We had the pleasure of chatting with Andy Steves on Facebook Live, about his tips and tricks for city-hopping on a budget.
You may know him as the son of travel guru, Rick Steves, but Andy has made a name for himself by creating guides for adventurers who like to incorporate the newest tricks for traveling on a budget—without sacrificing any of the fun! After launching Weekend Student Adventures (WSA Europe) in 2010, Andy created several innovative itineraries aimed at young travelers—including his most recent book, Andy Steves: Europe: City-Hopping on a Budget.
In case you missed our Facebook Live Q&A session, we discussed Andy’s new book, and he shared his secrets to affordable (and meaningful) travel, how to get the most out of weekend trips while studying abroad, go-to travel apps and tools, and how to find hot spots (and meet the locals) wherever you go!
Here are just a few of the great takeaways from our chat. We’ve also included the timing so you can refer back to the Facebook Live interview for info more on the topic.
IES Abroad: Would you say studying abroad changed you?
Andy Steves(AS): Spending time abroad challenges you to change your perspective on life. (4:21)
IES Abroad: Why did you decide to do a book vs. something digital?
AS: Books don’t run out of batteries. (7:14)
IES Abroad: How can you find the best prices for airline travel?
AS: Never search with just one airline. Also, read all the fine print when you buy a ticket and make travel arrangements. (9:23)
IES Abroad: What tools would you suggest make traveling easier?
AS: Apps are your best friend (and they can help with language barrier). (10:15)
IES Abroad: Any tips for when staying in a hostel?
AS: Bring a lock to a hostel, and not too many valuables. (11:33)
IES Abroad: What are some affordable accommodation options when traveling?
AS: Use Airbnb! (12:00)
IES Abroad: How can you learn more in a short amount of time when visiting another country for the weekend?
AS: Befriend your tour guide! (13:30)
IES Abroad: What if you’re extroverted enough to befriend your tour guide? What else can you do to help learn more about the culture, best local spots and things to do?
AS: Bring your hobbies and passions with you. Research events and experiences that correspond with what you like to do. That’s an easy way to start an itinerary. (16:00)
IES Abroad: Do you have any recommendations for accommodations while studying abroad?
AS: Homestays will help you become immersed in the culture. (18:00)
IES Abroad: With so much opportunity to travel while studying abroad, how should I split my time between the city I’m studying and traveling?
AS: Spend a third of your time in the city you’re studying in, a third of the time in the country you’re studying in, and a third of the time visiting other countries. (21:00)
IES Abroad: What are your tips for budgeting while studying abroad?
AS: Pace yourself with your budget. Just because you’re excited, doesn’t mean you should spend it as soon as you get there. (25:00)
IES Abroad: Some final words of wisdom?
AS: When you study abroad and come back to the States, finish undergrad, and you’re looking for the first job, it’s important to articulate the value of study abroad. Don’t just list off where you went and just say, ‘it was good.’
You should dive into the life experiences you learned outside the classroom (and inside the classroom) about yourself, figuring out solutions to difficult challenges, intercultural communication—you can definitely apply that in a professional setting.
Want more information on you can city-hop on a budget, check out our FB Live session with Andy, here