Top Traveling Tips for Young Adults

Karissa Kuchtyn

Many young adults in university are often asked what they want to do after graduation. A common answer most of the time is to travel before they must settle down. For a lot of people, making sure they have the best experience on their trip is revolved around how they budget and plan. From my traveling experiences myself and asking my friends Alyssa and Sarah, we’ve easily found that these aren’t the most important things. Luckily for you, I was able to put together what I thought were the most valuable lessons my friends and I learned from our travels that we wished we would have known before, so you don’t have to do it the hard way and learn yourself.

1. Take Time to Learn the Language and Culture

No matter where you go even just learning how to say hello or things like please and thank you can change how you are seen and treated by locals. Learning a couple words can give you advantages in a lot of situations. Lucky for us there are many free apps that work without wi-fi that you can carry with you. One of my favorites is DuoLingo. Or as Sarah says, “download google translate, don’t let language barrier scare you! They make for such great stories and a way to expericnce a different culture!”. There is nothing worse than trying to ask for help from someone who doesn’t understand you and that you don’t understand and making yourself frustrated. Going along with language, if you pick up or hear about cultural cues certain places may have, don’t be afraid to use them and show that you have respect for their culture or country while you are there. You are their guest and more people are likely to help you and if they notice you are being respectful.

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2. Don’t be Afraid to Talk to Locals

Going hand in hand with downloading an app or trying to learn some of the language, locals know more about the place you’re in than the internet does. When you are in a new of different place, locals will end up being your best friends. Most the time you will learn about the best restaurants or the most satisfying things to do in that specific area when you ask the people who live there for suggestions. Touristy things are fun to do and partake in, but don’t plan your whole trip around them.  Take time to find things that will be the most enjoyable to you and your experience in a new and exciting place. Having your own unique experiences in a place that others may not have had the chance to have will make your trip so much more valuable to you.

3. Be Open to Change

Even if you plan everything out, the chances of you having a perfect trip is unrealistic. If you plan your whole trip out ahead of time, it may end up closing a lot of opportunities you could have had. Some of the greatest experiences that come from traveling are those that weren’t meant to happen and are spontaneous without prior planning. When asking my friend Alyssa about her travels and a piece of advice she wanted to share was to “be okay with disappointment. Just because you’ve always wanted to go somewhere and just because everyone else goes somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Some of the best memories are ones that no one else has.”

4. Hostels are Your Friends

When you’re traveling, alone or with people don’t be scared to stay in hostels. Hostels get a bad reputation for being dirty or sketchy, but sometimes they can be nicer than some hotels in certain places and it’s a great way to meet people. People who are staying in hostels are usually by themselves traveling and are always looking to make new friends. Not to mention being able to have a connection with someone they usually have valuable stories to share and recommendations on things to do and not do while you are visiting place, which can be very helpful to you in the future. Not only are hostels usually extremely inexpensive, but they even may provide meals when you are staying which can help you save money to use for other things on your trip.  

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5. Pack Light and Pack Smart

Being an over packer myself, it took me a couple tries until I finally realized I don’t need to have a different outfit every day. When you look back on your trip you won’t think about the outfits you had, but you will remember your experience. Don’t forget that you can buy things as you go, and laundromats exist in a lot of different countries. You also don’t have to lug around a huge suitcase everywhere you go. Less is always more when traveling. Try not to take your passport or wallet with you anywhere unless you really need it, and if you do need it make sure its in an extremely safe place. Alyssa likes to use pre-paid cards whenever she goes places so if it does get stolen, its not all her money in one place. All banks have access to give you these and its easier to load money onto a temporary card then must cancel every card you brought with you that may have been stolen or misplaced.

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6. Don’t be Afraid to Travel Alone

Traveling alone allows you to do the things that you want to do. When you are with a group or friends you are more likely to do things that you don’t find interesting or may feel like you are wasting part of your trip. Even if you are with your friends Alyssa says “if you really want to do something, but no one wants to go with you don’t sacrifice that for something else or cop out and stay in. Being alone gives you time to relax and reset which is hard to do if you’re constantly around people”.  Use your time on your trip the way it will be most beneficial to you and that you will get the best experience for yourself. Wherever your travels take you, always make it something enjoyable for yourself and use it as a learning opportunity to grow as a person. If you need time alone and are traveling with friends, take that time for yourself! From the words of my friend Sarah, “The imperfections, the shortcomings, they’re the best part of travel. Traveling puts you in tough situations that help you grow, put you out of your comfort zone and push you to be creative. Things go wrong and things go great, and it all makes for an overall phenomenal experience and something to look back on”.

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Thank you to my friends Alyssa and Sarah for sharing their experiences with me! Follow their travels and Instagram’s here!

https://www.instagram.com/alyssa33333/

https://www.instagram.com/lazyt_

Traveling in Your 20s on a Budget

Baylee Barckley

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Thailand is a very popular tourist country for young travelers. Koh Phi Phi, specifically, because you can enjoy the Phi Phi Islands with white sandy beaches and clear blue water. The only way to get to these islands is by ferry or boat. This popular destination spot has diving and snorkeling that get great reviews from travelers. Also, the Phi Phi Island have made a few movie appearances, like The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. An interesting fact about the Phi Phi Islands is that Phi Phi Leh is free of human inhabitants and Phi Phi Don is without roads. This is a destination to relax and enjoy the views for a couple days. While Koh Phi Phi may be the more expensive option in Thailand, it is still inexpensive to visit compared to other countries.

CostAvg daily price for traveling in Koh Phi Phi: $66
Avg price of food: $11 (per day)
Avg price for a hotel: $73 (per couple)
MealsFood: $3 to $28 (depending on style of food)
Beer: $2.30
FlightsLAX to Phuket City: $582
*depending on departing airport
TransportationFerry to island: $12 to $18 (one way)
AttractionsDeep Sea Fishing: $85
Rock Climbing on cliff: $31 (Tonsai Tower)
Learn to cook Thai Food: $16
Sunset Kayaking

Arenal Area, Costa Rica

Being one of Costa Rica’s most popular destination spots, Arenal Area offers a beautiful hiking area, a lake, and the very popular La Fortuna waterfall sitting at the base of a volcano. A few things to see while visiting Arenal is the Arenal National Park where you can see wild life, hike trails, and see a great view of the sunset. The hot springs are also another necessary stop to make in Costa Rica. These natural hot tubs are located at the base of the volcano that you can take a dip in after a long hike. If you want to take a closer look at the crater of the volcano you can take a tour via the hanging bridges. Arenal Area is different than most traveling spots, but it offers attractions that other places can’t.

Flights LAX to San Jose: $450
*depending on departing airport
HotelHostel: $10 to $15 (shared room)
Budget Hotel: $50 to $70 (private bathroom, A/C, hot water)
Mid-Range Hotel: $100 to $200 (A/C, hot water, TV, Wi-fi, complimentary breakfast)
TransportationPublic Bus: $4
La Fortuna Bus: $2
Taxi:$5
Bike Rentals: $6 (half day)
Easy to get around on foot
MealsLunch: $8 to $12
Beer/ Cocktails: $2 to $3
AttractionsHanging Bridges Tour: $23
National Park: $9
Zip Lining: $50 to $85
Rafting Tour: $70 to $130
Kayak Tour: $50 to $75

Albania

Traveling to Europe is perceived to be costly, but Albania is an exception to this rule. Albania is a much more affordable place to live than other areas in Europe, which benefits young travelers in there 20’s in getting to experience a little bit of Europe. One of the top attractions in Albania is the castle in the city of Shkoder. An interesting attraction for tourists is a rotating bar in Tirana called The Sky Tower Bar. You can enjoy a nice cold beer while slowly spinning 360 degrees getting to see Tirana at all angles and watching the sunset. If you are interested in learning about the history of Albania, you can visit an abandoned bunker museum in Tirana. Another attraction that other destination spots don’t offer is wild camping on the Albania’s beaches. The Albania Riveria is a major attraction to Europe by young travelers because of the reputation it has with being a music location hosting music festival like Turtle Fest. Also, nightclubs, like Havana Beach Club draw people in their young age across Europe.

CostHotel: $47
Airbnb options
MealsFood: starting @ $5.50
Beer: $2
Coffee: $1.30
TransportationTaxi: $2.30
FlightsJFK to Tirana: $500
*depending on departing airport

Havana, Cuba

Havana being the capital city of Cuba has always been a popular tourist destination with vintage cars and colorful Spanish colonial architecture; however, it wasn’t always that Americans could go visit Cuba. In December 2014, the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba was restored, but not without a few traveling restrictions. In order to book a solo travel experience to Cuba it needs to be for educational purposes. This is where you meet Cuban citizens in normal daily life setting, like school and community centers. One of the adventures you can take part in is riding in a vintage convertible for an hour cruising up and down the avenues of Havana. Something that is a must see in Cuba is the El Malecon, a five-mile-long boulevard that stretches along the water, with Havana Bay on one side and Old Havana, Vedado, and Central Havana on the other. At night, many Cubans come to watch the sunset with their loved ones, drink and laugh.

CostAvg daily price for traveling in Havana: $18
Avg food price: $5.39 (per person)
Avg price for hotel: $17 (per couple)
Avg drink price: $2 (cocktails) $1 (beer)
TransportationPrivate Taxi: $2.50 to $7 (within city)
Shared Taxi: $0.50
Viazul Bus: $4 to $5 (reliable schedule and A/C)
City Bus: $0.04
Scooter: $25 (per day)
FlightsMiami to Cuba: $275
*depending on departing airport
AttractionsMuseum of the Revolution: $8
Vintage Car Ride: $15 to $25 (30 min)
Horseback Riding: $115 (3 hour trip depending on city)
Scuba Diving: $40 (including equipment)

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a place that only requires a traveler to walk outside to enjoy themselves. This city, also known as, the Island of the Gods, is meant for exploring. Surrounded by beautiful seas and golden-brown beaches, Bali is a surfer’s dream, which you can do in Kuta Beach, the most famous beach in Bali. Don’t know how to surf? Across the sand bar you can sign up for surf lessons. The Island of Gods also offers other attractions like the Ulun Danu Temple. This building is one of the quietest and most serene places on the island. The Bali Treetop Adventure Park is ready for an afternoon of adrenaline, but also is great for families and children as young as 4 years old. Other attractions tourists can’t miss out on are the caves, museums and parks that Bali offer.

CostAvg daily price for traveling in Bali: $63
Avg price for food: $19 (per day)
Avg price for a hotel: $74 (per couple)
FlightsLAX to Denpasar: $850
*depending on departing airport
Transportation
Motorbike: $20 to $30 (per week; need international license)
AttractionScuba Diving: $100 (per day for 2 dives; includes lunch, transportation, and equipment)
Massages: $10 (per hour)

What I From Learned Driving in the Snow

Caroline Armstrong

Being raised in Seattle, Washington I did not get many opportunities to drive in the snow growing up. When it did snow, usually only 1-2 inches, everything shut down and people just simply stayed home – no need to drive! With the current snow storm hitting the Seattle area, I though I would share the valuable lesson I learned in 2015.

After high school I decided to go to college in Montana, and as most people know it snows quite a bit in Montana. My first year of college, I decided to drive back to Seattle for Thanksgiving with a few of my friends. It had just begun snowing the day before and I had a 4-wheel drive car so I figured everything should be OK.

I began my drive down I-90 West with a car full of gals, the snow was light and everything was going fine… well, for about 50 miles at least.

Coming around a slight curve at about 60 MPH (the Montana speed limit is 80 MPH) I felt my back tires starting to slide and just like that I had lost all control. My car spun around 3 or 4 times before slamming into a ditch and screeching to a stop. Shock. That’s all I felt. Silence. No one had said a word the whole time we were spinning and crashing. Immediately we all got out of the car to make sure everyone was OK and to examine the damage.

The airbags had deployed, I had a broken front axle, completely messed up front and back bumpers, two popped tires and two bent rims. But most importantly, no one was hurt. Luckily, my friends are much better at handling bad situations than I am because that is when it all set it. I could have killed myself and all my friends. Why? Because I was inexperienced. I didn’t know to slow down. I didn’t know to be on the lookout for black ice – what ended by causing the accident. I just didn’t know.

Driving when there is snow and ice on the road is unlike any other driving condition. Yes, you might have 4-wheel drive but that does not mean you have 4-wheel stop. The ice has a mind of its own and once you begin to slide it can be very hard to stop.

This winter, I beg of you to go slow in the snow. If you are an experienced snow driver, slow down. If you have never driven in the snow before, slow down. Even if the roads seem fine, slow down. It could save your life.

The Japanese are crazy about taking miniature pictures of themselves

I recently took a school field trip to Japan.  We are studying innovation and technology in the MSBA program at UM, so I was excited to see what was happening over there.  Throughout our journey we were shuttled to various tourist attractions:  Mount Aso (an active volcano), Kumamoto castle, Shibuya square in Tokyo, Senso-ji temple, and others.

mount aso volcano    kumamoto castle japan

shibuya crossing at night    sensoji temple

One day we were going to visit a place called the Yokosuka Research Park, just a short drive from Tokyo.  We were lucky enough to have a UM professor of Japanese language literature guiding us around Japan.  On the way he recounted a visit to Japan earlier in his life (maybe late 1990’s) when he noticed some ‘new technology’ the Japanese had just begun using at the time.  “It was a way for people to take a picture on a cellular phone and send it to another person….What an odd thing and it was hard to imagine what people would want this for.  I was sure this would be a fad and would never catch on.”

Image result for Yokosuka Research Park

BBC news reports in this article 9/18/2001 and asks readers “What would you do with a gadget like this, particularly as it costs nearly US $500?”

  • “Infinite uses for the teenager, not entirely sure what the rest of us would do with one though.”
  • “I would use the camera phone to take pictures of my best friend, my dog Benson.”
  • “Great for spying. The camera could be held against a keyhole, and the images immediately sent to any interested parties.”

Keep in mind myspace.com wasn’t launched until 2003, facebook.com in 2004.  In this case, the innovation created the need, instead of the need creating the innovation.  This is what we were thinking about as we visited the place where they basically invented the camera phone.

So what did we discover the Japanese are developing there today:  the simple answer is 5G.

Here are a few quick facts about 5G:

  • Data rates of tens of megabits per second for tens of thousands of users
  • Data rates of 100 megabits per second for metropolitan areas
  • 1 Gb per second simultaneously to many workers on the same office floor
  • Several hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections for wireless sensors

Again, it is hard to know exactly what people will do with this, but here is their vision of the year 2020 with 5G

Thanks for reading!
David Brewer

Ser un viajero, not a tourist

 

 

As college students, we talk a lot about traveling the world, experiencing different cultures, and expanding our worldview. How can we do this in a way where we can truly begin to understand a culture? To me, this means to be a traveler (ser un viajero in Spanish), not a tourist. I prefer to travel in a manner that separates me from the typical tourist and allows me the opportunities to experience the types of connections with people and place that begin to foster a deeper understanding.  Here are a few tips that will help you see the true nature of a new place in short time.

Put away the travel guides.

Sorry, Rick Steves and Lonely Planet. Yes, you can find a wealth of information about any city or country in these books. Peruse them for details on must-see sights, but don’t use them to decide where to eat or sleep. You will be directed to places where you will encounter more tourists than locals, and miss the places that carry the true vibe of a city. Depending on a travel guide is like dipping your toes in the surface of the lake, compared to jumping off the dock and diving in!

Moclín, Andalucia, Spain Photo Credit: Rafael Olieto

Use public transportation – and your own two feet.

Taxis are expensive, but even if your budget allows, you will learn more about a place and its people on buses and in the subway. You will need to study maps and the layout of a city, the names of the streets, instead of placing your navigation in the hands of someone else. And allow free time in your schedule to wander and explore by foot, getting lost in the true sounds and smells and colors of the local culture. The best memories I have of Marrakesh are the streets that weren’t full of tourists, walking in the heat, smelling the food being cooked in the homes nearby. Or in Granada, climbing up and through the twisting streets, never knowing where one would end up.

Granada, Andalucia, Spain Photo: Vickie Rectenwald

Talk to strangers. Learn at least a few phrases of the local language.

You don’t have to proficient in another language, but knowing a few key phrases will allow to you to connect with the random person on the street who will send you to his uncle’s corner bar where you will eat the most amazing tapas, or to the quaint little café where no one speaks English but you will fall in love with the pastries and rich coffee. I have been fortunate to have made some great friends just because I was willing to ask a few friendly questions.

Let go of expectations.

You will encounter everyday things that are so different from what you are used to. Paying for the use of a toilet, the lack of wi-fi in every corner, no to-go cups for coffee, and nudity in advertising are just a few examples I encountered in Europe. Suspend your judgement and let go of the attitude that what is familiar to you is the best way. Smile, enjoy the things that force you to slow down and reflect.

Moclín, Andalucia, Spain Photo Credit: Rafael Olieto

Eat the local food.

Even if you do not completely understand the ingredient list, or how to pronounce it, give it a try. American food has found its way into most corners of the world, and you will have plenty of chances to have pizza and burgers when you get back home. But you will regret not giving your palate the chance to explore.  When I was in Spain, I was hesitant at first to try caracoles (snails). I took a deep breath, probably closed my eyes, and hoped I would not make too gruesome of a face in front of my hosts. Surprisingly, I was delighted with the salty, earthy taste. Caracoles became one of my favorite Spanish delicacies, and I definitely cannot find them in Montana!

Caracoles in Linares, Andalucia, Spain Photo: Vickie Rectenwald

I plan to continue to travel to new places and gain insights into other cultures. I hope my list of favorite foods grows and expands. But most of all, I plan to continue making friends around the globe that enrich my life.

I hope you find these tips useful, and I also hope that you can travel and learn in whatever corner of the world pulls at your heart. Thanks for reading, and please share your own travel tips in the comments below!

Vickie Rectenwald studies Marketing, International Business, and the world around her. She lived in Granada, Spain for a year, and has also traveled to Morocco, France, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii. She will try any food once and can always find something in common with the person she is speaking to. Follow her travels on Instagram @montandaluz.