The Layman’s Guide to Travel

Sam Astorga
February 24, 2017

As I embark on a week of traveling on spring break, I would like to give my two cents on my travel advice so far. I will break down this advice into four categories: preparation, flexibility, awareness, and fun.

This is arguably one of the most important things besides fun. The more prepared you are the easier your life will be once you arrive. Whether you make a mental checklist or a physical one, make sure to start packing a few days in advance. When you think, I have my plane ticket, medicine, suitcase, laptop, and etc., should I be all good to go? You are sorely mistaken. One of the most important parts of travel is finding intermediary travel between destinations. You may have to take an air bus, metro, and walk to your hostel or airbnb. I highly recommend against taxis because they often overcharge American tourists and empty your pockets before the food and souvenirs. Also another important note is to schedule your activities ahead of time. Let’s say you go to Barcelona, if you go to the Sagrada Familia get the fast track ticket so you don’t have to wait in line.

On to Flexibility:

Let’s face it, preparedness is great, but even if you do speak the language native to the country you’re visiting, you still will have a hard time finding things, navigating roads, and so on. I still even have problems in Ireland. So make sure to be FLEXIBLE. Try to leave early to your destinations in case you get lost. Don’t be afraid to make a change in the schedule. If a good opportunity arises, take advantage of it! And the most important thing I can say is never be afraid to ask a question. More often than not, people will be more than happy to assist you in where you’re going. Just make sure you are asking the right person (we will get to this in awareness).


Let’s face it, your American look, walk, outgoing attitude, and accent all make you easy bait for being taken advantage of. So be aware. In some places (specifically Southern Europe), pickpocketing is rampant, so if you are carrying bags put them backwards. Furthermore, if you are worried about getting pickpocketed, don’t carry your valuables when going out (unless its to and from the airport). This can happen with bars, taxis, and tourist destinations. Avoid people wearing trench coats. So be alert and always ALWAYS travel with friends.


But with all this in mind, you’re going on a vacation to have fun! Make sure to try excellent food, get some cool knick knacks, and take tourist photos. You’re only young once, so don’t worry about too much sleep, you can do that back at home! J

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Sam Astorga

<p>Greetings, welcome to my blog! My name is Sam, and I grew up in South Pasadena as well as books. I am majoring in history and minoring in Russian language at Occidental College, but I always dreamed of studying Irish history and literature. This semester I am going to attend the Trinity College Direct Transfer program.</p>

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