Student travel and adventure program, there will never be a better time in your life to travel than your student years or immediately thereafter. Once this part of your life has passed it’s difficult to return to because of life responsibilities that begin to accumulate. Enough of the bummer reality part of this article. Traveling for a summer or more can be life changing. This is especially true when you are traveling with a loose schedule and have the freedom to stay in an area you find interesting or make friends. Getting to intimately experience local flavors and customs are unforgettable.
There are several areas that you need to do some homework on as you plan for your adventure: budget, destination and safety.
First and probably most important you should have at pretty good idea of your budget and a backup plan when you blow it. Obviously, you don’t want to be forced to return after 4 weeks of your 12- week trek because you run out of money. However, even if this happens all is not lost because there are ways to make money on the road. Typically, this is something you need to plan ahead for but if you are of a mind to you can earn emergency money while traveling. Depending on the area/country you are traveling in you may find jobs at Hostels, summer camps, restaurants, au-pair, picking fruit and many others just use your imagination. If you speak the local language that naturally can be a big benefit. The important thing is to think out things like transportation, food and lodging and have a general idea how you will deal with each of these essentials. A good site for more research on jobs abroad is
Obviously picking a destination is important and affects all other aspects of your planning. Budgets might be the deciding factor in this decision. You need to ask yourself if the destination itself is most important or is the timeframe you want to travel for and your budget the driving factors. There are regions that are less expensive to travel in than others. Areas such as Western Europe, USA, Japan and Australia are going to be more expensive where Pacific Rim countries, India, Africa and South and Latin America are typically less expensive to visit. Each area is going to have very different cultures, customs and issues you need to be well versed in before you set off on your travels.
Your trip will be a defining time in your life but you must remember you are in a foreign country not your own. You must respect the laws and cultures of your host country, using common sense and understanding how to handle different situations will help you stay safe. You can’t assume you can behave in a disrespectful way and not have difficulty. Understand the laws, culture, and peoples’ view of your culture, is vital so you can be prepared and still be able to take in the entire experience. Remember alcohol and drug use are treated differently in other countries and their laws must be respected. Getting into fights, vandalism, or sexually related crimes are very serious offenses in all- countries world wide. Pick pocketing is a common problem in many foreign countries. Thieves know exactly what to look for when they’re attempting to snag your purse or wallet. Also remember, women are especially vulnerable when they travel abroad. Female students should travel in a group at all times, as this reduces the risk of being approached. Do not travel alone, especially in countries that do not place value on the rights of women. Try not to be paranoid, but it is always a good thing to be aware of others and of your surroundings.
Remember plan, plan and plan. Do your research ahead of time and you can make the most of your time and money. One great idea is to get an ISIC Student Card which will save you money in many ways. Whether you are using a summer break for your trip or making a victory lap after graduation you will value the experience for the rest of your life. Great Travels!