Tag Archives: adventure

How to Get Ready for a Music Festival Abroad

For all the music lovers and festival enthusiasts studying abroad this semester, the time has finally come to forget your inhibitions and immerse yourselves in the good vibes of Barcelona’s Abroadfest. Whether this is your first experience with a music festival or whether you’re a pro at this kind of stuff back in the States, you’ll want to check out this list of tips for attending a festival abroad:

  1. Know the Line Up: The key component to a music festival is, of course, the music. Abroadfest will be held in  Razzmatazz and Shôko, so make sure you’re ahead of the game and know where to be at what times by looking up the Abroadfest Line Up now. In order to ensure that you are up front for your favorite bands, plan out your strategy ahead of time and know which stages you want to post up at and which times you’ll need to be there. While you’re checking out the lineup, if you find some bands you haven’t heard of, take the time to make a dope playlist and learn some new music. You’ll be glad you did when you get to experience these bands live.cell phones at music festivals, external battery, portable charger, iphone, android, cell phones abroad, music festival tips, abroadfest, europe
  2. Bring the Right Equipment: The last thing you want is to be at a music festival without the essentials. The second to last thing you want is to be overwhelmed with stuff while you’re trying to rage to your favorite bands. The happy-medium here is to bring the essentials and pack lightly. Make sure you are packing everything in a secure, light bag; a bag that zips is preferable for security reasons – fanny packs are your friends. My recommendations for must-have items are: an external battery for your phone, an extra protein bar for energy, a hard copy of notes you’ve made regarding which stages to be at which times in case your phone does die, whatever form of money you decide is best for you (make sure you check out our safety tips blog post when planning this out), and a water bottle. Anything else is just extra – except good vibes, of course.
  3. Stay Hydrated and Nourished: As mentioned above, I always recommend bringing a protein bar and water bottle. Some festivals restrict liquids and foods being brought in, so make sure you keep this in mind. Staying hydrated is key, especially when surrounded by hundreds of people jumping around in a tightly-packed setting. You’re going to sweat – a lot. Your body will thank you for focusing on getting enough water in your system.drinking water at music festivals, stay hydrated at abroadfest, study abroad tips, barcelona, abroadfest
  4. Prioritize Safety: Safety abroad is always a priority, and this becomes even more important at a music festival. For a full list of ways to protect yourself (and your bank account), check out our blog on How to Stay Safe While Abroad.
  5. Live in the Moment: The best part of a music festival is the positive and contagious vibes. Focusing on living in the moment while abroad is always something I’ve found to be important, but this is even more of a necessity at a music festival. You’re surrounded by great music, creative visuals, and interesting people. Focus less on capturing the perfect Snapchat Mystory and more on engraving every detail you can into your memory. Send out good vibes and you’ll find that even more come your way. Soak in every moment, because you’ll never encounter as much kindness as you will at a music festival.

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10 Ways to Stay Safe While Studying Abroad

You’ve been lectured, re-lectured, then lectured again for good measure endlessly by parents, professors, and loved ones about safety while abroad, but how much does this wisdom really sink in when your thoughts stray to all the fun you have to look forward to? But take it from someone who has witnessed at least some of the things mentioned below first-hand – it’s better to be a little over-prepared and cautious than to wind up in a scary or inconvenient situation. Take a minute to read some tips the team at Bus2alps have put together from experience, and learn from our stories and advice rather than your own misfortune.

  1. Know Your Emergency Numbers: My first piece of advice is, once you’ve gotten through this article, pull out your phone and download the Echo 112 App. This is an emergency app that allows dispatchers to be able to track your location through your phone in the case of an emergency. Also, make sure you look into local emergency numbers – this is general knowledge that is important to know.echo app, smartphone tracker, safety abroad, student travel tips, emergency number, europe emergency app
  1. Don’t Put all of Your Eggs in One Basket–eh, Cards in one Wallet: So, imagine the worst: Your wallet gets lost or stolen. Well, actually, this is not the worst–imagine that your wallet gets stolen with every single credit/debit card you own, your insurance cards from the US, your driver’s license with the picture when you had a really good hair day, every single rewards card you’ve been racking up points on, and – if you’ve really hit the jackpot of misfortune – your passport. This is not one of those stories your mom tells you to scare you (trust me, this happened to my friend two weeks ago). Be smart. Bring just enough of what you need with you. Always make a copy of your passport, and keep it back at the place you’re temporarily calling home, along with all of those cards and documents you really only need back in America. The goal is that after reading this article and committing these tips to memory, you won’t have an issue with parting ways with your wallet, but if it does happen, having a backup card handy will get you by until you can figure out a way to replace your card.student travel tips, study abroad in europe, tips of packing, how to keep your wallet safe when abroad
  1. Always Make Sure Your Bag is Secure: This advice may help you avoid losing a wallet altogether. Whether you carry a purse, satchel, or backpack, make sure that you’re always aware of how accessible it is to others. Carry purses and satchels in front of you, and aim to only carry bags that have a zipper. Be aware of your bags in tight crowds; this is an easy chance for someone to “bump” into you and snatch some valuables. Always make sure your bags are in your line of vision if they aren’t on you – train stations, airports, and bus stops to a thief are like casinos to gamblers. They thrive in these spots and are skilled at what they do, so be one step ahead and watch your belongings.
  1. Only Use Registered Taxis: Even if you thought it was a good idea to wear your favorite most painful pair of heels down cobbly streets or if you stayed out way too late to watch the game and are desperate to get home, always make sure you’re being aware that the ride you’re accepting is actually a registered taxi service. This is especially necessary when leaving a train station or airport – just because a car is just waiting there in your time of need does not mean its a knight-in-shining-armour ready to rescue you. You’ll see a taxi station outside of most airports and train stations in Europe which shows you where to wait for registered taxis. Going off of this, if you are traveling to a new city, plan ahead and have some taxi service numbers ready for you. Familiarize yourself with their hours of operation so you aren’t stranded in the early hours of the morning in a new city.registered cab services in europe, student travel tips, european taxi services, safe rides for students abroad
  1. Only use a trusted ATM: I’ve found that bank ATMs are the best anyways conversion-rate-wise, but I’ve always found comfort knowing that my card information will be protected by using these machines over the sketchy ones conveniently hidden right next to the spot you buy your favorite cheap beer. ATMs can be a way for others to steal your card information, so always make sure you’re using a trusted machine. To protect your information, also avoid using cards on public wifi.
  1. Don’t Accept a Drink You Haven’t Seen Poured: This is advice that my parent’s repeatedly beat into my brains throughout my college years, and wisdom that is even more important to carry overseas. Advice to go along with this is to never leave your drink unattended – even for a second. If you have set your drink down and wandered away, spend the extra cash on a new one to be safe. A last note on the topic of alcohol, please be able to handle whatever amount you decide to consume. Being able to be a functioning human is a socially acceptable behavior anywhere, but it is an absolute necessity abroad. Don’t drink too much and always be in control of yourself and your actions.student travel tips, study abroad in europe, tips of packing, how to be safe at a bar scene abroad
  1. Always Let Someone Know Where You Are: If you’re traveling alone, or honestly, at all, it’s important to let at least one person know where you’re going to be. Checking in with someone may be hard for the independent spirits like myself, but it is the smartest way for someone to be able to know where you are in case of an emergency.
  1. Be Smart About Traveling Alone at Night: If you’re going to be walking home at night alone, avoid back alleys. They might make your trek shorter, but dark alleyways can be an opportunity for someone lurking in the shadows to caught you off guard and vulnerable. If you can, always walk in a group at night.student travel tips, study abroad in europe, tips of packing, how to keep your wallet safe when abroad
  1. Always have a Backup: A backup plan goes along with everything in life. For me, my back up battery has been a saving grace for my travels abroad. If you haven’t already, invest in an external battery for your phone. Go one step ahead and always have the address to where you’re staying along with any important phone numbers written somewhere and secured in a safe place; if your phone dies, you will be able to have a way to reach others or make your way back home.  
  1. Be Aware, Not Paranoid: Pay attention to your surroundings. Check exits when entering a crowded building. Dip into a restaurant or business if you feel like you’re being followed at night. Double check that cab that gives you a sketchy feeling. Carry your purse like it’s glued to you. Be smart and trust your instincts, but don’t let this turn into paranoia.

Enjoy your time abroad and trust that as much darkness there is in the world, there’s twice as much goodness that exists. Allow people to surprise you and show you kindness and you’ll find that there is more of this than you could imagine. Be smart, be safe, and travel on.


A first-timer’s view of the Swiss Alps

By Grace Woodrow

I went to Interlaken and it blew my mind. We traveled through the night and when I opened my eyes in the morning I thought I might still be dreaming. The views of the Swiss Alps are incomparable to anything I’ve ever seen in real life before. Even the walk to the grocery store managed to be breathtakingly beautiful. (Please note: Lake Brienz is not technically on the way to Coop, but hot damn is it incredible or what?!)


To be completely honest, I didn’t expect to fall in love with Interlaken as hard as I did. For starters, I don’t like the cold and I’m a subpar East Coast skier. However, I quickly found out those minor details didn’t stand a chance up against all the Swiss Alps had to offer. By day three of my trip I had already reached “the top of Europe,” Jungfraujoch. Chilling (3,466 m/11,371 ft) above sea level wasn’t too shabby for a Wednesday.  Sure it was a little cold, but the unbelievable views made it so worth it.  


There’s a lot more to love than just the scenery. There’s night sledding and ice skating, snowshoeing and even chocolate making workshops. During my trip I met some of the coolest people there. The locals are the most fun and adventurous humans I’ve ever come across. Though I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising, as Interlaken is nicknamed “the adrenaline capital of Europe.” We had a fun night out with some of the staff from Outdoor Interlaken at a local bar in the center of town called Husi. I can’t wait to go back to see them again and this time take them up on their offer to go paragliding or skydiving. I have my own separate to-do list specifically for Interlaken.


Whether or not you think the cold “isn’t your thing,” Interlaken will be your thing, and it will blow your mind. If you’re skiing and snowboarding you’ll find the Swiss Alps is no joke. If you’re just hanging out enjoying the scenery you’ll have your breath taken away.  If you’re free falling from the sky at 120mph you will experience an adrenaline rush like never before.  I could sit here and tell you all about it, but the Swiss Alps is just one of those things you’ll have to see for yourself.  And when you do…


Why Interlaken should be your first trip abroad

By Allie Filmanowicz

The picture perfect views

Interlaken is known for its breathtaking views! Whether you are looking for the perfect cover photo or just a picture to send home to Mom, there is no better place than Interlaken!


You can make your own chocolate

Why buy the good stuff when you can make it yourself? While in Interlaken, head over to the Funky Chocolate Club to test your hand at making your own signature chocolate!

Some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world

If winter sports are something you enjoy be sure to head on up to Kleine Scheidegg Jungfraujoch for an awesome day of mountains and fresh snow! Don’t forget your camera because this mountain is one for the books.

You can purchase a real Swiss army knife

An authentic Swiss army knife is the perfect thing to gift yourself or someone back in the states! Just be sure to put it in your checked bag when you travel to avoid any issues at security.

Endless opportunities for adventure (even if you don’t ski or snowboard)

Still looking for an adrenaline rush that doesn’t involve skiing or snowboarding? Interlaken is full of them! Check out skydiving or paragliding over the Alps—this once in a lifetime experience is something you absolutely need to take advantage of while you are abroad.


Night sledding in the Alps

After a day filled with beautiful views and exciting adventures, start your night out the right way by slipping and sliding down one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges.

To take your most epic picture yet in 2016 at the Top of Europe

Just a beautiful train ride up from Kleine Scheidegg Jungfraujoch is where you will find the “Top of Europe.” The beautiful setting of the giant Switzerland flag and rolling mountains is even more perfect in real life than it is in the pictures (which is hard to believe!).


For the Rostis

If you have have never tried a rosti, you are truly missing out. A rosti is a delicious traditional Swiss meal that is hashbrown and cheese based; different vegetables and meat are added depending on personal preference!!

Balmers Club

If you are looking for a wild night out on the town be sure to check out Balmers club, located in the basement of the Balmers hostel! Balmers club is the perfect place to meet other students traveling in Interlaken and dance the night away.

image01Ice skating downtown

Downtown Interlaken is great for grabbing a bite to eat and exploring the quaint cobblestone streets, but best of all is the ice skating rink where individuals of all skill levels gracefully (or not so gracefully) glide around the ice.

Your Warm Weather Guide to Adventure in Interlaken

By Adam King

Switzerland = skiing, snowboarding and all winter activities, right? Wrong. While the skiing in the Swiss Alps is beautiful, no question, the biggest tourism season for Switzerland is actually in the Summer. “Why?” you might ask. Here are 5 reasons why Interlaken is better to hit in the Summer rather than the Winter to get your adventure on in the heart of Switzerland.

1. Canyoning

For all you adrenaline junkies out there, canyoning is a must-do. There are limited places in the world that you can experience good canyoning (Switzerland and New Zealand are the top 2 in the world), so don’t miss out in this opportunity while abroad. You will climb boulders, rappel down gorges, and jump off of waterfalls in this can’t miss activity. Check out the video below if you’re still not convinced.


2. Harder Kulm

One of the best hikes in all of Switzerland is climbing to the top of Harder Kulm. This trail that is usually closed in the Winter due to icy conditions, is open for the warmer months and gives a breathtaking view of Interlaken and the surrounding Alps.


3. Skydiving/Bungee Jumping

Interlaken isn’t the adventure capital of Europe for nothing. So swallow your fear and go either skydiving or bungee jumping now that it’s a bit warmer and you don’t have to worry about acquiring frost bite while you free fall though the sky or take the leap of faith by bungee jumping.


4. White water rafting

Another awesome activity that you can’t do during the winter months is white water rafting. Grab some mates and paddle your way through some of the most fun rapids that Europe has to offer.


5. Vertical rush/Seilpark

Want to get a bit of an adrenaline rush, but don’t think you’re up to the level of skydiving or bungee jumping yet? No worries, a great warm up to these are both the Vertical Rush and Seilpark. The Vertical Rush consists of 4 parts; a zipline, a tightrope walk, a rope swing, and a simulated base jump; all from the top of the trees! The seilpark is a ropes course with multiple obstacles, ziplines, and other fun adversities to face throughout!