The Guide: Master the Day Trip

YOUR Guide to: make the most out of your study abroad experience by travelling, learning, and living

 

The great thing about studying abroad in the UK is that the options for traveling are widely accessible and affordable.   Now, I know we are all trying to ball on a student budget (which, I know, is not an easy feat).  However, whether you don’t quite have the money to travel outside of your host country, or you have an extra-long, 3-day weekend coming up, your options of exploring places in your own host country are seemingly endless!

Some of my personal favourite trips during my year abroad in Edinburgh weren’t necessarily when I jetted off to Rome or Morocco, but rather when I took a one or two-day excursion with some of my best friends to explore the country which has become my second home.  Whether you are in Scotland, Ireland, or England, here are some of my best tips on how to MASTER the one- or two-day trip right here in the UK.

  • Book in advance! This is especially important if you’re trying to save money – did you know you can book a coach journey on Megabus or National Express taking you to destinations around the UK from £1.50?? Now, not all journeys are this inexpensive, but they can be if you book early enough.

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  • Get a big group of friends together for a fun one-day journey to a nearby island or national park! You’d be surprised at how accessible these places can be from the big city hubs in which most of us find ourselves.
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Loch Lomond, Scotland

  • Take a tour! Take advantage of your student status – most universities have very discounted one or two-day tours of Scotland or Ireland.  Check out the International Student Office at your host uni, or check out a private tour, to see what excursions may be offered.
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Glencoe, Scotland

  • You don’t necessarily have to travel all the way to the Scottish Highlands or complete the full Ring of Kerry to get a feel of the natural beauty Scotland and Ireland have to offer.  Although these are incredible journeys, they tend to take more than just a couple of days.  Do some research and find the natural beauty a bit closer to your host city – trust me, it’s there! Here are a few of my own suggestions if ya don’t know where to start:
  • Edinburgh and Glasgow
    • Cramond Island
    • Craigmillar Castle
    • Scone Palace
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Scone Palace, Perth

  • Edinburgh and Glasgow, cont.
    • Linlithgow Palace
    • Loch Lomond
    • Stirling Castle
    • Isle of Arran
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Isle of Arran, Scotland

  • Dublin
    • Newgrange Neolithic Monument
    • Glendalough
    • Malahide Castle
    • Country Wicklow
  • Galway
    • Arran Islands
    • Cliffs of Moher, OFC
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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

  • Cork
    • Killarney
    • Blackrock Castle
  • More tips! Buses are cheap, but always compare with a train! Sometimes the extra couple of pounds (esp when you book in advance!) or euros are worth saving an hour or two of your time 😉 Plus, if you know you’ll be in the UK traveling quite a bit, look into investing in a railcard. They only cost £30 for 16-25 year olds and it gets you 1/3 off ALL UK train tickets! Hence, why I’ve just invested in one myself.
  • Plan your outfits and pack light, you’re only going for a day or two!
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Highland coo, Isle of Arran, Scotland

  • If you plan on staying overnight, book a hostel in advance to save some monies.  Also, for you adventurous kiddos, check out the bothies all over Scotland and parts of England and Wales.  These small huts are scattered throughout the most beautiful parts of the UK for any and all visitors for a FREE night’s sleep.  Perfect for an adventurous traveler wanting to save a few extra pounds.  For a list of locations, click here.
  • And last, but certainly not least, have fun!
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Dunnottar Castle, Scotland