Wondering what to pack for your sojourn abroad? Looking for authentic cuisine, new exhibits, local concerts or free events? Look no further: whether you’re preparing to study off-campus or you’re already there, here are the best websites to keep you updated on what’s happening in your city right now.

Time Out:IMG_2426

One-stop shop for all your cultural curiosities. Pick a city, then a category: things to do, restaurants, bars, theater, music, art, shopping. New events and discounted tickets are posted regularly, so be sure to check back often. Search by neighborhood, popularity, or price range (i.e. restaurants in Soho; top 10 restaurants in NYC)–you’ll find whatever it is you’re looking for, and likely some new spots to add to your list as well.

P.S.: check out their list of the 50 Best Travel Apps

Lonely Planet:IMG_2431

Fan of the old-fashioned travel guide, but not of the extra five pounds in your luggage? Go digital! Lonely Planet, my trusty travel companion, has one of the most aesthetically pleasing websites on the internet, in my humble opinion. Search by city to find precise and personal guides, covering all the tried-and-true hot spots; search by purpose (family travel, adventure, group tour, budget, sightseeing, etc.) to find professional recommendations tailored to your travel plans.

Instagram:IMG_2423

The ‘places’ tab on Instagram is one of the most underrated (not to mention interactive) ways to explore your local community. Looking to meet new people in a foreign city? See who’s recently posted in your area and reach out by commenting on their account! Everyone pushes their comfort zone while travelling–stay smart and stay safe, but stay social, too.

Beyond showing you who’s around, ‘places’ features what’s around as well–scroll through photos tagged at local restaurants, museums, monuments, and other venues. Look up nearby restaurants to see photos of their food, or local museums to see photos tagged at recent exhibitions. If you’re wondering how to pack or what to wear, peek at the outfits of people who’ve tagged photos near you. Social media is only as social as you make it.

Comment below if you have any other trusty sources for making the most of your time off-campus!