When I ponder my potential summer travel bucket list, there are a few major cities across the US, as well as countries around the world, that pop into my mind immediately. However, as a college student, we all know money is sometimes tough to come by, so we must plan accordingly. Thankfully, we have our whole lives to travel (especially since my list of must-visit places is adding up quickly)! So while we may not be able to hit up each and every one of these destinations this summer (or even throughout our entire college experience), here are 10 places to consider adding to your travel bucket list for destin this summer!
Growing up in NYC, I never realized its true beauty until I left; and I must say, New York City is truly a beautiful place – in so many ways. Yes, you may hear that New Yorkers are rude and need to get everything done in the snap of a finger, but it is just because of the fast paced lifestyle of the city. We still want you to come visit our beautiful city and all the hidden gems within it! Definitely go to Manhattan when you are in NYC – from museums and cute restaurants, to skyscrapers and the Manhattan skyline; “the city” has everything. I would personally recommend the Museum of Modern Art during the day, and The Sugar Factory or even Max Brenner’s to start off your night. If you happen to make it to NYC and have a few days to spare, I would also recommend traveling to Queens and Brooklyn and checking out what the different boroughs have to offer.
Disney is considered the happiest place on Earth and I believe it to be true, 100%. Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida has so many rides, attractions, and parks – you could easily spend more than just a week there. If possible, definitely stay in one of the Disney resorts, such as Port Orleans Riverside. These resorts offer the true Disney experience (plus free transportation to any of the Disney parks and downtown Disney)! Since the weather is usually pretty decent, you can visit this travel bucket list destination year-round, but it is especially beautiful during Christmastime or during the late Spring/early Summer. If you only have time to visit one park, I would recommend Epcot – it has so much to offer from fireworks at night, to different country pavilions; there is bound to be something for everyone.
California should probably be on everyone’s travel bucket list, especially when planning a trip during a college break. It’s still in the US, so the travel will be cheaper than traveling out-of-country, but it offers that perfect tropical vibe people often seek on vacation. My go-tos include Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Diego, and San Francisco (if you decide to venture a little North). Some top places to visit within California are Rodeo Drive, Hollywood to see the Hollywood sign and the Hollywood stars, the San Diego Zoo, and in San Francisco, you have to see the Golden Gate Bridge and ride on a cable car. Don’t forget to try an In and Out Burger too while you’re there! For more of a cool, nightlife vibe, go to Venice Beach and Santa Monica and spend the night there.
4. New Orleans
New Orleans is a top city to visit as a college student, especially one that just turned 21 before Mardi Gras. The French Quarter in New Orleans would be the main spot for parties and parades any day of the year (that’s right, not just on Mardi Gras). Be sure to visit the French Quarter and listen to some Jazz music or stop into a quaint café on Frenchmen Street and watch the passerbys. Maybe even go on a historical city tour since there is a lot of rich history, especially if you are interested in witches and magic. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out and try some traditional foods that are indicative to the city such as Gumbo or Crawfish.
La citta e bella is what you could say about pretty much any city you visit in Italy since it is an all around beautiful country – how could this NOT be on your travel bucket list? From the food to the artwork, once you get there, you won’t want to leave. When planning a trip to Italy, or really anywhere out of the US, definitely try to give yourself at least a week if not more so you can really absorb the culture. I would suggest visiting the lesser known, or not as popular cities, such as San Gimiagno or Cinque Terre – this is a great way to actually immerse yourself into the culture. However, some top spots (that are a bit more touristy) you should definitely travel to within Italy are Florence, Rome, Venice, Assisi, Capri, Sorrento, Naples, Pompeii, and Palermo. If you want to see more of the different regions of Italy, go to Siena, Milan, Perugia, Lucca, etc. You could spend months here and not even be able to see a fraction of the beautiful country. Stick to the traditional Italian breakfast of a cappuccino and a cornetto, but also expand your palette — taste the foods of the different regions – such as pesto, pasta with bolognese sauce, pizza, cannolis…the list goes on! Also, definitely do a wine tasting since Italy is known for its vineyards! Godere di Goni minute di esso.
Some of you may think that it’s not a good idea to travel to Greece now because of the financial issues the country is having, but tourism is still thriving and it is still a popular place to visit especially during the summer! The three Greek cities to include on your travel bucket list would have to be Santorini, Athens and Rhodes. If your final destination is Santorini, fly to Athens and then take the ferry to Santorini, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. Greece has more of a temperate temperature, so you can still hit up the beach in the winter. Try to go on a walking tour if you go to Athens so you can go back home having learned something (and not give your parents the impression that all you did was party and drink the whole time)! Maybe visit the Acropolis or Partnenon. For food, you have to indulge in gyros or souvlaki and for dessert don’t forget to try loukoumades. Fair warning: they are addicting!
Spain is another place to consider adding to your travel bucket list for this summer (or anytime really). Barcelona, Madrid, and Ibiza are cities that you should keep in mind. Let’s face it, if you’re going to Ibiza, you’re just going to club and go to the beach. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, try to dedicate time to get to other parts of Spain or at least Barcelona, so you still have clubbing, beaches, good food, with some history and artwork as well. Spring break is also another prime time to visit Spain, especially the beaches and costal towns and cities. If you decide to go to Barcelona, check out the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. For foods, and/or drinks definitely get yourself some sangria, paella, and churros for dessert!
France may not be extremely party-centric, however, it is absolutely beautiful and completely worthy of your travel bucket list. Some top cities include Paris, Nice on the French Rivera, and Versailles. You can easily take a train to Versailles from Paris and be able to see two different cities of France in a short amount of time, if time is limited. Nice and the French Rivera are further from Paris, however, worth a visit at least once in your lifetime. In Paris you have the opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louve, the Arc de Triomphe, Moulin Rouge, the Catacombs of Paris, and if you really want to, Disneyland in Paris, because why not visit Disney in a foreign country? You can’t leave France, no matter what part you’re visiting without getting some chocolate croissants and macaroons. I also recommend biking through the gardens of Versailles.
The Venice of Northern Europe, as it is known as, is such a beautifully diverse city, you definitely cannot pass up an opportunity to visit it. Keeping in mind that Amsterdam is very north, it tends to be a lot colder than other parts of Europe and it rains a decent amount as well, so just be sure to pack for the weather (Not EVERY destination on your travel bucket list has to be tropical). If you love boats, you have the opportunity to stay on a boat hostel, as this is a common thing to do when visiting Amsterdam. If you are planning to go to the Anne Frank House, be sure to get there at least an hour early otherwise the line gets very long. Also, be sure to check out the Van Gogh museum, the Red Light District, the Fault In Our Stars Bench and possibly take a canal tour (usually you can get a discounted deal for both). Even if you don’t like flowers, head to the flower market as well, you won’t be disappointed. Try to go to a restaurant called the Pantry for traditional Dutch food, get yourself some Amsterdam fries and stroop waffles, and before you leave go to a Febo (really good food that comes out of a machine)!
Okay, of course I would recommend visiting Germany during the infamous Oktoberfest, but travel prices during this period shoot up – a deterrent for us poor, college folk. If you can afford to go during the fall (or even in the spring for Springfest), then by all means – GO! The beer comes in one liter mugs, and, fun fact – the beer maids and waiters have to be trained to carry about 10 glasses at a time. But, if you want to experience all that Germany offers (believe me, the beer still flows every other day of the year, too), then consider visiting in the summer! Explore Berlin – from the Berlin Wall to the Checkpoint Charlie – there’s tons to do.
Featured image source: love-yna.
Kaitlyn Weinberger is 20 years old, about to be 21 in August. She is from Queens, NY and a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology, studying Fashion Merchandising Management with a specialization in Product Development and a minor in Italian studies. Most recently she studied abroad in Florence, Italy for the entire 2015-2016 academic year. In her spare time she enjoys painting, hanging out with her friends and writing!