Study Abroad Trip Guide: Traveling outside of London
It is easy to plan trips to Europe from London. Here are some great tips.
By: Vicky Saperstein, Marist College
As mentioned in my previous article, it is easy to plan trips to Europe from London. I’m going to provide you with a trip guide with information on how I booked trips, how I got there and my best cultural experience for each.
My first time out of London was to the city of Amsterdam. I planned this trip through Student Tours, which is a great, reasonably priced website to check out if you’re a traveling student in London. Through these tours, round-trip transportation is included in the price. For this tour, the mode of transportation was a bus. The website and tons of information can be found at http://www.studentstour.co.uk/.
The most memorable cultural experience in Amsterdam was the Red Light District. It is so different from anything in America and it was interesting to walk through. It was bizarre to say the least!
My second trip out of London was to the beautiful city of Paris, France and Brugges, Belgium. Once again, I booked this trip through Student Tours and took a bus to France and throughout the trip. The bus trip includes transportation, a tour guide and for this trip, it included a visit to the Versailles. In addition, we stopped in Belgium on the way back to London.
My best cultural experiences in Paris (because I can’t chose just one) were one, just seeing the Eiffel Tower and two, the Lock Bridge. Every time I saw the Eiffel Tower, I snapped a picture of it because I could not believe I was there. All my life, I have seen it in textbooks, magazines or on TV but seeing it in person was unreal in the best way possible. Another experience that I loved was the Lock Bridge on the Seine River! There were thousands of locks with initials or names of couples on them. I just loved how it looked and the meaning behind it all. In Belgium, my best experience was eating a Belgium waffle. I highly recommend getting one because it was absolutely amazing and don’t forget the Belgium chocolate!
My third trip was my biggest since it was spring break! This trip included the countries Italy and the Czech Republic. Starting with Italy, we took a bus in London to Gatwick airport and headed onto an Easy Jet plane to Pisa, Italy. Easy Jet is an airline company with the most reasonable prices so it definitely worth checking out at http://www.easyjet.com/. When we traveled to Florence from Pisa and then Florence to Rome and Venice during the week, we took the train. The ticket machines were located in every station and it is easy to use, as it is in English and buying the ticket is equally as easy because you can use cash.
I can’t choose one best cultural experience from Italy because the entire trip was an amazing one. I will note that the Italian views and food are beautiful things. Every city was breath taking and this alone was amazing to see experience in person, especially the Duomo in Florence!
In regards to Prague, we booked our last bus tour through Euroadventures, which is another student discount travel website. There are tons of websites catered to discount trips for students. We chose Euroadventures for this trip because most of their trips start in Florence and being there, it was the easiest! All the information can be found at http://www.euroadventures.com/. Getting back from our 9 day spring break adventure, we took an Easy Jet plane back to London. From there, we took a bus into the city and lastly, a tube ride to our flat.
My best cultural experience in Prague was visiting and painting my name on the famous John Lennon Wall. It was cool to see various quotes and names written on the wall. I also used an effect on my camera, which produced some awesome photographs!
Moving on, my last trip out of London was to Ireland! We booked this trip through Ryanair and the flight in air was under an hour. Again, Ryanair has some of the cheapest flights from London. The website for this is http://www.ryanair.com/. From there, we went onto one last bus tour that brought us to various locations around Ireland. We booked this trip through Shamrocker Adventures so if you’re heading to Ireland, check out www.shamrockeradventures.com! I loved everything about this tour! My best cultural experience in Ireland was kissing the Blarney Stone, giving me the gift of gab and walking backwards down the Wishing Steps and the Blarney Castle!
By checking out these websites, it is easy to plan trips outside of London. What I enjoyed most from the bus tours are the tour guides because you learn so much from them. I also liked the free time that was given during the day to explore the city. From traveling, I had no problems getting around. There are clear signs all over directing you where to go. I had zero problems with any form of transportation in Europe. Traveling to Europe from London was an incredible cultural experience and something that I will never forget!