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Traveling can be tricky, but tips from someone who has travelled to five countries in less than three months may prove benefi­cial. That’s where I come in. I would like to let you know some of the things I learned while traveling and studying abroad.

First off, double and triple check the deal you are getting for tickets and hostel/or hotels (and if you are not getting a deal, look harder). We found that it takes some time to find the cheapest plane tickets. There are many websites such as opodo.com and kayak.com which are help­ful and usually have cheap tickets. Those two are my favorites, but there are doz­ens out there.

Something to be aware of when buying plane tick­ets is the fact that the more times you look at certain tickets on certain websites, the higher the prices will be. For example, if you want to buy your tickets on Sun­day and keep checking on Thursday, Friday, and Sat­urday to make sure they are still there, it is likely that by the time you get to Sunday, the tickets will be more expensive. When that happened to me, it seemed that the more traffic going to specific tickets made the tickets more expensive.

Another tip I have is to book plane tickets before hostel or hotel tickets. My friend and I made the mis­take of booking our hostel for certain dates and then realizing we had to get plane tickets to get us there for the night before. We landed in Ireland with no place to stay and resorted to calling hos­tels that night to see if they had room. It worked out, but I do not recommend it.

I used the website hos­telworld.com when booking hostels. It is easy to use and does not require payment (besides a deposit) until you arrive at the hostel (tip: Be sure to check the ratings of the hostels. I recommend looking for ratings with an 8.0 out of 10 or higher in most categories).

Lastly, this is not some­thing I always stuck to but when traveling in Europe, or anywhere really, I sug­gest traveling to places that are not large tourist areas. I had wonderful trips that in­cluded Dublin and London which are rather large tour­ist destinations but some­times it was nice to travel somewhere that was not bustling with tourists. Other trips, however, such as Do­ver, United Kingdom, and Cardiff, Wales (which are less touristy) were incred­ible. Some of those trips I will remember forever.

Traveling is amazing and there are so many different possible destinations. While they can be incredible, I think it is important to re­member that you are not home and you are not in fa­miliar areas. It is crucial to stay vigilant and stay smart. Planes may land late at night or pub crawls may leave you out past dark which can be dangerous. Whenever I travelled, I had never been to the area or city before, so I always traveled with a friend and made sure to make smart decisions.

Stay safe and good luck with your travels!

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