March 4, 2010

Ten Tips on Traveling Europe Efficiently: 7 & 8

Coming towards the end of the list - Ron offers some more challenging advice for making the most of an experience abroad.

7) Dump your boyfriend/girlfriend
• I wasn’t in a relationship when I was travelling so I can’t really comment on this. However, many people who were tied up told me they wish they had broken up with their partner before they started travelling. Maybe because they felt restricted? I’m not sure, but thought I would pass this advice on to you anyway.

8) How to meet people
• This is the key to having lots of fun and enjoying your academically charged, culturally bound, and international oriented trip. Going back to “”, staying at the right hostel will permit you to meet people either through the numerous activities put on by the hostel or simply by cooking dinner in the kitchen. Hostels also have common lounges for the main purpose of relaxing with other people. Maybe before you head to the Eifel Tower, the Louvre, the Coliseum, etc., spend some time in the common lounge and see if anybody wants to join.

• Lots of hostels have bars where many of the people congregate at night. Even if you don’t drink, it’s a good place to start a conversation—if someone doesn’t start one with you first.

• Don’t be afraid to explore the city alone. Many people are interested in Americans and their way of life. Going to a cafĂ© in the morning or afternoon is a great place to meet other travelers or locals who would be more than happy to practice there English and show you around. I personally met someone in Spain like this, and that night his family was cooking me dinner.

Not exactly the kind of company Ron's talking about, but a memorable moment nonetheless in Venice, Italy.

In Rome, Italy for Christmas

Would love your comments on these tips - today's or any of the earlier ones mentioned - do you agree/disagree? Have something to add? Tomorrow brings the final two tips.

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