Making The Perfect Driving Playlist

If you are in the middle of planning for all of the places you are going to see as soon as possible, then you might be considering a few long drives. 

Read a great post on planning a road trip here: Planning The Best Summer Road Trip Ever.

What is something that makes a road trip something you never forget? The right weather, great company, and an epic playlist. 

We all have different tastes in music. Some of us like heavy metal, and others love classical. Yet, there are some essential planning tips that can make your playlist something to rival even the master playlist curators from your most-used streaming service. 

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash


You are most likely going to use your mobile phone to Bluetooth your music to your car stereo. Or plug something into your AUX. One of the critical things to remember is that you might hit areas where you don’t have a signal or use up your data. Downloading your entire playlist when you are at home will help avoid most issues. Spotify has the option to download the playlist. 

Before you head out, you must make sure your speakers are up to the task. There is nothing worse than speakers that hum or buzz as you are driving. Check out this informative buyers guide to make sure you have the 

Two Lists

If you have two genres that you enjoy, use that to create two separate lists. The first step is to put in 20 of your favorite songs in each genre. But don’t try and rush it; take your time. It’s a great idea to have a notebook around, and when a song pops into your head or write it down, this will help you create your base list. 

You can then find songs that go with this to give you an excellent and easy to listen to playlist.

Ideally, you want between five and seven hours of music on each playlist. This can amount to hundreds of songs when you consider that many songs are around 3 to 4 minutes long.

It also decreases the likelihood of having to skip too many songs or a song that keeps repeating.

Creating two lists can also give you two different driving experiences—one for cities and one for the countryside or early mornings and late evenings. 


There are some classics that everyone can enjoy and sing along to. 

  • Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way / Rhiannon
  • Eagles – Take It Easy
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
  • Kansas – Carry on Wayward Son
  • Boston – More Than a Feeling

You can also check out the playlists for driving curates by some streaming services for some inspiration:

  • Apple Music Driving Playlist
  • YouTube Music Driving Playlist
  • Spotify Driving Playlist

TimeOut magazine published a great list of 50 of the best road trip songs of all time, which are worth checking out!

The songs that you choose to accompany you on your long drives can make the surrounding environment even more interesting and enticing—listening to 70s and 80s classics on a long stretch of clear open road, with the warm summer sun? – There is nothing like it.

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Taking Stress-Free Travel Adventures

Who doesn’t love to go on an adventure? For many people, it’s the most fun aspect of life — it’s an activity that allows you to enjoy all that the world has to offer. You meet new people, push yourself, and see the world’s most breathtaking sites. However, while it’s true that travel adventures can be life-changing, they also have the capacity to be stressful. Sometimes, this stress is unavoidable, yet there are always things you can do to reduce it. Below, you’ll find some handy tips that’ll help your adventures to be nothing but fun, fun, fun. 

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Make Sure You Can Afford It

You’ll always have a nagging voice in the back of your mind if you’re doing stuff that you know you can’t afford. It’s easy to get carried away when we’re traveling, but if your excessive spending goes on for more than a day or two, then it’ll become a problem, even while you’re away. You can avoid this by picking destinations that you know are in line with your budget. If you do find yourself in a more expensive spot, then do some research, and find where the cheap food and accommodation is located. Even the most expensive spots can be done on a budget!

Give Yourself Enough Time

You’ll want to be kept busy when you’re on your travel adventures, but you won’t want to be rushed. There’s always a lot to see and do when you’re exploring somewhere new, but it’s good to have some downtime too. Plus, you won’t enjoy the attractions you see if you’re continually thinking about the next place that you have to visit. So either extend your trip so you have time to see everything, or get more selective about the spots you see.

Home and Vehicle Protection

You might be enjoying life on the other side of the world, but let’s not forget that life at home will continue on as normal while you’re away. To ensure that you have peace of mind while you’re away, look at ensuring that your car and home are both kept secure. There’s nothing that’ll spoil your trip quicker than getting a call from home, informing you that you’ve been the victim of a crime. For your vehicle, look at affordable car storage. For your home, hire a house sitter or invest in top of the line home security. 

Learn the Essentials 

While you’ll hope that everything runs smoothly while you’re away, the fact of the matter is that when you’re so far away from home, things can go wrong. One of the best ways to avoid this becoming a bigger problem than necessary is to learn the essentials of staying safe. For example, you could learn the basics of the language. Even a little bit of language can go a long way! You could also look up where the nearest hospital is. Knowing that you have comprehensive travel insurance will also give peace of mind that things will be OK if something goes wrong. 

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How To Vacation In Lockdown

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The lockdown has made vacationing tough. It’s not as if you’ve got plenty of options, and the ones that you do have come with plenty of risks. With the gamble of contracting the virus and getting stuck in a foreign country for a couple of months, it’s easy to see why people are staying put!

Still, restrictions are letting up, making it a perfect time to branch out a little. After all, it’s been a long four months, and it might only get longer. Therefore, taking the opportunity for a break will disturb the current monotony and help if there is a second wave of the virus.

If you’re searching for vacation inspiration during a lockdown, here’s what you need to know.

Stay In The Country

It’s obvious, but it needs repeating – the best option is a staycation. Your home nation has plenty to offer, especially as you’ve probably taken the chance to explore more exotic countries in the past. As a result, you’ve got lots of towns and cities to visit, all of which have tons of incredible sights and attractions. Plus, you can hire an RV and make it feel holiday-like without taking unnecessary risks. As long as you and your family are the only ones in the vehicle, it’s a safe bubble that should remain COVID-free.

Don’t Leave The House

Staying in the house doesn’t sound like a vacation! Okay, so you should go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather after being cooped up for months. However, what you shouldn’t do is feel like you must buy a hotel for a week and sleep in a different bed. Although it’s currently novel, it’s bound to be expensive and unsafe since it’s almost impossible for establishments to reduce the chances of infections. Thankfully, the body requires downtime to restore itself, so any time off is healthy, even if you only spend it relaxing at the local beach.

Travel Heavy

Traveling light is typically your friend as it never pays to lug around clothes that you won’t wear. In a world where the Coronavirus is at large, the opposite is true since the rules can differ depending on the area. In one state, for instance, you might require a face mask in stores, whereas it could be compulsory in every public place in another. Packing as many COVID essentials as you can fit into your suitcase should prevent you from getting caught out and fined.

Understand the Dangers

Always remember that you can’t eliminate the risk of infection. If you’re traveling out of your home and place of residence, you’re going to increase the odds of exposure. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as you could be willing to take the chance. If, for example, you live with your partner and don’t see anybody else, it won’t make a difference as long as you’re together. Still, it’s worth noting that a vacation is to take a gamble, even if it’s a calculated one.

Will you go on holiday during the lockdown? Or will you wait until the quarantine is over?

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Planning The Best Summer Road Trip Ever

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With air travel difficult right now, a road trip represents the best chance many of us have for a summer escape with our families this year. The good news is that road trips can be a lot of fun – you get to see bits of the country you haven’t before, have a brand new experience and make lots of happy memories, and be in complete control of your travel arrangements. All you need is a little bit of forward planning in order to make the most of your experience and ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Create An Itinerary

True, part of the attraction of a road trip is that it’s a little freeform –  you don’t have to be beholden to strict airline schedules or anything like that –  but it does pay to do a little bit of planning, if only to make sure that you see everything you want to along the way. Plot out where you are going to stop over each night so you can pre-book any accommodation you need – there’s nothing worse than rolling up somewhere tired and hungry, only to find there’s nowhere to stay. Try not to cover too many long distances in the car without a break, as all that driving quickly gets tiring. Keeping things in balance means that you’ll enjoy your trip much more. 

Get Prepped

Having everything you need with you lets you concentrate on the adventure, rather than on getting supplies. Load up the back of the car with bottled water, favourite drinks and easy snacks, so that if you or the family get hungry on the road you don’t have to pull over unless you want to. Before leaving, make sure that your car is fully serviced topped off with oil, coolant and brake fluids as well as fuel, and that your air conditioning is running well, and tyres and brake pads are in good condition. Just as you would keep on top of home maintenance, so you should make sure your car is running well. Make sure you can locate a mechanic en route just in case of any failures, and always take the number of your insurance and a good car accident lawyer just in case! Also take the chance to make a road trip playlist featuring a mix of different family favourite tracks that will always remind you of your break afterwards.

Load Up On Apps – And Bring A Charger

On the road, your smartphone really can be your best friend – so make sure you download all the apps you need to make the journey smoother. You could use Google Maps to plot out a route, and Waze to navigate while you’re driving. Parkopedia will help you find places to leave the car at the best prices when you’re on a stop over somewhere unfamiliar, while GetYourGuide lets you access city tours to enhance your exploration. And of course, downloading some kids shows on Netflix is a brilliant way to kerb any whining from the backseat when you’ve been on the road for a while.

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Be Safe On The Road And Travel Well

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When travelling, we can be easily exposed to a variety of new situations, experiences, illnesses and toxins that don’t appear in our everyday lives at home to such an extent, because our bodies become used to our atmospheres. Taking precautions is key, not just with your health of course but with everything, from checking your cars, tyes, or it’s oil level, or if you’re driving a big truck, to make sure that the engine is ok and there doesn’t need to be any changes to pumps or anything similar, click here to see more.

Start with Vaccinations

Before you travel anywhere, find out about what kind of diseases are prevalent there and if you may need a vaccination before you travel.  You must be prepared for the diseases in other countries, and taking this precaution will ensure that you are safer on the road.

Don’t Drink the Tap Water

Drinking local tap water in any country that’s not considered first world can be very hazardous to your health and even some hotels will advise you to not drink the tap water from the bathroom. Always buy a bottle because unfiltered water can be damaging to your health and you would not want to put yourself at risk.  

Eat Sensibly Always!

You have to be just as careful of the food you are eating, especially if it is not packaged or is sold by street vendors because you do not know where the food has been sourced and it may be dangerous to your health. If there are no ratings or information on it then it could be difficult to know exactly how good the hygiene really is. It’s good to find out what you are eating before you eat it, just to be on the safe side and research thoroughly, especially if you are in a country that is quite foregin to you, particularly Asia, you must be sure what you’re eating as it may not always specify the meat.

Protect against Malaria – Mosquitos

One of the most common illnesses travelers deal with is malaria, and it is often spread via a mosquito bite. You can find mosquitos in lots of countries, warm or tropical and you must always use a repellent as well as keeping windows closed and using mosquito netting where possible, but you definitely want to check ahead and see if malaria is a problem in the country you are visiting so that you can be prepared and ready to spring into action should the need arise. It is important to look for any current health issues also, such as any viruses or flus that are prevalent at the time of travel. Keep your health on the road too, eat well, take vitamins still and keep hydrated to avoid any difficulties whilst traveling. 

These tips should help you avoid some of the more ailments and issues that travellers may encounter on the road and help you avoid them as soon as you can! Be safe and enjoy your travel.

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Essential Tips For a Successful Move Overseas

We really do live in a globalized world these days. No matter where you are, you can have an instantaneous conversation with a person on the other side of the world, and you can even see them in real-time too — that’s pretty amazing, no matter how you look at it. This globalization of society also means that more people than ever before are able to pack up their belongings, move to a new country, and begin a new life. If you’re thinking of making this move, then take a read below, where we outline some essential tips for ensuring the move is successful.

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Do Your Research

No matter where you’re thinking of moving, it’s important that you do as much research as possible. You might have an idea of what life would be like there, but ideas and reality don’t always overlap! And there’s a big difference between visiting a destination and living there. As well as learning about the culture and the pros and cons of the destination, it’s recommended that you take a look at the cost of living. The new country won’t be like your home, transplanted to another part of the world — it’ll have its own economy, expenses, taxes and so on. 

Connect With Others

There is understandably a lot of fear when it comes to moving overseas, no matter how excited the person may be for it. One way to get around this fear is to connect with others before you make the move. This will be easier if you’re moving for work since the company can put you in touch with your new colleagues, but there are also Facebook and other groups that’ll help if you’re just moving by yourself. They’ll be a valuable source of information that will build on top of your independent research.

Making the Move

We tend to think of moving overseas in terms of the psychology effect, such as how we’ll cope and so on. But it’s important to keep in mind that there will be plenty of logistical matters that you need to take care of, too, such as transporting your belongings and yourself to your new country. For your things, it’s best to leave the job to experts such as Chess Moving. They’ll transport your belongings safely and securely, so you can enjoy stress-free travel without having to lug all your personal items with you.

Finding a Place

It’s really important that you find a place to live when you’re on the ground, rather than beforehand, unless it has been arranged by your company. You can’t really know what a place or neighborhood is like until you’re there! Book an apartment on a short-term basis and get searching when you land.

Give it Time 

Finally, be sure to give it a time! It always takes time to adjust to a big move, and you’ll feel homesick no matter how exciting the move is. Slowly but surely, your new place will begin to feel like home. Be patient. 

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Time Limit: How Far Back Can I Claim a Flight Compensation?

Originally posted on the Claimcompass blog on October, 17th, 2019.

“My flight was delayed 6 years ago. Back then, I had no idea that I could get compensated for that. Can I still get a compensation for that flight delay?”

This is what many passengers who have only recently been made aware of their air passenger rights wonder.

Well, yes, you can probably still claim your cancelled or delayed flight compensation – but there is a time limit. How far back you can claim varies from one country to the next.

If your flight was cancelled or delayed by at least 3 hours, you can get up to 600€ in compensation from the airline. Check if you’re eligible by filling out your flight information here – it takes only 3 minutes!CHECK YOUR FLIGHT NOW


How Far Back Can I Claim Compensation In Each Country?

So you can claim for flight disruptions which happened years ago. But how many years exactly?

The time-limit depends on the legislation of the country you bring the claim to.

Here is an extensive list of countries in Europe, with how far back you can claim for each of them:


And here again in full text if that’s easier for you. This is how far back you can undertake court actions to claim compensation for your delayed or cancelled flight:

As you can see, there is no harmonization at the European level: each country has their own legislation on the matter.

For instance, in France, you can claim up to 5 years after the flight – but only 3 years in Germany and 3 in Italy. But you can still claim up to 6 years after the flight disruption in the United Kingdom.

However, keep in mind that to this day, no passengers on a flight disrupted over 6 years before got compensated. Even though it is possible, in theory.


How Do I Know Which Country To Bring My Claim To?

If you let ClaimCompass do all the work for you, then you don’t need to worry about that. Our legal experts will get in touch with the airline and the appropriate legal body.

Submit your claim now, it takes less than 3 minutes!

Now, if you decide to take the matter in your own hands, I suggest you first read this guide on flight delay compensation or this one on compensation for cancelled flight. They’re packed with everything you need to know about flight disruptions and how to claim compensation.

Should you need to escalate your claim to a legal body such as a National Enforcement Body (NEB) or an Alternative Resolution Dispute (ADR) scheme, know that you can bring the case to the country of the departure airport or the arrival airport.

Whenever you have a choice, contact the legal body of the country where the legislation is most favorable to you: for example, in the case of a flight between the UK and Germany, contact the British NEB, since their statute of limitation is 6 years, versus 3 for Germany.


Can I Claim Compensation if My Flight Wasn’t in Europe?

When the EU Regulation 261/2004 isn’t applicable, can you still get money for your delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flight?

For international flights, the Montreal Convention acts as reference for your passenger rights – and it sets a time limit of 2 years to claim:

“The right to damages shall be extinguished if an action is not brought within a period of two years, reckoned from the date of arrival at the destination, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived, or from the date on which the carriage stopped” – Article 35, Montreal Convention

When the EC 261 isn’t applicable, you can still hope to be compensated under the Montreal Convention. Do not, however, that the time limit is shorter than in most European countries.

Plus, keep in mind that with the Montreal Convention, you are “only” eligible to compensation for damages incurred by the flight disruption. “Just” being delayed isn’t enough for you to get any money from the airline.

Whenever you have the choice, claim compensation under the EU Regulation instead.

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Air Passenger Rights in the USA: When Can You Get a Flight Compensation

We already told you how to claim up to €600 for flights in-and-out of Europe. But when it comes to air passenger rights in the USA, how does it work?

Similarly to the European Economic Community and the EU Regulation 261/2004, the US Department of Transportation has established certain rules for airlines to follow.

Dive in and learn about your passenger rights!

Transparency and honest fares

The displayed price of a ticket should be the final price you pay. In other words, it should include all government taxes, mandatory airline charges, fuel surcharges, and so on. This rule applies not only to airlines, but also to other travel retailers, be it online or offline. Note that the price of the ticket includes taking you from point A to point B.

Add-ons such as Seat selection, excess baggage, extra airport services are normally not included in the price and not subject to the above rule.

Overbooking and denied boarding

Overbooking simply means that the airline has sold more tickets than it has seats on the plane. When you get involuntarily “bumped” off the flight, you are entitled to compensation, unless the airline can get you to your final destination within an hour of the scheduled arrival time. The rate of the compensation depends on the flight and the length of the delay.

If you arrive at your final destination between one and two hours late (on domestic flights) or two to four hours late (on international flights), you are entitled to 200% of the value of the one-way fare to your destination, not exceeding $650. For delays that exceed these times, the airline owes you 400% of the fare, but not exceeding $1,300. In these cases you get to keep your original ticket and can ask for either a full refund, or travel credit, which you can use at a later time.

Delays and cancelations

When your flight is substantially delayed, canceled or rescheduled, you have the right to reroute via a different airport at no cost, regardless of the difference in the fare, or request a full refund.

What constitutes a “substantial” delay or schedule change is up to the airline. The latter is described in a type of policy called “Customer Service Plan”, which outlines what are the airlines’ responsibilities vis-à-vis its passengers in case of a delay, cancelation or a schedule change, as well as a number of other circumstances.

Most airlines will offer a meal voucher for shorter delays, and hotel accommodation for overnight delays, yet the policies and their implementation varies. It is important to note that, unlike for cases of overbooking and flights in-and-out of Europe, US regulations do not require airlines to pay compensation when a flight is delayed or cancelled.

Tarmac delays

A tarmac delay would arise when you have boarded the plane, but haven’t taken off yet, or upon landing and have no access to the terminal. In these cases, the airline cannot keep you on the plane for more than three hours (domestic) or four hours (international) and should allow you to disembark if you wish.

The airline must also offer you food and water after two hours, as well as provide access to the lavatories and an update on the delay every 30min. Again, unfortunately for you, when these rights aren’t respected, you are not entitled to compensation, but the airline would get fined.

Air Passenger Rights: Bottom Line

European and US regulations clearly differ, yet they exist nevertheless. If you believe your rights haven’t been respected on a US flight, we suggest you get a hold of the airline’s customer service. For disrupted European flights, you can calculate your compensation with the help of our Compensation Calculator.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the ClaimCompass newsletter: in addition to travel tips that you won’t find on the blog, you’ll get a free checklist to know if you’re entitled to compensation from your airline!

You might also be interested in:

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Budget Travel Tips for Students Traveling in 2019

Originally posted on by Thomas Busson, the SEO and Content Strategist at ClaimCompass. Frequent traveller, he loves sharing tips and news about the industry in a simple way.

A trip abroad, whether it is to study in a different university for semester or to take a break from classes to seek a different kind of knowledge, is often (always?) a turning point in a student’s life.

But to make the most of their trip in 2019, students would do well to keep in mind those budget travel tips.

After all, there’s nothing more frustating than being in a new and exciting environment and be unable to fully enjoy it because you struggle financially.

These proven techniques have allowed me to travel to Europe and Asia as a student, without having to worry too much about money… despite a student loan.

Don’t approach your trip abroad as you do every exam, by starting to work on it at the last minute. The more prepared you are, the more you’ll enjoy the experience.

Before Leaving on Your Trip

Choose Your Destination Wisely

Where will you stay?

The place where you will spend a semester or more obviously has a major impact on how fast you will run out of money.

European countries are very varied in terms of cost of life. Western Europe and Scandinavia are generally more expensive than Central and Western Europe, as you can see on the maps from this handy post.

Now, keep in mind that while this means that you will feel more pressure on your budget in Western Europe and Scandinavia, it is actually very close to the cost of life in the US. Not to mention that if you decide to work on the side, you will earn more money than you would in Central and Eastern Europe.

But the latter has a lot to offer as well: not only will you find good universities in the East, it’s also very cheap and easy to travel to another country. Something to keep in mind if you consider visiting several countries during your stay in Europe.

The cost of life will generally be lower in South America, Africa, and Asia, with a few exceptions.

Save Money on Flights

Unlike for shorter trips, the price of your flight ticket isn’t going to be one of your main expenses when you travel for a few months… provided that you know how to book cheap flights.

When it comes to finding low fares, the key word is “flexibility”. Choose your travel dates and the time when you book your flight with care: the price can vary to more than double within a week.

As a rule of thumb, avoid flying during major holidays or on Fridays (when many people fly for a weekend trip) or Sundays (when people fly back from a weekend trip).

Use a flight search engine like Skyscanner or Momondo: they let you see the prices for a whole month at the same time, so you can easily spot which day is the cheapest one.

Keep in mind that to increase your chances of scoring the cheapest fares, you should aim at booking your international flight between 3-4 months in advance. Don’t rely on last-minute deals, it’s likely that there won’t be any.

If tickets to your destination are always expensive, consider an alternative path to your destination.

For example, when I went to China, tickets were very expensive for my dates (and I was very flexible with those). So instead of flying straight there, I flew to Vietnam, spent some time there, and then took a flight to China. The overall cost was much lower than if I had flown directly to China, even taking the accommodation costs in Vietnam into account.

For more ways to save money on flights, I highly recommend that you check out this post.

Look for Accommodation

Now that you know where you’re going, start thinking of where you’re going to stay… and how you can save money on accommodation.

Check out Student Dorms First

Being a student has major advantages when it comes to access to discounts (more on that later), especially in regards to accommodation. Mainly because your student status gives you access to student dorms.

If you’re traveling for a university exchange, contact your host university and inquire about the availability of dormitories on the campus or nearby. If there are any, this is probably your best bet to save money on accommodation.

Still, dig a little bit deeper first before booking a bed in a dorm.

Look for Shared Flats

In general, renting a room in a flat is more expensive than renting one in a dormitory. But if you can find roommates to split the expenses, the rent might be very similar in the end.

Just keep in mind that very often, you will have to leave a deposit first – even though you will (likely) recover it at the end of your stay, this is still a big expense at the beginning of the trip. Hence the need to find roommates if you elect this option.

If you’re traveling with other friends from university, ask them if they’d consider sharing a flat. If you’re alone, you can join Facebook groups for students traveling to your destination. In Europe, these groups will often be called “Erasmus [city name] [year]”.

You can also book your first month in the university dormitory and look for a shared flat once you’re there. Being on site usually makes things much easier.

Visit Your Doctor

No matter where you’re traveling, pay a visit to your doctor before your trip. Make sure that everything is in order health-wise and tell her/him about your travel plans: they will be able to advise whether you need any vaccines or should pack specific medication.

If you’re on a special treatment, make sure that you’ll be able to get what you need there, or ask your doctor for a prescription that will allow you to bring your medication with you. If your treatment isn’t available at your destination, it will cost you extra to have it brought to you from abroad.

A visit to your dentist probably isn’t a bad idea either… If it turns out that you have a problem abroad and your insurance doesn’t cover the fees, this could be a major unwanted expense that can easily ruin your trip.

Medical bills are usually very expensive, so you want to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible on that front, to limit the risks of bad surprises.

Get Your Travel Documents in Order

If you don’t already have one, get a passport. If you do have one, make sure it doesn’t expire while you’re abroad. Ideally, you want your passport’s expiration date to be at least 6 months after the date of your flight back: if for one reason or another you need to stay longer, you’ll be glad you have this 6-month margin rather than going to your embassy in emergency.

The same goes for your visa: check whether you need one or not in advance. If you wait until the last minute, you may have to request an accelerated procedure, which is always more expensive.

Once you’re abroad, you really do not want to have to make a hole in your budget because of administrative procedures. Make sure everything is sorted out before you hop on the plane.

Determine Your Bugdet and Ways to Manage It Efficiently

Estimate How Much this Trip Will Cost You

There is no need for you to go into too much details, but having a vague estimate of your expenses abroad will go a long way to helping you save money once you’re on site.

Do some research on the cost of life at your destination. You want to have a rough idea of how expensive are the rents, how much money you need for a month/week of grocery shopping, how costly it is to go out, etc.

Knowing this will help you manage your budget more efficiently once you’re there, as you will be able to compare your actual expenses with your initial research and make some adjustements to your spending habits if necessary.

Get an ISIC

As a student, the first thing you want to do is getting an International Student Identity Card (ISIC): this magic card will unlock a plethora of discounts for you. It is recognized in most countries around the world. Some countries, however, only recognize the local student cards – so once you’re abroad, try to get one of those done as well by your host university.

Apply for a Grant

You should also inquire about grants: if you’re not planning on working during your trip, these may be your sole source of revenue. The main institutions that could potentially offer a grant are your own university, your host univeristy, and the state. Do a bit of research and apply. Again, do so in advance, because grants are often given several months before

Contact your Bank

Make sure that using your credit or debit card abroad won’t incur significant fees. Tell your banker about your trip and the countries you’re planning on visiting: they’ll be able to recommend which card to use to save money on card payments and withdrawals. For example, it might be cheaper to withdraw large amounts of cash once you’re abroad, rather than pay by card, if there are fees every time that you do so.

If it looks like your bank doesn’t offer much advantages to people traveling abroad, consider changing. TransferWise‘s borderless account or the bank N26 have very low transfer fees and are particularly popular among young travelers.

If you think that your budget is a bit tight, you might want to raise the issue with your banker as well, to benefit from a loan a low rate. However, if you can avoid going into debt, refrain from taking a loan, as it will cost you more money in the long run.

Pack your Bag

Bring a (Small) Suitcase to Pack your Essentials… If you Really Have to

You may have noticed that I recommended that you pack your essentials. I meant exactly that. That’s why you should you insist on bringing a carry-on, bring only a small suitcase. Even if you’re leaving for 6 months or more.

To save money – or rather to avoid paying bag fees at the airport – make sure that your suitcase meets the airline’s requirements in terms of weight and dimension.

You might be tempted to bring all your favorite clothes, books, and other random items. Don’t. It’s a basic mistake. The lighter you travel, the more enjoyable the experience. It’s makes moving around much easier and pleasant, while a large and heavy suitcase will only make traveling a hassle.

So when you’re packing, apply the popular saying: “take half the clothes and twice the money” (yes, that last part can be tricky too, but at least, you have full control over the fiest one).

Wherever you will live, there will be a way for you to do a laundry. So apply the 1 to 6 rule.

But Consider Traveling with a Backpack Only

I know the idea might seem daunting, especially when leaving for several months at a time. But this is a key budget travel tip.

When going abroad, to study or not, you will travel to places other than the town or city where you will live. If you travel by plane, you need to have a small piece of luggage to use as a carry-on, that is both respectful of the airline’s dimensions requirements and in which you can pack enough for a few days.

Hence the backpack. You do NOT want to have a suitcase to carry when you’re on the move. Instead, opt for a anti-theft backpack that lets you keep your money safe and pack a few clothes, without hindering your mobility.

By traveling with a carry-on only, you will save a ton of money for your trip: most airlines’ basic fares include only a carry-on. If you want to get a hand on those cheap flights, you’d better opt for a backpack only.

Some people travel the world during years at a time with only a bag on their back. If they can do it for so long, surely you can do it for a few months.

During Your Trip

You’ve arrived at destination: now what? How do you make sure that you don’t run out of money?

A quick tip for you before getting to the heart of the matter: if you were flying from the US to Europe with a European airline and your flight was delayed, cancelled, or overbooked , and you reached your destination at least 3 hours later than planned, you may be entitled to $700 in compensation from the airline.

Manage Your Budget

You have two options to stay within your budget while traveling: you can either save money or  earn some.

Or you can do both.

Find Ways to Save Money

Let’s start by cutting down your expenses.

Cancel your Unnecessary Subscriptions

What good is your gym membership if you can’t go to the gym for 6 months? Cancelling it before leaving will allow you to allocate this budget to a different activity when you’re abroad.

Review the list of all the services that you have subscribed to and cancel the superfluous ones. Be ruthless about it.

Save Money on Food

To save money on food, start by cooking your own meals as often as possible.

Buy your groceries at the local market or supermarket instead of have lunch and dinner at the restaurant every day. But do not look for the specific products that you are used to eating back home: they’re likely to cost much more than in the US. Instead, try the local, cheaper alternatives.

Save Money on Accomodation

If you’re like every other students who goes studying abroad, you’ll be traveling every time you get the chance (ie when you don’t have class).

A fantastic way to save money on accommodation while traveling is to volunteer. While you won’t be paid, you will generally be offered free board and lodging in exchange for your work. Most volunteers say that their experience was life-changing for them, so do take a minute to consider the idea.

You can find example of volunteer missions on websites like Workaway or HelpX. If you want to work on an organic farm, check out WWOOF. You can also work in a hostel, where you will meet travelers with inspiring stories and still have time to enjoy what the town or city has to offer.

Save Money while Visiting Places

Avoid booking expensive tours to discover a new city. Many places now offer free walking tours. They are generally organized and led by young locals anxious to show the beauty of their city in a casual atmosphere.

While the popular Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor can always give you an idea of what to do and see in a new city, you should also look for travel blogs on your destination, for more off-the-beaten-path inspiration. Why? Because these places are usally less touristic and therefore, cheaper than the rest, while also being more authentic.

Or Look Into Ways to Earn Money While Traveling

If you can’t refrain from spending more money than you should (or can afford), you’re going to need ways to earn more money while studying abroad.

Teach English… or Any Other Skill that you Have

Being an American student gives you a major advantage over many people around the world: you’re speaking English as a native language (or at least fluently).

Did you know that there are literally millions of people in the world willing to learn how to speak English? English teachers are in demand worldwide. But the best part is that you no longer need to give a class in person: you can now do it over a simple video call.

If teaching a language doesn’t appeal to you, you might be more inclined to share your passion. Do you play an instrument? I bet someone would love to learn! Do you do yoga? Or surf? People are looking for teachers in many places around the world.


With your university degree in the pocket (or almost…), you probably already have business skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. By trying to sell them during your trip abroad, you will accomplish 2 things of value to you: you will earn money (that’s still your main goal) and you will add a work experience on your resume, which future potential employers will be delighted to see.

Based on your skills, you can do copywriting, design, programming, etc. Here as well, possibilities are endless, or close.

Build Your Plan to Integrate those Budget Travel Tips

There is no doubt that your trip abroad will be a life-changing experience. The extent to which it will may very well depend on how well you handle your budget.

Use this post as a checklist to prepare you trip and make sure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to save money.

Happy travels!

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3 Good Reasons to Do a Camping Trip Soon

Image via Pixabay

With more and more of us living in cities and other built-up urban environments, the natural world isn’t necessarily something that plays a prominent role in our everyday lives, as a rule.

Still, there is undeniably something deep within the human psyche that draws us towards the natural world. That must be part of the reason why nature documentaries are so popular, and why so many people are so concerned with environmental issues.

In order to reconnect with nature, many people go on camping trips when the opportunity arises.

If you’ve been thinking about investigating roof boxes for your car, dusting off your tent, getting back to nature and doing a camping trip of your own recently, here are a few reasons why you should go ahead with that plan.

Time spent in nature helps you to reset your body and mind

An incredible number of people in today’s world apparently suffer from disrupted circadian rhythms, and various hormonal and mood issues – not to mention health problems – as a direct result of this.

There are many reasons for this, including the prevalence of bright artificial light in the evenings, and abuse of caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants.

The interesting thing is, research has shown that when people go camping in nature without artificial lights for a few days, their circadian rhythms are radically reset, and they are brought into much better alignment with the natural cycles of night and day.

Time spent in nature help you to reset your body and your mind in a variety of ways. It helps to get you back to a healthy baseline.

Time spent in nature helps you to radically destress and gain a sense of perspective on things

People who spend more time in nature appear to be healthier, happier, and more stress free, than their counterparts who live in built-up urban settings and spend all their time there.

This has been a consistent finding among researchers of various types.

When you get out in nature, you can see your everyday situation from a different perspective, and can better identify solutions to issues that might have been hidden from you before.

It’s not exactly clear why this is the case, but throughout history, many notable people have reported that walking in nature has been a key for helping to inspire them to come up with solutions for complex problems.

Time spent in nature helps you to experience the wonder of the world at large

There is just something majestic and awe-inspiring about a beautiful natural environment, and the fact that such an environment isn’t the product of human artifice.

When you are spending time out in nature, you put yourself in a position where it’s much easier for you to experience the wonder of the world at large, and to regain some of the childlike sense of enthusiasm and curiosity that we typically lose sight of as we get older.

Nature is something to experience, and not just something to understand. And in order to experience it properly, we have to give up a little bit of our control, and just marvel at the sights and sounds that surround us.

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