Tips for Your End-of-Semester Adventure
For many students, the end of the school year means it’s time to relax, unwind, and celebrate with a well-deserved vacation. To get the most out of your vacation, it’s important to plan ahead and prepare!
Whether you plan to relax at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, backpack through Europe, cruise the Caribbean or tour the Sahara desert, this blog has important tips you’ll want to read before you head off to enjoy your freedom abroad.
Here are some tips to help you get started as you prepare for your post-finals vacation:
- If possible, pick an experienced backpacking travel partner and travel in a group
- Do your research
- Books, magazines, travel guidebooks, internet, and friends are all great sources of information in the planning stages
- Get the right backpack!
- Look for a lightweight internal frame with well-padded shoulder and waist straps to distribute the weight
- Size matters and will depend on your height, weight and body shape
- Front load backpacks will give you easier access to your packed items
- Pack the essentials – forget the rest!
- You will have to carry your backpack
- Pack for one week and expect to do laundry
- Share items with your travel partners
- Items may include a blow dryer, shampoo, cooking utensils, etc.
- If staying at hostels, you may want to bring lightweight sheets
- Consider microfiber towels – they are quick dry, lightweight and compact
- Pack the essentials in your carry-on luggage
- If your luggage is lost, you will have some essentials until it’s located
- Essentials include basic toiletries, undergarments and change of clothes
- Dress/pack for your ship and destination
- Formal and semi-formal attire are common cruise ship requirements
- Research the climates you will travel to and pack accordingly
- Consider doing laundry
- Doing laundry will help reduce the number of items you pack
- Check with your cruise provider beforehand as there may be additional charges
- Bathrobes are not usually souvenirs
- If you can’t image a relaxing vacation without a bathrobe, ask if one is provided
- Leave it in your room at the end of your stay to avoid additional charges
- Cruise ships are not necessarily all-Inclusive
- There may be additional charges for beverages, port-of-call shore excursions, shopping, and other activities
- Book through a reputable tour/travel provider
- Speaking with friends and family can provide great insight into your provider
- Research your provider online
- Find out if you’ll need special items for your trip
- The list may include bug repellent, hiking boots, wet-suits, and other items for the activities on your trip
- Find out which items your package includes
- Some packages may include travel accommodations, and some may require you to book your flight, tour, and accommodations separately
- If you are unsure, ask questions
- Read reviews online
- To avoid biased reviews, read reviews from multiple sources
- Ask what is included in your travel package
- It is not uncommon for there to be additional charges for a la carte restaurants, activities, and services
- Research local activities and transportation costs
- You may need special equipment: water shoes, hiking boots, helmets, etc.
- Book excursions in advance
- These can book up fast and can cost more when booked at destination
General Travel Tips
- Always carry important documents with you
- Keep copies of your important documents in your email and suitcase, for easy access and security
- Tell your bank and/or credit card company about your travel plans
- Telling your financial institution about your travel plans will help ensure you have access to your funds while out of country
- Share the countries you plan to visit and your travel dates
- Check online for visa requirements and processing times
- Allow yourself enough time to get a visa(s) if required
- Pack according to the local climate
- Summer on one continent may mean winter on another so research the type of weather you can expect
- Keep your money secure
- Look for a money belt pouch and other devices at travel agencies and luggage stores
- Contact your local travel vaccination clinic
- You may need vaccines for some destinations
- Many vaccines require injection several weeks prior to departure – don’t leave these to the last minute
- Carry an additional supply of any prescription medication with you
- If you take prescription medication, remember to pack extra in case of loss, delay or an emergency
- Pack your essential pain medication, anti-inflammatories, gastrointestinal medication, antihistamines, bug repellent, etc.
- Take lots of pictures!
- This is a great way to remember your vacation for years to come
Always purchase travel insurance before you depart and carry it with you while travelling!
Travel insurance is the best financial protection you can have while travelling
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