As a student travel company, we’ve experienced the whole gambit of circumstances, both fist-pumping successes and face-palming goofs on student trips. We’ve got a lot of trips under our belts now, and luckily, we don’t run into all of the silly snags that you tend to run into when you are new to traveling, especially with a student trip group. Our operations are a finely-tuned, well-oiled student travel machine, and we are pretty dang happy about how incredible our trips have become (thanks to our outstanding team here at EXP Trips and the amazing students & teachers we get to work with)!
The point is, there is a learning curve and we want to help you to get on the accelerated track of it so that you can make the most of every trip and enjoy them as much as we do ASAP! After all, what else is a student travel company’s purpose than to make your trips as fantastic as they can be!? Here are just a few tips for you to consider the next time you are traveling.
Imagine how many things there are to do out there when you’re visiting a new place! For instance, when you’re in New York City there is no end to the activities and attractions. This is one of the coolest parts of travel! However, if you’re not careful to pay attention to your time and your resources you could very easily find yourself in a predicament…
With so many options, it’s easy to get distracted and possibly miss out on things that you might be really excited about doing or seeing. Make sure to do a little planning ahead of time and schedule in those things that you are most excited to do in each of the places you’re visiting.
Do you want to see a concert while you’re in London? Maybe you want to take the elevator up to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris? You definitely should! However, it might take a bit of planning beforehand to make it happen.
2. Educate Yourself About The Place Before You Go
Did you know that in the winter the waters running along the river leading to Iguazu Falls in Brazil will have receded and the spectacle of the rushing water will be far less majestic than if you went during a different part of the year? That’s a pretty important thing to know when you’re about to plan your trip to see the natural beauties of South America!
Make sure that you learn a little bit about the places that you are visiting before you go. Doing so will not only help you to appreciate the places that you visit more, but it may also help you to make smarter logistical decisions as well!
3. Plan To Leave Distractions Behind
It’s our mission as a student travel company to make students trips better and to make teachers lives easier. One of our most important services is to take the burdens of planning and directing trips from our groups so that they can truly be immersed in the experience.
Whether you’re traveling with a student travel group or on your own, cutting out distraction and allowing yourself to be consumed in the experience of a trip is hugely beneficial. Do your best to prepare yourself well enough beforehand to leave behind distractions and worries that might prohibit you from more fully enjoying your trip!
4. Pack Your Bags A Little Early
It’s so easy and common to forget something – a sweatshirt for those chilly nights in Boston, an umbrella for those rainy days walking around Seattle, etc. You’re bound to leave something behind at one time or another when you’re traveling. Try packing a little early and leaving your bag open somewhere you will see it often before your trip so that you can continuously be adding things to it that you might think to bring!
5. Be Present – Don’t Live Behind Your Camera or Phone
We know you hear it all the time: put your phone down and join the real world, and we all know how important it is not to get carried away with our technology. However, we cannot tell you how much of a difference it makes on trips to pay attention to how you’re using your technology.
Don’t be distracted by checking what’s happening on social media so often, and don’t let the feeling that you need to take a picture of everything you see on your trip distract you from seeing the world with your own eyes and truly being there for the experience. Posting can wait until the end of the day or the ride home!
6. Ask The Locals For Suggestion
If you really want to have an authentic experience and want to find the best foods, shopping, and sites, you should make sure to turn to right sources. Find people who live in the places that you are visiting and have them tell you about the things you definitely shouldn’t miss. You will not regret it!… And if you do, at least you’ll have a great story to tell later!
7. Document Your Travels With A Travel Journal & Photos
We already mentioned that you should be careful not to get carried away by the urge to take pictures every second of your trip, but you definitely should document your experiences in one way or another. Along with snapping a few meaningful and fun pictures along your way, you may also want to keep a travel journal! There will often be opportunities to learn and experience new things, and those are worth remembering and writing down at the end of the day. You won’t be sorry you did later!
8. Carry Essentials With You Everywhere You Go
You’re going to be busy while you’re out exploring, so you won’t want to be running back and forth from wherever you are straying or to the store. Pack a small bag with you that isn’t too intrusive where you can keep some things that you’ll need throughout the day. This will come in handy when you run across a perfect photo opportunity and need your camera, a brisk night when you’ll need to pull out a coat, or when you’ve just bit into a scorpion pepper and you need a pack of tissues!
9. Be Open To Changes In Plans & Trying New Things
One of the beautiful things about traveling is getting to see the world in new ways and to have experiences that will change your life! Sometimes you will have chances on trips to do something that you weren’t expecting to do or to try something new. Embrace these opportunities!
Of course, you should always be careful and use wisdom in doing so, but these newfound plans will oftentimes be even more exciting and worthwhile than what you originally planned to do!
There you have it! These tips have made all the difference in the world for us as we’ve traveled all over the world, both with students and on our own personal journeys. Traveling and getting to see the world is such an incredible opportunity. Making the most of these experiences is so important, and these tips & tricks have helped us to do just that! We hope that they will enrich your experiences and help you to have even more amazing trips too!
Do you have any trip tips that help you to take your travels to the next level?! We want to know what they are! Leave a comment and let us know!
Photo credit: Harvey Enrile | Leio Mclaren | Liam Simpson | Sylwia Bartyzel