I speak to so many people who marvel over some of my summer adventures and conclude with “I wish I could do the same”.  Well, why don’t you? The travel bug is very contagious and, if you’ve caught it, then it’s time to stop making excuses and get yourself out there. I know it’s not always that simple but what if you’re making it more complicated and scary in your head? What if you just did it?

“ We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if we only seek them with our eyes open ”
– Jawharal Nehru

What’s actually stopping most people isn’t money, it’s having the courage to just book it and go for it. Through the rest of this article, I will be exploring some of the most common excuses used for not travelling and how you can find a way around the problem.

“I don’t have time”
Travelling doesn’t have to be months at a time - take whatever you can get. If you can’t get time off work then do it at a weekend or over a bank holiday, it doesn’t have to be far: Europe is on our doorstep! With so many stunning cities to explore and more accessible than ever, plus many mega buses and trains doing cheap European travel, you don’t even have to fly. Quick whirlwind trips consisting of a few days in a foreign city can be incredible and you’ll be surprised how much you can fit in with just a couple days. Check out Five Offbeat Things To Do In Paris.

“It’s too expensive”
Sky Scanner is your best friend. Keep your eyes peeled and check it regularly for your best chance of finding a bargain! It’s more than possible to get return flights for under £40. Keep hold of connections and if you have friends abroad use them when visiting - chances are they would love to have you stay anyway and will save you the costs of paying for a hotel. Hostels are pretty cheap and, sometimes, last minute hotels can offer you cheap rooms if you bargain with them as they prefer to have full rooms. Couchsurfing is also a handy app for any traveller which allows you to interact with fellow travelers and find places to stay for free. Fundamentally, and like anything else in life, it’s also largely to do with priorities. Where you may spend £50 on clothes and going out a month, I would spend that on travelling.

Food glorious food
Choose hostels that have a kitchen you can use. Cooking your own food will not only save you lots of money but also offers a chance to get to know people in the hostel better and try local products. It also means that, when you do eat out, it feels more of a special occasion.

Language Barrier
Okay, I appreciate that the language barrier can be a little daunting but it shouldn’t be something that stops you travelling. In most places, especially European countries, the people living there speak remarkably good English. Still, you will pick up phrases as you go along and it will be appreciated when you make an effort to give the local lingo a go.

I can’t find anyone to go with
Organising to travel with other people can be a nightmare and more often than not, people will flake out. One way around this is to take control, organise it then all they have to do is give you the money. Alternatively, you should consider travelling alone. Solo travel can be so liberating. When you stay in hostels, you will meet loads of people; many of whom will be travelling alone. I get it, though, the prospect of going completely alone might be scary. Companies like Contiki and Busabout offer amazing group trips, check them out. 

Vaccines
They aren’t as scary or as painful as you think and, if you’re going somewhere they’re required, are an absolute must. Alternatively, you can plan it so only go areas where you won’t need any shots (except tequila) so this definitely shouldn’t be something that stops you.

If this article sounds like any of the worries you’ve had or the excuses you’ve made, then I hope that I’ve made you feel better. I know that being a skint student can make travelling seem out of reach, especially if you’re funding your uni life yourself, but if you can prioritise, save, and make smart choices, then you can do it. These are the years to get out and explore, before the responsibilities of adult life creep up on us. 

Have you got a story that will inspire or entertain students? We want to hear from you! Email joinus@myunibasics.co.uk 

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Written by Ruth Squires, 10 months ago