Travel tips and tricks

Post-secondary education is a time when you may find yourself traveling more than ever before, whether it’s to commute between home and school or for a fun trip during the holidays.

However, for someone who has never traveled alone, or at least not without the company of their parents, it can feel quite daunting and overwhelming. If that’s you, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that will make you feel as prepared for your trip as a seasoned traveler!

Before leaving :

  1. Assign someone the role of group leader or have someone take on the responsibility of being the “travel agent”.
  1. Determine where you want to stay:
  2. Airbnb: best for large groups and looking for the most affordable option.
  3. Hostel: if you are looking for a cheaper option and you are alone or with another person.
  4. Hotel: if you only plan to stay there for a few nights and are looking for a simpler option.
  5. Stay with friends and family for convenience and affordability.

4. Research the area and plan activities in advance, but don’t over plan

  1. Make an itinerary with one main event per day.
  2. The airbnb app usually has activities that you can also check out.

5. Packing:

  1. Invest in packing cubes. Thank us later.
  2. Less is more, bring the basics.
  3. Bring 1 or 2 pairs of shoes max (a pair of sneakers and a prettier one).
  4. You can usually buy a lot of things in another country (shampoo, soap, etc.).
  5. Consider bringing hand luggage if you can. Check-in bags are expensive and usually not ideal for lugging around.

6. Check-in at the airport:

  1. There are usually apps that are compatible with the airline you’re taking, make sure you check in 24 hours in advance.


  • Living in the Moment! When you go on a trip with your close friends or family, it can be easy to get caught up in taking pictures of everything. Also, be sure to remember to live in the moment and enjoy things without a camera handy!
  • Take everyone’s wishes into account! When traveling with friends, be sure to consider everyone’s wishes. If one of your friends wants to go to a restaurant and another wants to go to a museum, make sure everyone has a say and can choose a few places. You may not have time to do it all, but try to make a few compromises to keep everyone happy.
  • Try to immerse yourself in different cultures. Choose to eat new foods, learn basic phrases in the language you are going to use, “thank you, welcome, can I please get etc…” If you are traveling to a new country where people don’t necessarily speak English, it is your responsibility to immerse yourself and learn the language to the best of your ability.
  • Ask locals for their recommendations! No one will know the city better than the locals!! Ask them for advice on the best places to eat, places worth visiting, and places not worth visiting. Be on the lookout for smaller “hole-in-the-wall” types of places.
  • Bring a good bag/purse (very important!)! When you know you’re going to be out and about a lot, it’s important to have a good purse or bag that will hold everything you need. Also, make sure it has secure zippers for places where pickpocketing is more common.

Example of Adora’s itinerary for Portugal!

Day 1: Arrival in Lisbon

Free time market: grab some snacks from the vendors, then try the best pastel de nata.

During the day: Stroll and explore Praça do Comércio, Praça Júlio de Castilho and Santa Justa Lift.

Main activity: a great way to explore the city is to take a sailboat cruise, you can usually find it on Airbnb activities!

Sunset location: Riberia Das Naus

Day 2: Take the train to Cascais/Monastery

Great location for breakfast: Nicolau Lisboa

Main activity: Take the train and spend your day in Cascais exploring and on the way back, visit the monastery of Belem.

Night activity: go to the pink street and explore the bars; Jam Club is a great little bar!

Day 3: Sintra Sintra Sintra!

Great cafe for pastries/coffee: Paul’s or Copenhagen cafe (try the Raspberry bun!).

Main activity: Take the train to Sintra Castle.

When you get to Sintra Train Square, be sure to take the bus/rickshaw to the top of Sintra Castle.

Recommendation from the evening bar: shoes and alcohol!

Day 4: Take a train from Lisbon to Porto (about 3 hours round trip.)

I would recommend leaving on the first train in the morning, around 6am to get the most time in Porto for a day!

Best place for brunch: Zenith’s. Period.

Main activity: Visit the Bolsa Palace

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