The year 2022 has been a lot of firsts for me when it comes to traveling. This has been the year where I traveled for the first time alone not only to a different state but also out of the country. Here are some tips I have learned to make your solo trip easier when you arrive in London.
- Triple check you have everything
You may not believe how many times I have checked my suitcases before I left and still forgot so many things. For example, I did not realize how cold it will be in London for the month of June. A lot of us has packed for the summer since that is when we are arriving in the summer months. Check the weather before you arrive! Pack clothes that you will be able to layer. It may be warm in the afternoon but it gets freezing in the morning and night. Make sure you have all the documents you may need when travel aboard like a visa, passport and extra photo copies of your passport. But the most important thing. BRING a travel adapter! I forgot that countries outside the United States will have different plugs. The day I arrived in London, I had to search for a travel adapter before my phone died. Don’t be like me. I barely found one before my phone died.
- Arrive at the airport early
Traveling alone can be nerve-racking. Making sure you have and get everything from one place to another is a lot for one person to handle for the first time. So arrive early. I say at least 3 to 4 hours early to give yourself enough time to check in, go through airport security, find your gate and everything else you may have to do along the way. I thought I arrived 4 hours early but I mistook the plane’s departure for the boarding time. 3 hours was enough time to get through all points and still get a late dinner after waiting an hour for it. I still had an hour left to get comfortable at my gate while waiting for the plane.
- Travel with reputable companies
The one thing I was most nervous about when it came to arriving to London was trying to figure out how I was going to arrive to my dorm or “flat” from the airport. It was going to take over 30 minutes to go from the airport to Hyde Park with traffic. Depending on how much luggage you have will depend how you are going to travel. You could take the train, taxi, or Uber to get to your location. I took a taxi. I realized it was going to be the most expensive option but I didn’t realize how expensive. It was roughly 71 pounds to travel to my first location. When I checked my bank, I wanted to cry. It cost me around 90 dollars for that whole trip. Next time I am taking an Uber which will be way cheaper. But the whole ride was super nice. The driver was so sweet. But make sure you are going into the right car and if you are traveling in a taxi, only go into ones that say taxi one them or the black ones only.
- RELAX and have FUN!
Remember to breathe! You will be fine. Check in with a friend or family member every step of the way. I get it can be nerve-racking. I was in the same position. But just remember this will be an amazing experience for you. And once you get to your location just remember to have fun and the make the most out of London!
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.