Traveling While Abroad

Katie Moore
December 12, 2021

It’s no secret that when you study abroad in Europe, you kind of have the entire continent at your disposal. For some people that means visiting a different country every weekend, while for others it doesn’t mean anything. During my time in Spain, I decided to go for a mix of exploring my host country and taking a look around the E.U., and I wanted to share with y’all some things I learned during those travels. 

First and foremost, traveling costs money. I know, duh. But seriously knowing what trips to splurge on and what to skip because of your budget is super important. So, for me personally I knew that I wanted to take advantage of the day trips we took with IES Abroad. For us Granada kids, that meant visiting almost every major city in Andalucia without having to pay extra because it was already included in our tuition. Plus, you get to travel with all your friends that you’ve made in the program without doing an excessive amount of planning or looking for hotels. Another great way to save money is knowing where and when to buy your plane tickets. Buying your tickets on weekdays, buying them well in advance, and using websites like and are all excellent ways to conserve your cash. 

Secondly, traveling with other people can be equal parts fun and choatic. Going on weekend trips is a great way to get to know people better, but can also start to feel a little claustrophobic with only so many people to talk to—especially since you’ll likely spend every second of your trip together. Now, this isn’t to discourage you to travel with friends because I’ve made some of my best memories on my weekend trips; but, just want to remind you that vibing with someone in class is different than sharing a hotel room with them. 

Third, travelling in itself can be stressful, especially during COVID, so make sure you have a plan! That doesn't necessarily mean having every second of your trip mapped out, but having some main activities in mind before you arrive can definitely help keep things running smoothly. Also, just as a tip, make sure you’ve read all the airline policies before showing up to the airport. A lot of countries are requiring you to fill out certain travel forms (due to COVID), may require you to pre-print your boarding pass, and can even have janky rules about baggage. I ran into last minute trouble with all of those things, so take it from me you will thank your past self for reading the airline’s fine print and being on top of your travel plans.

Finally, don’t wait 'til the last minute to do all your traveling. Of course take the time to get to know your host city, but don't wait til the final month of your semester to visit five different countries in a row. Why not? Because 1) You’ll be exhausted, 2) You’ll be busy gearing up for finals, and 3) You might miss out on some great experiences in your host city. Spreading your travel out will give you time to process each trip and time to look forward to the next one, and will help not overwhelm you all at the end of the semester. Getting to visit other countries and cities is one of the many amazing things about studying abroad, but you have to make sure you’re getting the most out of those trips. Hopefully this short read will help you when deciding to travel in the future!

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Katie Moore

<p>Hey Y'all! My name is Katie and I am so excited to be studying in Granada, Spain this fall! I go to Occidental College in Los Angeles and am a psychology major with a double minor in linguistics and journalism. I am very active in my school's dance community and have choreographed twice for our all-school showcase called Dance Production. As a dancer, I can't wait to learn more about Flamenco and explore new music from the area. I love going on long walks, trying out new foods, and I'm very much a movie nerd. I'm looking forward to sharing my adventures with you, and hope you enjoy reading along with me!</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Occidental College
Arlington, VA
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