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    Visiting Oxford as a Harry Potter Fan

    By no means am I the biggest Potterhead out there. I honestly, don’t even like to be referred to by that term because I’m not really a die-hard fan. This is when you’re like, “What the heck Caitlyn? Then why did you even go to Oxford!?” Well Karen, I may not currently be the biggest fan, but I was fully immersed in the world as a child. So being able to finally see locations from the movies in person was magical and brought back all the feelings I had as a child when I was in love with the wizarding world.

    I spent two full days in Oxford with my fellow blogger and study abroad friend Kat! Keep reading to find out all the attractions we visited, where we ate, and where we stayed in the city!

    Day One

    I got to Oxford around 8:40 am on Saturday morning. Kat’s train wasn’t due in for a couple hours so I spent the morning at the bus station’s Cafe Nero finishing up a book and getting caffeinated since I had taken an overnight bus from Glasgow. Because it was an overnight bus, I also got dressed and did my makeup in the bus station’s bathroom. That was an experience.

    Brunch at Queen’s Lane Coffee House

    When Kat arrived in Oxford around 11, we headed off to Queen’s Lane Coffe House. She had found it when we were planning our trip and we immediately decided we had to go since it’s the oldest continually operating coffee house in Europe. Like how cool is that!?

    I got the porridge and Kat got their bagel. We both loved the food, and Kat said their bagels live up to the New York bagels from the states.

    Covered Market

    After filling our bellies with the delicious food and drinking more coffee, we set off the short walk down the street to the covered market. We had both heard that this was a must see when visiting Oxford, but honestly, it was super underwhelming.

    The covered market is basically more like a mini indoor mall than a market, which I totally loved, but none of the shops were really intriguing enough to go into. Kat and I only entered one so she could purchase a couple postcards. There were a few dessert stalls I would have loved to get some ice cream or pie from though, but we had just eaten so that was a no.

    St Mary the Virgin Church

    Since it was still too early to check into our hostel, we decided to explore a little bit more in the vicinity we were already in so we stopped inside the church between the market and the coffee house to kill time. This church was gorgeous inside!! I could not get over the beautiful stained glass windows! 

    St. Mary’s also felt like an actual place of worship and not just a tourist attraction.

    Radcliffe Camera

    Upon exiting the back of the church, we had our first view of the Radcliffe Camera! Which I actually didn’t know the name of until Kat told me. I obviously had done my research right? Read more…

    Everything I Packed to Study Abroad in Scotland

    *Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on a product link, I may receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I love or use myself!

    I posted last month about all the things I wished I had brought with me to Scotland, saying I’d soon write up everything I did bring. Well, this is me keeping that promise!! In this post you’ll get to see literally everything I brought with me, and what I packed everything in.

    But before we get into this I want to say one little disclaimer. What each student needs to bring abroad will definitely vary. So while you can totally use my list as inspiration on what to pack, you may want to bring different things I left out, or not bring as much of a certain item that I did. That’s totally fine. Especially since not everyone is a fashion obsessed girl who owns too many clothes to fit in her closet at home and will never be caught wearing the same outfit twice. 

    My Suitcases

    Okay, first things first. I packed everything in three suitcases and my backpack. Yes, three. I’m not even going to try and justify that because of the disclaimer above.

    three suitcases used to study abroad

    I brought a large (about 30x19x11 inches) suitcase, a medium one (about 26x18x10 inches), and then a carry on (about 25x14x8 inches) suitcase. All three are the hard case rolling suitcases that allow you to fit even more than you expected since each has two compartments.

    The backpack I used was just the basic one I use for classes. And it’s actually my all time favorite backpack I’ve ever used!! It has a separate pocket inside for my laptop and a zipper pocket inside as well! I usually keep a couple tampons and pads in there for emergencies. 

    What I Packed

    3 Dresses

    • Black cami dress – gotta have an LBD, plus the cut is good for layering
    • Long sleeve dress
    • Tank dress – also good for layering

    Read more…

    5 Travel Tips from a Pilot’s Daughter

    If you haven’t noticed, but I’ve been doing a lot of traveling since I began my study abroad journey back in January. And if you really haven’t noticed, then feel free to pop on over and read about my day in Liverpool, trip to Edinburgh, and a round-up of some of my other smaller travels.

    I have plenty more trips planned and in the works of being planned, too. I’m always scouring other blogs and Pinterest looking for travel tips and places to visit. The thing is, I always find tips and tricks I’ve heard a million time over. So needless to say I was very intrigued when Veronica reached out to me about writing some travel tips for her point of view.

    But what makes Veronica’s point of view different? Her father’s a pilot! So does this girl have some good tips for you! Keep reading to find out all the advice Veronica is dishing out for us!

    And a huge shoutout to Veronica for writing this piece for my blog!


    To become a successful traveler you have to find that sweet spot between having a plan and being spontaneous. Too much planning takes away from experiencing new things as they come, but not enough and you’re sure to miss out on a few must-sees, plus you’ll likely spend more money.

    If you book your reservations with the right companies at the right time, pack smart, and keep a few pointers in mind along the way — with a suitcase in hand you’ll be unstoppable.

    5 Travel Tips from a Pilot's Daughter: Insider tricks on how to make the most out of any trip by Veronica Baas | College with Caitlyn

    Booking

    Don’t limit yourself to hotels. Especially if you’re traveling with a buddy or in a group. Hostels and Airbnb are usually the best ways to go, but there are hotel search engines to help you find reasonable prices. I usually stick with Priceline, mostly because I use it for rental cars as well, so my points stack up and I get coupons fairly often.

    Rumor has it the best day to book flights is Tuesday, I don’t know if I fully believe that but I have noticed flights are cheaper earlier in the week. If I need to be somewhere at a specific time and it’s important I don’t travel standby, it’s too risky. When I book a flight I’ll usually bounce back and forth between Google Flights and Skiplagged, there are other decent flight search engines these ones are just my favorites. Be sure to open a new incognito window or turn on your private browsing feature so reservation sites don’t hike their prices up after they see you’ve been looking. Read more…