|View of a city in Cinque Terre|
Do Your Handy Dandy Research: So my first tip for travelling successfully and cheaply in a foreign country is to research some afordable hostels at least two weeks in advance, and read the reviews!! The reviews on websites such as hostelworld or hostelbookers are great ways to find out what average people and travellers like you thought about the accomoditations of certain hostels. Also, pay attention to details such as what time the hostel closes for checking in, relating to when you are planning on arriving, and whether there is public transportation located near the hostel, and their hours of service. I found a fairly nice hostel in the small city of Biassa, which is about a 30 minute twisty-turny bus ride from the coastal city, La Spezia, but the problem was that the last bus going all the way up this mountainous hill left from La Spezia at 8 pm. So if you would like to avoid what could possibly turn into a 2 hour hike up a windy road to a small italian city like Biassa, check the times for the city's transportation ahead of time!
|The lovely coastal city of Sestri Levante|
|The challenging but rewarding trail along Cinque Terre|
Stay Alert and Skeptical: My third piece of advice might seem a little contradictory, especially after that last tip, but be wary and careful about others when travelling! I made the mistake of being too nice and open to talking with a guy that I met in Pisa one night. I was just sitting on the side of the river, like a local, breathing in the sights, when this Kashmiri immigrant started talking to me. Looking back on it, I was very naive, but he seemed nice and he seemed like he honestly just wanted to practice speaking english. So he asked me to join him and get a café, then insisted that we hang out together that night. Thankfully nothing happened and everything was fine but it was rather awkward when I realized that he had expected something different when we met, and I innocently thought he just wanted to talk and practice his english. I told him sincerely that I was going to stay at my hostel and that was the end of it. But I think this is especially important advice when it comes to girls who are travelling alone: be cautious of everyone around you and always keep in mind that your safety is the most important thing. More than likely it was just a miscommunication problem with this guy, and he was not at all harmful, but just to avoid any risk, I should have politely declined his offer for coffee and gone back to doing my own thing. In conclusion, when traveling alone don't be passive and follow the first person who offers you some attention, always stay alert for strangers that might do you harm. Just trust your instincts and intuition.
|View of the main piazza in the rustic city of Siena|
Thanks for reading and please leave a comment below if you have any other smart tips for travelling abroad! Let us know what you think!
You can learn even more important tips about travelling, for yourself, by getting involved with one of our multiple international programs at Easy Languages!
Photos: (Headline photo)Allerina & Glen MacLarty, (2) Ricc_HB74, (3)Lee Coursey, (4)plizzba
Sources: easylanguages.com, couchsurfing.org