By Michelle Campbell
This is part of an ongoing blog series by Study Abroad Spring 2012 alum, Michelle Campbell, a current senior at Florida State University. Michelle will be sharing her experiences and advice for the best ways to stay safe while traveling and studying abroad.
When a destination is too far to travel by train or bus, booking a flight in Europe is the perfect solution. It’s easy, efficient, and surprisingly inexpensive. Airfare in the U.S. is completely different from that in Europe. Thanks to airlines such as RyanAir and EasyJet, never has flying been so cheap. My cheapest flight was under 30 Euro. Let me repeat that…UNDER 30 EURO! My most expensive was about 80 Euro. But still, that’s not bad at all compared to the $200+ you have to spend to get somewhere in the United States.
From one traveler to another – you should definitely take advantage of the great deals you can get with flights while you are abroad!
Some tips about flying in Europe-
1. Do Your Research. When looking up flights, airlines such as EasyJet and RyanAir may not be the best option. Those airlines only fly out of specific locations. If your city is not one of those locations, you may need to take a train or bus to a nearby airport. In that case, it may be cheaper to use one of the local airlines so you can fly out of your designated city, which saves you time, money, and stress.
2. Make sure you arrive at the airport early. You have to do it in America; Europe is no different, especially if it is an international flight.
3. Pack light. If you are planning on a weekend getaway somewhere, all you really need is a backpack. Yes girls, you can fit everything you really NEED in a backpack. It’s not worth taking a suitcase to fit that extra pair of high heels. Take only what you KNOW you will wear/use while you are traveling.
4. Check the requirements of airlines. If you are flying RyanAir you better make sure your bag meets the weight requirement or they may have you leave it behind. Since those airlines offer such cheap flights, they are very strict about their rules.
5. Don’t be those “obnoxious Americans”. When you are on your flight, or any other means of public transportation, keep your voice and comments in check. I’m sure the other passengers would greatly appreciate you resisting the urge to sing One Direction songs at the top of your lungs.
6. Be respectful. Some countries in Europe may have a different way of doing airport security or checking luggage. Just follow their instructions and don’t say comments like, “That’s not how we do it”. In order to be a respected guest in a foreign country you have to be considerate of other’s customs and procedure.
After residing in Europe for a few weeks, you are going to catch the travel bug. It’s unavoidable. You are going to want to go everywhere and anywhere. As I said before, take advantage of the awesome airline prices available in Europe. Upon your return to the States, you are definitely going to miss going somewhere for 30 Euro – I sure do.
P.S.- the travel bug never goes away. Consider yourself warned…