Andy Steves educates students on smart travel


Travel writer Andy Steves visited the UK campus on Oct. 11 to discuss city-hopping on a budget.

Sarah Landers

Travel writer Andy Steves ventured to the UK campus amid his worldly travels on Tuesday, Oct. 11 to deliver a speech on his personal journeys across Europe, also offering some insight for prospective tourists.

Steves attributed a great deal of his passion for affordable travel to his father, TV travel icon Rick Steves. His own path to becoming an excursion expert started at an early age, right after receiving his degree from Notre Dame in 2010.

Weekend Student Adventures was inspired by Steves’ semester abroad in Rome in 2008. He launched the business with hopes of creating a special European adventure for college students—one that is all but cliché.

“Do it right and get off the beaten path,” Steves said.

Steves encouraged the public audience to venture outside their comfort zone, visit ‘mom and pop’ shops and hidden places. However, it’s important to pay attention to the location of cities on your list.

“You save a lot of time if you link your itinerary in a way that makes geographical sense,” Steves said.

To find the cheapest means of transportation, Steves encouraged travelers to look into bus, train, and plane fares. He spoke of his enthusiasm for Google Flights, which offers price information and offers location suggestions.

Steves also mentioned several apps and websites that can help inexperienced tourists with budgeting, restaurant reviews, local events, and more.

“If you’re going to Europe, Time Out is a great resource,” Steves said.

Weekend Student Adventures currently has 13 operational cities, including Prague, Edinburgh, and Barcelona. Steves included photos from his adventures in several of these locations throughout his slideshow presentation.

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Several UK students that attended the event are aspiring to study abroad during their college careers.

Madison Kelley, a freshman international studies major, has made various trips to France through an exchange program called Sister Cities. She has other ideas for her next trip, however.

“I’d really like to go to Ireland,” Kelley said.

Megan Potts, a sophomore studying integrated strategic communications, recently applied to study in Ireland.

For both students, budget plays a huge role in their ability to go abroad. To save money in foreign cities, Steves recommended paying in the local currency, grocery shopping, and staying in hostels.

Moe Abdallah, a junior at UK, frequently travels outside of the United States. His goal is to study abroad in Grenada, Spain, but he’s also concerned with cost. He was previously aware of many apps that Steves touched on, including HostelWorld and Airbnb.

“I use them all the time,” Abdallah said.

Beyond financial matters, Steves offered some final words of advice on becoming socially aware by truly immersing yourself in the culture of the places you visit.

“Soak up all the reasons why,” Steves said. “Don’t be surface level.”