First trip while studying Abroad

Reading week might soon be coming to an end, both at U of T and at UCL. Just like in Toronto, this week is meant to help us catch up, or for a couple others, get ahead. Since my first year in university, this week has always been particularly good for me to unwind and relax after working hard during the first half of the semester. However, for Reading Week (and because my mom and brother were going to be visiting me) I decided to plan a short trip to Scotland with them. Edinburgh had always been on my bucket list! As I started planning, I realized it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, so as a reminder, I've decided to write down a few tips. Decisions decisions decisions... Before heading out anywhere, make a list of all the places you want to see. Once I had my list down, it was easier to decide where to go. But that's probably the easiest decision. Once I decide where to go, I make a list of all the things I want to do there, and rank them.
The Edinburgh castle from a low angle
The Edinburgh castle!
Route it So I know where I want to go and what I want to do, but how do I actually get there? Before heading out, I have to check the map and literally see the distances. After that, I then figure out how to get to the attractions I want to see, trying to find a balance between fast and cheap. We've all heard that traveling in Europe is cheap, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, I will have to dedicate most of my budget on travel, and I simply have to plan around that. Quick tip: I love using Rome2Rio to plan my trips, it helps me see what's the most efficient way! Whenever I'm trying to save money, the key is groceries; find a place with a small kitchen and pack lunch!
Francesca smiling in front of Loch Ness.
We knew we wanted to see Loch Ness, so we planned around it!
Budget! Last, but certainly not least, is figuring out a budget. Considering how many places I want to travel to, I have to be careful not to spend too much at each place. So as I mentioned before, I always decide what I'll be spending the most money on. Whether it's transport, eating out, or a specific tour I want to take, I'm careful to figure out how much I'll be spending on all other things. Although traveling from one place to the other might be expensive, it's fairly easy to find cheap places to stay, so I personally prefer to save on that. However, planning my budget ahead allows me to treat myself a couple of times and travel as much as I can.
A sandwich in a paper box.
A quick lunch can save you not only time, but money 🙂

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