Are you planning a school tour or about to take your students on an educational adventure? We’ve collated a list of the non-negotiables, the tips and tricks that even the most seasoned traveller should implement into their pre-departure routine. Share with your students, friends of fellow colleagues!
The really important stuff first
- Register on smart traveller
- Check all flight, itinerary and visa requirements well in advance of travelling
- Get travel insurance for overseas trips
- Have your travel insurance policy emergency number handy in case of an emergency
- Take a copy of your passport with you in a separate storage place to your passport (in case of emergency) or take a photo of it and send it to your email
- Check the weather before you pack
- Pack early to avoid overpacking at the last minute
- Check what you can and can’t bring on the plane – restrictions apply
- Read our packing hacks article
- Always pack a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Even if your luggage gets lost you can still freshen up with a shower and change clothes after a long flight!
- If you’re going to the snow, keep waterproof footwear (and socks!) in your backpack so you can change into them as soon as you arrive on mountain. Don’t wear thongs. Freezing toes = not a nice feeling!
- Wearing layers is key! Throughout the day, you’ll want the ease of taking layers on and off as you’ll be constantly moving from your coach to museums, attractions and being outdoors. Also, when entering Churches/ Basilica’s you’re required to wear clothing that covers your knees and shoulders – this is a sign of respect and you’ll be turned away if you aren’t prepared
- Use a carry-on bag that can be used as your day bag when on tour – either a cross body bag or backpack
- Coin purse or pouch – always needed and always underrated!
- Travel pillow for long haul flights and coach rides – this will be your saviour!
- Washing powder in a small container
- Small carry bag for dirty clothes
- Roll clothes instead of folding
- If you have special dietary requirement’s, prepare a translation card to take with you
Money for overseas travel
- Don’t get caught out with having no local currency when you arrive in a new destination – change a small amount of money before you leave
- Organise a travel card for your trip, this will lock in conversion rates and save on unnecessary bank fees
- Notify your bank of your travel plans so they don’t freeze your card. It’s a simple process and can be done online
- Some people prefer obtaining a bank card with low overseas fees
All things tech!
- Offline Google maps – download when in wi-fi
- Portable battery
- Universal USB charger
- Check what voltage and electrical adaptors you might need and purchase them before you leave
- Photo journaling app to log your adventures – Journey, Day one, Polar Steps
- Use Whatsapp for contacting your family at home or other communication apps
- Use language translation apps – Google translate or iTranslate
- Pre-paid international sim card for calls and texts
While you’re away
- Always carry your phone, wallet, keys in your front pockets and don’t forget to bring a money pouch
- While you’re travelling with friends, remember you’re in a small team – always keep an eye out for one another! Make sure everyone’s bags are zipped up, phones or wallets aren’t left on tables etc.
- Drink lots of water – you get so much of your natural energy just by staying hydrated – this will help with jetlag and feeling tired, being sore, headaches and hunger!
- Always take your time when handling money or your passport, crossing roads and reading maps – rushing around can mean you miss important details, misplace things or can even be dangerous in busy traffic. Being patient at the time means you’re less likely to have an inconvenience later
- Do one thing each day that takes you out of your comfort zone – it’s how you grow!
- Always learn the basics of the local language – eg. ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘hello, how are you’, ‘do you speak English’ – the locals will appreciate you making an effort and they will be happy to help out if needed
Finally, be flexible and open to new ideas, different food, languages, cultures, smells, crowds and experiences. You can’t control the weather or airline delays. Any experienced traveller will tell you that their best experiences were spontaneous, unplanned, unanticipated and unexpected!