Caitlyn spent 6 weeks exploring Europe before her university studies began in South Africa and enjoyed some of the best weeks of her life learning about the world and herself. From sightseeing in Paris to Club hopping in London and wine tasting in Tuscany – Caitlyn got to experience a taste of the world so tantalising that it left her craving more! With empty months laying ahead and her best friend off on a jaunt in the UK – Caitlyn decided to plan a 6 week trip abroad, stopping off to spend a few weeks living the life in London.
Here’s what Caitlyn had to say about her time in Europe…!!!
What was the highlight of your trip and which destination would you visit again?
Caitlyn: I had just left school so it was my first real experience of independence and London is just such a freeing city! I loved it, I was also lucky enough to be there during the 2012 Olympics so the city really was at its finest! The highlight was most probably the food and wine in Tuscany, the nightlife in London and the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Would you change anything about your time abroad?
Caitlyn: I would most probably have taken more time to save up for my trip; it is a challenge to travel Europe as a tourist when you are living with a student’s bank balance. I would also schedule more time in London and less time in Paris – Paris is a breath taking city but I think it will have its magic amplified in a more romantic setting.
Did you use a travel agency to book your flights, accommodation or tours?
Caitlyn: Between my friend and me we booked everything ourselves, we did however use travel tours at least once in every destination which was fun. I looked for the most cost effective flights and ended up enjoying quite an adventure in airports more than once during that 6 week period. From 8 hour layovers in Abu Dhabi to overnight stints in London’s Luton Airport we got to experience a variety of different situations. Although nerve-wrecking at the time looking back I wouldn’t change it! It was an experience!
What advice would you give to school-leavers and students looking to travel abroad?
Caitlyn: Save up money as far in advance as you can, budget and stick to it. Research your hotels and try look for reviews as well as the location of your accommodation. It also doesn’t hurt to stay in places where family and friends have already been –a little bit of familiarity can help when you are so far away from home. And don’t be afraid to sample the local specialities – French escargot is awesome!