How I travelled to 9 destinations in a year from Maastricht

By on Tuesday 9 April 2024 at 06:28
How I travelled to 9 destinations in a year from Maastricht

You’ve moved to the centre of Europe for your studies and you’re ready to explore and go on adventures? Say no more, allow me to introduce myself!

I’m Luisa Congedo and I’m a second-year student in Data Science & AI at Maastricht University. One of my biggest passions is travelling and if you follow me on Instagram you know that I am in a different country every other weekend. In the past year and a half I’ve been to London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Amsterdam, Brussels, Edinburgh, Florence, Utrecht, Ibiza, and Cologne… so I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two about travelling as a student from Maastricht and I am here to share some tips with you today.

Let’s start with the fact that you are located in one of the best spots for travelling. Within an hour, you can hop across borders to three different countries. Plus, with Maastricht’s own airport and proximity to larger ones, your travel possibilities are truly limitless.

But, you might ask, what about lectures and studying? Well, it depends on your course’s attendance policy. Luckily, I don’t have mandatory lectures, but I will still typically plan weekend trips. I usually book flights for Fridays and return on Mondays. To stay organized and ensure I can fully enjoy my holidays, I rely on my Google Calendar. I lock in all assignment deadlines at the beginning of each period and, if I plan a trip during a deadline weekend, I even set fake deadlines to keep me motivated. I tend to schedule trips in the first part of the period when things are generally more relaxed, saving the second part for exam preparation.

When it comes to planning, I make the most of my lectures by browsing low-cost airline websites like Ryanair, Wizzair, and easyJet to compare prices, destinations, and dates. Being a student means flexibility is on our side, so keep an open mind to snag some fantastic deals. Skyscanner is my go-to tool for comparing flights easily. Nearby airports like Eindhoven (where I more than once found a €15 flight to London), Brussels, Cologne, Amsterdam, and Weeze (Düsseldorf) offer various budget options. Flixbuses and trains are also convenient travel alternatives; for instance, I recently booked a €20 Flixbus ticket to Paris. Additionally, I’ve been told that you can do Brussels-London with the Eurostar cheaply if you book early enough, saving you the Stansted Express ticket to the centre when you fly instead.

If you already have a student job in the Netherlands I recommend applying for the student travel product on DUO. This allows you to travel for free within the Netherlands on weekdays or weekends (you can choose), so either a free weekend trip or a free train to Eindhoven airport!

Regarding accommodation, studying in Maastricht opens doors to a diverse community of international students, perfect for making connections and hosting each other (and yes, my southern Italian roots make for a great selling point!). This is how I do most of my travelling and, when I don’t know anyone in the destination, hostels become my best friends. My favourite websites are Hostelworld and 

When it comes to activities and food, bring your student card with you and always ask if they offer student discounts (which they usually do). My next travel investment is purchasing an ESN card: you get a bunch of discounts in Maastricht but also for Rynair and Flixbus, so definitely check it out! 

Speaking of food, eating out while travelling and trying new foods is great and I definitely think you should do it at least once, but most of the time I recommend just going to the local supermarket and making some sandwiches or something else that’s easy to eat on the go or in a park. 

I could write about travelling forever but unfortunately, I have a word limit so if you want to know more about my trips or want more tips, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram (@luisacongedo). My DMs are always open 🙂

Thank you Luisa for the guest post!

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