What a summer! Touring around the States was a really great experience, although certainly not without its stresses and complications.
If you’re thinking of travelling, around America or to more exotic climes, here’s what I’ve learned and my top tips for a great trip.
However much money you think you’ll need, double it
Okay, so you’ve looked at the average price of flights, accommodation etc, but there are so many other expenses you need to consider. Lots of flights booked online (particularly national ones) won’t include baggage which can really add up, plus food always costs more than you think, you’re bound to run out of sun cream, taxis are sometimes unavoidable… if you want to have the best trip possible, make sure you are not scraping by and really have enough money behind you.
I mean the actual getting from A to B part. Flights will get delayed, shuttles will be late, taxis are extortionate. But hey, it’s all part of the ‘experience’. You’ll just need to tolerate it in order to reach your destination. It will all be worth the hassle. Probably.
Choose good people to go with
I was lucky to travel with someone who has similar interests (and dietary requirements!) to me, which worked out great. Remember, you’re going to be living with, eating with, going out with and catching late-night flights with your travel companions- you won’t always be feeling great and things will get stressful at times. Jack the Lad or Party Sue may be great craic when you spend 24 hours with them, but this is very much a different game.
Sometimes its worth paying a little more
You have to figure out what your priorities are. A hotel that costs £10 more a night but will save you taxi fares is definitely worth it. Likewise, a more expensive flight that gives you an extra half-day to explore somewhere is a wise choice. This may sound like common sense but sometimes it’s hard not to be blinded by £££ signs. However…
Accommodation is still a gamble regardless of how much you spend
I certainly had mixed experiences with accommodation, including a cat roomie I hadn’t anticipated. Ultimately, it’s just a place to rest your had by my God will you appreciate a good hotel when you have one. Also, you should definitely steal the shampoos.
Go out and live it
People are so obsessed with documenting everything these days, but these are the sort of experiences you’ll probably only have once. Yes, get photos, but don’t let it detract from the good stuff. Memories will mean more to you than Instagram likes.