ISEP student Emily S. is a part of ISEP Voices Spring 2016. She is an international studies and French major from the University of Southern Indiana, and is studying French while abroad at Université de Caen in France.
During my stay in Caen, I’ve had many opportunities to travel to the countries around me. I’m also on a strict budget and in order to travel frequently, I need to travel cheaply. Here are some apps that have really saved me from breaking the bank!
BlaBlaCar is an app where people can post trips they’re about to take - for instance Caen to Paris or Caen to Brussels - and they post how many seats they have available in their car. If you want to join, you just hop on with them and only pay 15-30 euro, depending on the end destination. This app is great if you accidentally miss a bus, train or flight.
I discovered GoEuro a little bit late in the game, but I have still been able to make use of it. You just put in your destination and the dates you need the transportation, and then it gives you all of the cheapest options to get there - be it bus, train or plane. This is the app that showed me I can take a bus from Caen to Paris for one euro! Another positive is this site automatically converts prices to USD.
Google Maps is easily one of the most important apps to have. You can download all of the metro routes to take whenever you’re in the big cities. I have an iPhone 5S and Apple Maps on my phone only shows public transit options for Berlin and not any of the other cities I’ve been to. Google Maps is a much better option!
AirBnb is another app that I found a little late in my time abroad. People use this app to rent out either a room in their apartment or even a whole apartment. Using AirBnB is sometimes cheaper and more ideal than a hostel. You can often use the kitchen, which lets you save money on going out to eat. Another positive is the beds at AirBnBs are almost always comfier than hostel beds.
While AirBnBs are sometimes cheaper and more comfortable, that’s not always the case. Sometimes a good old fashioned hostel is the best option location-wise and money-wise. HostelWorld compares all of the hostels in the city you’ll be staying in, and gives in-depth information about each one including pictures.
Couchsurfing is not one I have personally used, but a bunch of my friends have used it and haven’t had any bad experiences. Couchsurfing is exactly what it sounds like. Someone posts that their couch or room is available for a night or weekend, and you get to stay there - for free! Couchsurfing costs absolutely no money at all.
Are you ready for your own adventure? See all of your study abroad options on the ISEP website.
Want to see more from our ISEP bloggers? Learn more about our ISEP Voices Spring 2016 group.
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