Let’s talk traveling, shall we? Travelling has been a huge part of this trip since I landed in Austria, well actually ever since I left my house in Russellville. Either way, traveling is a super important part of my life lately, and it is a lot of fun, but not always easy. There are always a lot of things that go into travelling no matter what the trip is. There is always a lot of planning and budgeting involved.
For example, my Spring Break has just started or as it is called here Osterferien. This is a time where I get two full weeks to do whatever I would like so I am visiting two cities in Poland, Paris, and London. There are tickets flooding my email from all over the internet… but they were cheap and that is how I travel. There are many websites and apps that I use when I am planning to travel like Omio, FlixBus, ÖBB, and many more. The good things about having these apps is that all the tickets are electronic and you don’t have to carry around a bunch of papers. So here is a little bit about how I travel with each mode of transportation here in Europe.
Flights: Flights are pretty easy to navigate and can be really cheap compared to the US. They take a lot less time to travel. The cheapest way to find flights for around Europe is normally on google. You can just search for cheap flights if you don’t have a specific city or country in mind and then you can end up going to some really great places. This is how I ended up in Valencia, Spain. One day my friends and I said we wanted to go to Spain and searched for flights and ended up getting a flight to Valencia for €50 round-trip. There is also a flight company that gives ESN students discounts, which is RyanAir. They are a wonderful way to go also, and normally their flights show up on the Omio app. Don’t forget to plan how to get to the main city center once you arrive at the airport, because typically airports are way out of the city. One other thing about flights is that you need to pay attention to the ticket that you buy for luggage purposes. Most discount flight companies make you pay to have a carry on, so be aware of that.
Trains: When traveling by train it is important to pay attention to where the stops are and if there are any changes. I normally use trains to get to Vienna, because that is where we can leave from for most trips. I love train rides, but for someone who does not know how the train system works in Europe it is SUPER confusing. A few friends and I had a bit of trouble with a train a few weeks back because we took a RJ (Rail Jet) to Vienna and we were eventually going to end up at the airport, but our first change had been cancelled. We had to buy a whole new ticket for a different RJ to get to the airport. When we boarded the second train we got on the wrong cart because sometimes trains get disconnected at different stops, and we were on the half that was staying at the next stop. We had to run down about 10 train carts to get on the correct half of the train, but we made it.
Buses: Buses are the cheapest way to travel, but they tend to take a really long time or are overnight. I am travelling to Wroclaw, Poland from Vienna by bus and it is going to be an overnight ride of about 10 hours. You just have to decide which is more important for you personally, money or time. FlixBus is the way to go when traveling to more known cities and the ESN office has 20% off discount codes you can help yourself to.
Normally if you are on a trip going further away you will undoubtedly have a mixture of all of these things. If you are in Graz specifically, then you will always go to Vienna either by train or bus to get on a flight. So, you have to always have your times in order for leaving trains, flights, or buses. You also really have to give yourself time between each in case something runs late, or if you have to get through customs.
I need to pack now!
Until next time,