Planning a long travel weekend

Written by Madison June 6, 2017

First night in Florence!

The best Calzone I've ever had!

Probably my 100th gelato of the trip.

In front of my Favorite building in Florence.

Within the summer program, students are given 2 long weekends and 1 short weekend to go and travel wherever we would like. In doing this, it is sometimes hard to decide where you want to go, who to go with, and how to get there. One thing that we struggled with for our first weekend was where to go. Since we were constantly busy, it was hard to find a time that everyone could meet up to discuss what the plans would be for the weekend. But with that being said, it all worked out. Here are some helpful hints that I would have liked to know before planning a weekend.

1. Before coming to CIMBA, I would suggest coming with some ideas of where you would like to travel on the weekends. Then look up prices on google flights for those weekends and decide how much you are willing to spend. Getting to your final destination can cost anywhere from 100 euros to 500 euros (okay, that might be an extreme but you get the idea). I had ideas of places I wanted to go, but when I finally looked into planning flights and places to stay it ended up being way too expensive.

2. My second tip would be to plan out your weekends as far in advance as possible. Especially within the summer program, the weekends sneak up on you very quickly. I think that I would have been less stressed if I could plan all the weekends out within week one. This would also help with getting tickets for museums and statues if you don’t want to wait in a long line.

3. Last but not least, just have fun! The weekends can be stressful to get organized but it’s all a learning experience. When you get to your destination, all the stress is gone and you can enjoy the time you have in a new country with new friends. I would also suggest trying new things – one of our favorite places in Florence was a Mexican restaurant! They probably had the best burrito I’ve ever eaten. Before going there I was a little unsure, but I’m glad we did.

In the end, for our first weekend to Florence we didn’t book our train tickets until the day before, and the Airbnb only two days before. So it is possible to put together a weekend in a short time. We were able to make it to our destination safely and adventure around Florence! But if I could do it again, I would avoid scheduling the weekends two days before because it ends up being too stressful with homework and tests coming up.