For many people, the love for travel runs deep. That desire to explore not just locally, but throughout the country and internationally can be quite strong. And while traveling can be a wonderful thing to do, when you’re on the road often, it can start to affect your everyday life and responsibilities back at home. This is especially the case for university students who are trying to juggle their studies with various trips and adventures.
If you’re an online nursing student currently enrolled in a content-heavy program like the accelerated BSN program, but you can’t quite seem to put your desire to travel aside, then we’ve got some tips meant specifically for you. These tips will help you to create that perfect balance between traveling and studying, making sure you don’t fall behind on your work.
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How Much of Your Program Is Online?
A great place to start your balancing act between studies and travels is to think about how much of your program is online. Is the entire program online, or will you need to attend on-campus classes and clinicals in the field? If any in-person attendance is required, you’ll need to factor that into when you plan to travel, and how long you plan to be away. The esteemed accelerated BSN programs online through Baylor University require students to take part in one two-week in-person (on the school campus) visit, as well as the field clinicals. This is the kind of information that can help you set your travel schedule.
Invest in the Right Laptop
Regardless of whether you are traveling often or not, having a laptop for your online studies is a given nowadays. But if you’re looking specifically for a travel-friendly laptop, there are some factors you’ll want to keep in mind when you shop around.
Some of the considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing a travel-friendly laptop include:
- It needs to be lightweight, and easy to carry. You will also want to purchase a sleeve or a protective carrying case to ensure it stays secure while traveling.
- You may want to go for a smaller screen—13″ screens are ideal for traveling with. This can easily fit into a backpack or carry-on luggage.
- The battery life needs to be long-lasting so you can work from any location and not have to worry about plugging in.
- Look for something with impressive memory and storage capabilities so you don't need to travel with an external hard drive.
- Ensure it is compatible with any software and media you need to use for your program.
You can also lookup lists of the top-selling travel-friendly laptops, which will help you to narrow down your options. Be sure to read up on reviews and see what others have to say.
Make Sure You Have All the Material You Need Before Leaving
There will also be some organizational skills required on your end to be sure you’ve got all the study material you need before you leave. The great news about online courses is that typically everything you need is available in digital form. This means you shouldn’t have to lug around heavy textbooks or notebooks.
Book a Hotel That Offers Free Wi-Fi Throughout
When it comes to accommodations, you want to be sure that your hotel offers free Wi-Fi throughout, not just in the common spaces. When hotels advertise free Wi-Fi, that may only refer to the common areas like the lobby, restaurant, or bar. This will be a real hassle when you’re trying to get your work done, as you’ve got to head to a common space and then deal with the distractions in those areas.
If the hotel doesn’t specify if there is in-room access to the Wi-Fi, it’s best to speak to them directly before you make a booking.
Take Advantage of Time Spent in Transit
One of the best tips is to take advantage of your time spent in transit, or the time spent getting to your destination. If you’ll be traveling by air, boat, or train, you’ll have some free time on your hands. Why not fill this time with your studies so you can get as much done as possible before you reach the destination? Of course, some of this may be dependent on what you can do without an internet signal, as not all forms of transportation offer Wi-Fi access. If they do, you may need to buy an access plan or package.
Get Your Work Done Early in the Day
Then there is the scheduling of your time while on holidays. Sure, it’s not exactly exciting to think about having a set schedule while you’re on holiday, but it’s really the best way to ensure you fit everything in. Those who travel often and have successfully hit that perfect work/travel balance will tell you that getting everything done early in the day is usually the best plan. By waking up a couple of hours early, you can essentially get all your work done and then have the rest of the day to relax, explore, tour the destination, hang out at the pool or beach, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
If you’re traveling with friends or family members, be sure to let them know your plan to wake up early and study so that you can do so without distractions.
Skip the Late Nights
If you do plan on dedicating early mornings to your studies, it will be wise to skip the late nights. Trying to get by on a lack of sleep will really affect your ability to focus on your schoolwork, and it will leave you in a haze the rest of the day. This means you’re not going to be enjoying all that your holiday has to offer.
Just because you are dedicating your time and energy to your online nursing studies, doesn’t mean that your dreams of travel need to take a backseat. There are ways you, as an online nursing student, can successfully balance each and ‘have it all' as they say.