By now, I'm sure you've heard about the dreaded 20-hour plane flight across the country, or the overnight ferry spanning 24 hours to some far away island. When it comes to traveling the world, people conquer intensive travel itineraries to explore destinations unknown on a feasible budget. While I would consider myself an avid traveler, my travel limits were tested during my recent ten-day trip to Greece.
Greece is a magnificent country. It's islands are made up of lush green landscapes overlooking water so blue you might consider asking the Greeks how they managed to funnel enough Blueberry Kool-Aid into the water to supply an entire ocean. On the island of Santorini, small-whitewashed houses with royal blue rooftops sit atop one another on a steep cliff that overlooks an electric ocean sparkling beneath the radiant sun. The scenery is priceless. Well, kind of...
Pay the price. This phrase proves quite fitting as I sit here reflecting on my recent spring break excursion to the Greek Islands of Corfu, Athens, and Santorini. If you are a student traveling to Greece on a budget, you probably don't have the luxury of catching a direct flight into your island of choice. Instead, you may find it most economical to travel by train, bus, and ferry.
Train, bus, and ferry - easy enough, right? Not exactly... On my return trip from Santorini, I traveled a cumulative 72 hours back to Florence, Italy. What's more, Florence was merely a pit stop in my return to Barcelona, Spain (though by no means an unfortunate one). My return itinerary consisted of a ten-hour ferry ride to Athens, Greece, followed by a 6-hour bus ride to the port of Athens. To follow up, we hopped on a 24-hour ferry back to Ancona, Italy where we caught a four-hour train ride to Florence. Three full days of travel. No exercise. Limited food choices. Constant movement. Traveling under these circumstances is by no means easy. Consequently, I've provided my top five travel tips for gearing up for the long haul during your international travel endeavors.
1. Drink water. And as much of it as you can. Water keeps you energized, healthy, and lowers your stress levels while traveling. Make sure to budget an extra 15-20 euros into your trip for water, as many countries you visit may not have safe drinking water from the tap.
2. Sleep when you can. Many people overlook the importance of sleep when traveling. If you want to make the most out of our time at each destination, use your time on the ferry, bus, and train to catch a few extra hours of shut eye. These hours add up in the long run.
3. Buy food in advance. If you're like me and you want healthy food options while traveling, don't expect to get them on ferries and trains. Instead, try and find a local market close to your departure point and stock up on foods you like to eat.
4. Surround yourself with people you like. This is a big one. Traveling with people you enjoy being around is crucial. Intensive travel can test your patience and alter your mood, so it's crucial to interact with people who make you laugh and enjoy yourself.
5. Bring Tums. Traveling takes a toll on your digestive system. I cannot begin to count the number of students on my trip who struggled through stomach aches and bloating. You are constantly moving, eating at random times, and changing your sleeping pattern, which often times catches up with your digestion causing an upset stomach.
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<div>I am a junior undergraduate at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, majoring in Marketing & International Business. I am also a member of the Kelley Consulting Workshop — a program geared toward building analysis, presentation, and teamwork capabilities for a competitive career in consulting. I am currently pursuing a career in Marketing Strategy and Brand Development. As a value-driven individual passionate about holistic health and well-being, I continue to search for new opportunities to contribute to the health and longevity of our people and planet.</div>