Going Abroad Tips: Greece Edition

By Ashley Paskill on March 5, 2019

Whether you are planning on studying abroad or are looking for a unique trip for spring break or summer, Greece is a great destination to check out. It is rich in history and culture and is gorgeous to boot. However, if you have never traveled there before, here are a few things to keep in mind.

greece

Image: Jason Blackeye via https://unsplash.com/photos/WEPXZZsoz0Y

Travel to the various islands

Each of the Greek Islands has something to offer. For example, Santorini has a wide selection of art and architecture, beaches, beautiful views, and culture for visitors to take in. While the mainland is where you may want to spend most of your time, make it a point to spend a little time on the islands.

Bring a camera

Greece is a beautiful country full of scenery and architecture. Bring a camera to capture the beauty of the country as well as any memories you want to capture forever. Returning from a trip abroad, whether it is just traveling for a little or studying abroad, it can be difficult to return home. Having photos that you can sort through will help you keep your memories and experiences alive. You can make a scrapbook or photo album with the photos you collect.

If you do bring a camera beyond the one on your phone, make sure you can travel with it on the plane. Also, make sure you have battery accessories, whether that means a charger or additional batteries.

Visit spots that were featured in movies

Sometimes, the coolest parts of traveling are seeing places where movies took place. Greece has no shortage of movies that took place there, from the Mamma Mia movies to Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. Do some research to see where movies were shot in Greece and make it a point to take a weekend excursion to those places.

Avoid peak season

Most people go to Greece at the end of July through the end of August. To avoid crowds, consider going when it’s not peak season. If you want to study abroad, go during the fall or spring semester instead of over the summer. For those wanting to go on vacation, consider going right after your semester ends or even go over spring break.

Avoid looking like a tourist

Eat like a local. Find small, family-owned restaurants to support the country’s economy. Not only will you be supporting a family, but you will also get to dive even deeper into the culture, which is hopefully why you decided to travel or study there. Avoid international chain restaurants if possible, though it is okay if you eat a few meals at them.

Just like eating local supports local families, so does shopping at non-chain stores. Supporting mom-and-pop shops helps locals as well as gives you unique souvenirs to take home. Most tourists shop in souvenir shops, so buying things in small, locally-owned shops will help you stand out while making a difference in a family’s life.

Know a few key phrases in Greek. While Greeks know English, you will stand out and make yourself look better if you know at least a few key phrases. Knowing some Greek will help you navigate the cities or towns you are in and will help you communicate on a basic level with locals.

Only bring the electronics you need

If you are simply traveling for vacation, the only electronics you will need are your cell phone and possibly an MP3 player. However, if you are studying abroad, you will likely need a laptop and maybe a tablet. It is important to only take the electronics you need to reduce luggage costs and reduce the likelihood of your possessions being stolen.

Also, you will likely need to get an adapter for your chargers. Go to an electronics store and explain that you are traveling and are in need of an adapter. They will help you find an adapter that will work for your device in the country you are traveling to. This will help you make sure you have the proper gear to keep your electronics charged so you can enjoy your trip without worrying about your electronics losing power.

Besides the extra luggage and risk of robbery, you will want to limit your use of electronics (other than a camera). The point of traveling is to soak up as much of the location as possible and learn new things. While you may use Google Maps as a navigation tool and a camera to take photos of your adventures, try to limit your use of technology. Take time to speak with the locals. People in Greece love to converse with tourists about various topics. They love sharing their opinions but also love hearing others’ opinions as well. This will help you meet new people while expanding your worldview, which is what travel should be about.

Bring a portable charger for your phone. In all likeliness, you will be spending most of your days exploring Greece. Make sure your camera is fully charged. Having a portable charger helps you in case your phone battery runs low. If you are relying on a navigation app and are using it a lot, this will wear down your battery, so having a portable charger can help replenish your phone’s battery.

Traveling to Greece may be a new adventure for you, but as long as you keep these things in mind, your trip will be memorable for the rest of your life!

By Ashley Paskill

Uloop Writer

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