12 Travel Hacks I Wish I Knew Before Backpacking Abroad

4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO STAY IN A HOSTEL

Staying in hostels is hands down the best way to meet like-minded individuals who are just looking for a good time with people they barely know.

One of the greatest nights of my life was when I trolled the Berlin underground by rolling up joints and sipping fiery absinth with strangers.

Then, there was the time I laid low in a Dublin pub with a graduate student from Vienna (who had a crush on the bar-back), chitchatting about American music and men.

Some experiences truly are priceless, and I owe so much to people whose names I cannot recall and faces I probably wouldn’t recognize today.

5. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Be forever conscious of the disparities between places; depending on where and what time of year you go, especially across Europe, geographic locations can have vastly diverse climates, cultures and customs.

Do your research for everything from weather to sleep culture (siestas are a godsend).

6. FLYING IS COMPARABLE TO PREVIOUSLY CHEAPER ALTERNATIVES

Air travel is now as competitively priced as many other less immediate modes of transportation.

Frequent specials offering one-way flights for as low as $20 is not uncommon. Research and timing are essential when it comes to cutting costs and making the most of your amazing excursion.

But, beware: By eliminating overhead, these companies make a killing on baggage fees and deceptively excluded administrative services.

Limit yourself to one bag of 19 pounds or under (We’re packing light, remember?), have your boarding pass printed prior to checking in and you should be just fine.

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