Preparing For Your Student Trip
A little bit of planning can result in a big increase in security and satisfaction when it comes to student travel.
Here are some tips from experts on how to prepare for a student trip:
• Before you go, learn about the laws and customs of the countries you’re visiting, especially those concerning drinking age, drugs and curfews. You are not immune to a country’s laws just because you’re a visitor.
• Tell your trip leaders about any medications you’re taking. (Medication should be in the original containers and you should take the actual prescriptions with you when traveling overseas.)
• Play by the numbers. Give your parents the phone and fax numbers of your hotel, the cell phone numbers of the chaperones and a full itinerary of your trip. If anything changes, e-mail your parents immediately with the new info.
• Pack all valuables, medications, travel documents and passport in your carry-on bag. Occasionally, checked luggage gets lost at airports, so you want to have your important items on you.
• Do not carry all your cash at once. Keep your wallet in a zippered pocket, preferably inside your jacket. If you need to exchange money in a foreign country, only use authorized vendors such as banks.
• Don’t be flashy. Wear an old, inexpensive watch and leave the bling at home. Don’t make yourself a walking target for thieves. Avoid flaunting your digital camera or MP3 player.
• When you check in at your hotel, grab a card from the counter with the hotel’s name, address and phone number on it. Keep this card on you at all times.
• Travel with a buddy at all times and never wander off alone from the group.
• If a charter flight is involved, check the operator’s registration with the U.S. DOT’s Special Authorities Division at (202) 366-1037. You will need your dates of travel, the name of the carrier and the charter operator’s name, address and public charter number.
• Make sure your trip is designed and sponsored by a reputable travel firm.