It is highly recommended for you to travel as much as possible while you are studying or working abroad. Here are some tips to ensure that you will have an enjoyable and stress-free trip when you are travelling abroad.
Make sure that your passport is valid at least 6 months from the time that you plan to travel. If your passport is expiring in less than 6 months, you may consult a Canadian embassy or consulate at the foreign country that you are temporarily residing to renew your passport. Most country would not allow you to enter if your passport validity is less than 6 months.
Some countries require visitors to have an entry visa before they are allowed to enter the country through immigration. It is safe for you to find out beforehand if the country that you are planning to travel to have this requirement. It is advisable for you to apply for an entry visa in advance as it may take up to 90 days or more for the application to be processed. You may consult the Country Travel Advice and Advisories for country-specific visa information.
Since accidents are unpredictable, buying a travel insurance is a very good investment. It will help you to avoid having unexpected pricey expenses such as the cost of medical treatment and/or hospitalization outside Canada. You can learn about buying your travel insurance here.
There are different ways that can get you to your destination. It depends on a few factors such as if you are travelling domestically or internationally, the budget for your trip and when you plan on travelling. Whichever means of transportation that you choose, remember to find out if ISIC card is accepted before you make your purchase to enjoy discounts.
Travelling by coach (or bus) may be one of the cheapest means. Consider this option first when you are planning for a trip especially if you are travelling domestically. Most cities would have a coach service, and they provide a better service than the Greyhound in Canada. This way of travelling is the most ideal for students.
In some regions, travelling by train may be the most convenient way although more expensive than coach. However, because of this, it has the advantage that you can usually get a good night’s sleep. Some of the train services are the Eurail that travels across Europe, the Trans-Siberian Express that travels across Russia, the JR Line that travels across Japan and the KTM that travels across Malaysia and to Thailand and Singapore.
Some destinations give you no option than to travel on the airplane. Although travelling via airplane is generally expensive, you can still find some reasonably-priced airfare on a budget or low-cost airline. If you are lucky, you might find a return airfare that is dirt cheap especially when it if off-season. Websites like Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz usually have great deals for flights.
Since you would most probably walk or use the public transportations to get around the city, it is wise to stay at a lodging that is close to one.
Staying at hostels while travelling is very common these days. Not only it is cheap, it is also a great way to meet other travellers. Although the common culture of hostelling is usually in dorms of 6 to 10 people, they now offer the option of staying in private rooms that may cost slightly expensive. Hostelling International (HI) is one of the popular hostels around the world. It also offers a membership service where if you are a HI member, you are eligible for discounts at any HI worldwide. Another great service is Airbnb, a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone. Airbnb has over 500,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries worldwide.
Some may still want to enjoy the luxuries of staying in a hotel room so that is another option. It may be expensive, but you get to enjoy the facilities that are provided such as business center, swimming pool, gym and sometimes breakfast is included. If there are four of you who are travelling together, staying in a hotel may be worth it as the cost is split four ways. Some good resources if you are looking for a hotel are Hotels.com and booking.com.
If you want to dive right into the culture of a country, you should consider couchsurfing. It is a global community project where the locals in every country offer to host travellers, or in this case, couch surfers. The stay is normally free, and sometimes couch hosts are able to show you around their hometown. As the name couchsurfing indicates, you will sleep on the hosts’ couch. If you are lucky, there might be a bed ready for you. Depending on the hosts, they may also allow you to use their floor space to sleep or their backyard to camp if you are travelling with a number of people.