This little planet contains hundreds of cultures, thousands of beautiful places, and limitless opportunities for exploration. Whether you’re a travel newbie or a seasoned globetrotter, you can grow every time you leave your homeland. Here are some ways travel can change you for the better.

1. You Gain Confidence

When you’re traveling, you’ll run into unexpected situations. You will have to navigate unfamiliar areas, adapt to new laws and customs, and overcome language barriers. Figuring things out is always challenging, but as you do, you’ll gain self-confidence and problem-solving skills, and that can-do attitude and critical thinking will transfer to other areas of your life.

This is especially true if you decide to do some solo traveling. Just make sure you do your research before you take off, so you don’t stray into danger.

2. You Make Friends

Sometimes the people you’re with will take an experience from ordinary to unforgettable. Maybe you want to invite a few of your classmates on a road trip, perhaps you’ll sign up for a group tour in Europe or Asia, or maybe you’ll meet fellow travelers along the way and you’ll continue the journey together. No matter what, you will bond with your travel companions.

You should also reach out to local folks as you travel They will have different perspectives on their cities and the world in general and your cultural awareness will flourish. Plus you’ll be privy to inside information that goes deeper than any tour books can offer.

3. You Learn About Humanity

You can read about other places in books and you can watch TV shows about people across the world, but these don’t compare to personal experience. Whether you visit tribes in Papua New Guinea or get to know people in Myanmar, you will become better at understanding how other people think and feel and live.

No matter how different cultures are, all people belong to the same human family, a fact you will come to appreciate every time you meet someone with a background vastly different from your own but with whom you share a smile.

4. You Learn to Let Things Go and What’s Important

Regardless of how diligently you plan your itinerary, things will change and probably even go wrong. When that happens, you can be totally derailed into a meltdown or you can go with the flow and see what happens. Traveling will help you teach yourself how to relax and when to let go, skills that will come in handy when you’re going in for a job interview or facing finals week.

Traveling will also shift your perspective on material possessions. You’ll learn that packing light and living more simply gives you more time and energy to enjoy the wonders of your journey. You’ll also see how much of the world lives without the things you take for granted and you may even be inspired to reduce your own consumer footprint.

5. You Become More Creative

Whether you’re viewing art at the Louvre or watching buskers on the streets of Bangkok, everything you take in will spark your imagination and inspire you. To capture your memories, you’ll want to write a journal, record everything in photos, or put your experience on video.

Furthermore, according to researchers, “living in another culture and learning the practices of that culture may enhance the psychological processes that make people more creative.”

There are a lot of reasons to opt not to travel (instability abroad, budget concerns, taking time off from work or school). But don’t let these become excuses. Remember that the personal benefits you reap from seeing the world can be transformative and the memories will last a lifetime.

Did your summer plans change and you’ve now got some extra time and the itch to travel? Or maybe this summer’s job is so boring that you’re already thinking about getting away next summer. Whatever your situation, consider traveling and its many benefits. You’ll see the world anew, experience diverse cultures, gain valuable experience, make friends for a lifetime, and so much more.

Summer Travel

Summer is full of possibilities for fun and adventure. However, it doesn’t always live up to expectations. If none of your friends are around and you don’t have homework or other tasks to keep you busy, boredom might rear its ugly head. How can you slay the beast of boredom and stay productive this summer?

Learn New Things

School may be out, but that doesn’t have to put a pause on your learning. In fact, it actually frees you up to learn about the things that have always piqued your interest and for which you never had time because of school. To keep your mind sharp, explore new ideas, and even pick up some marketable skills, try some of the following:

  • Take a free online course through a platform like codecademy, Coursera, edX, or Open Culture.
  • Get a head start on next quarter’s classes by getting your textbooks early. Even if you don’t have a syllabus for your upcoming classes, you can still get ahead by browsing the table of contents, glossary, and index.
  • Listen to enriching Podcasts. These could help you learn a new language, better understand everyday science, or train your brain for more-efficient learning.

Find a Project

Everyone has things they’ve been dying to do but simply haven’t found time for. Summer presents the perfect opportunity. Maybe you want to write a novel or memoir about your semester overseas. Maybe your parents need help repainting the house. Brainstorm ideas for projects that could fill both your summer break and your soul with a sense of accomplishment.

You may also want to volunteer. Find local opportunities to tutor younger students, help animals in need, and provide services for those who don’t have enough. You’ll learn about your community and how good it feels to give back and you’ll have something special to add to your resume.


Reading is not only fun, it also has significant benefits that can help you when you go back to school. Reading can:

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Increase knowledge
  • Expand vocabulary
  • Sharpen memory
  • Boost writing skills

Whether you read the hottest title on the bestseller, a classic novel or a cookbook, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re relaxing under the summer sun with some lemonade and a good book. All reading is good reading.

Establish Healthy Habits

Maybe the hectic routine of college life got you into some bad habits, like eating nothing but microwaved meals. Use your summer to re-establish healthy habits you let slide during the school year:

  • Explore the outdoors by going hiking, biking, or just taking long walks. Find some beautiful natural scenery, and take some Instagram photos to make your friends jealous.
  • Get into a healthy eating routine. Summer is prime time for farmers’ markets and produce stands so why not add those veggies back to your diet and snack on in-season fruit instead of processed foods? And why not walk or cycle to the market instead of driving?
  • Encourage your friends and family to hop on the health bandwagon. Working out with a buddy will make it much more likely for you to stick to your plan.
  • Brainstorm ways you can keep up good habits even when you’re juggling classes, homework, and social events at school.

Forget the lazy days of summer — make your break productive. Learn new things, complete a project, or get in shape. When you head back to school, you’ll free refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of the new year.

As the mercury climbs, college kids everywhere are preparing for road trips to some of America’s hottest festivals. But where should you go? If your itinerary is still up in the air, consider checking out these awesome events.

Lollapalooza: World’s Best Musical Showcase

Line-ups don’t get more eclectic than Lollapalooza, which has becomes a long-running summer tradition. Just about every genre and musical era are represented, with artists like Paul McCartney, Metallica, Florence and the Machine, and Hot Chip on the bill. You’ll be on your feet for more than 12 hours each day, so pack comfy shoes!

Lollapalooza hits Chicago’s Grant Park from July 31 to August 2 this year. General admission tickets are sold out, but out-of-towners will save money on travel packages, which include local accommodation, your choice of general admission, VIP, or platinum passes, and some swag to take home. Travel packages start from $1,735.

Burning Man: Iconic Arts and Culture Festival

For something truly exceptional, head to Burning Man. From August 30 to September 7, more than 65,000 free spirits will converge on Nevada’s Black Rock City. It’s a truly alternative festival, without a bill of bands or a schedule, and the gathering celebrates art, music, sustainability, community, and higher consciousness.

Burning Man’s OMG Sale will commence at noon PST on August 5. A thousand $390 tickets and 1250 $50 vehicle passes will be released as part of this sale. Registration is required for this special sale, and takes place from noon on July 29 to noon on August 1.

Summerfest: America’s Biggest Festival

Between 800,000 and 1 million music lovers visit Summerfest each year, making it America’s biggest festival. It’s also one of the cheapest, with one-day passes priced at just $19. That won’t get you into Marcus Amphitheater, where big names like the Rolling Stones, Keith Urban, Stevie Wonder, and Florida Georgia Line play, but you will get to see performances on other stages dotted around Milwaukee’s Henry Maier Festival park. Doing the festival on the cheap is a great way to discover new musical acts and stay ahead of the curve.

Summerfest runs from June 24 to 28, and from June 30 to July 5. To really save cash, carpool to Wisconsin with your buddies and buy three-day passes for just $45.

Vans Warped Tour: Classic Traveling Punk Festival

The Vans Warped Tour is a punk festival institution. It’s ideal for students without the time or money to travel across the country as it stops at more than 40 U.S. cities from June 19 to August 8. For around $40 a ticket, depending on your location, you’ll see some of punk music’s biggest names, including We Came as Romans, Motion City Soundtrack, Simple Plan, I Killed the Prom Queen, Juliet Simms, and heaps more.

Bypass the crowds and do some good by donating three canned goods, a used cell phone, or $5 at the Express Entry flag. Backstage wristbands are also available to the first 100 ticket holders who donate blood each day.

You’ll be back in class before you know it, so make the most of your summer,and let your hair down at one of these fantastic festivals.

Today we’re continuing our mini-series about summer internships (no, it’s still not too late). This week we’ve got an extensive inforaphic on The Most-Exciting Summer Internships as a follow-up to last week’s article, 4 Tips to Help You Score a Summer Internship. Got plans for a sweet summer internship or advice for your peers still hoping to secure that perfect intern experience? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.