from the country. When I found The Republic of Georgia looking for English teachers and willing to pay the full cost for flights, I applied immediately and was contacted for an interview just three days later.

We don’t realize until it’s actually happening that we have to take care of some things before leaving the country:

1. Money

Make sure you have the money to travel comfortably. If not, there are always programs that offer work trades in exchange for food and board. It’s just a matter of searching! Also, be sure to give two weeks notice if you do have a job.

2. Storage

Renting a storage unit and making sure you have enough money to pay for it while you’re away is important. There are just some things you cannot travel with and especially if you are giving up your apartment, you need to find a place to store your belongings.

3. International Calls

Check with your cell phone provider to see if you have an international calling plan. If not, you have to figure out how to get one. And if you can’t afford to get one, download apps like Viber and Whatsapp, which allow you to make free international calls and texts to anyone else you know with that app.

4. Pets

If you have a pet, you have to figure out who will watch it while you are gone. And make sure it has an identification collar just in case.

5. Shots and Identification

Make sure to get the required and recommended shots. Then making sure you have a supply of whatever prescriptions you take for the time you are gone. Also, make copies of passports, identification, and immunization cards.

Tailor this list to you and your trip. I recommend starting early. I hope you’ll follow along with me as I write about teaching in The Republic of Georgia!

Happy travels!

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Vacationing On A College Budget

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Seasonal Celebrations, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

We all have those Facebook friends who post tons of pictures of their amazing trip to Europe or somewhere else amazing. Not all of us can go on an extravagant vacation, but with a few tricks, anyone can have a great weekend getaway! Over the years I’ve found a few key ways that have allowed me to enjoy summer on a budget.

1. Shop The Deals

Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are built so that people can find great things to do for a great deal, so take advantage of it! There are some out of country trips if you have some money saved up for that, but if not, there are so many local hotel deals for a few days away!

2. Travel By Car

If you cut out the flight, you cut out the majority of the cost. The best way to vacation is to get a group of friends, split the gas, and hit the road. Next month I’m going to San Francisco with friends and we are driving the eight hours together while splitting the gas and hotel costs, which is making it such a cheap trip!

3. Plan Ahead

It’s hard for us sometimes to make plans in advance, but if you can book a flight, or book a hotel, it’s much more beneficial to you if you can book it at least a few weeks out. Every time I want to go home, and have to book a flight, I make sure that it’s at least a month out because the prices are much cheaper.

4. Landmarks

Find cool places to go that don’t require you to spend a lot of money to see them. Once you are on your way, find bars, local shops, and restaurants to make it an adventure along the way!

To have a great summer, you don’t have to have a lot of money, or go to another country. Get a group of friends, or your loved one, and start making plans!

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