Whether you’re an educator leading your first student tour of Europe or an experienced globetrotter mapping out your next international voyage, sometimes the small, but important travel details are accidentally overlooked. Spontaneity is without a doubt part of what makes travel incredibly exciting, but taking a little time to properly research and plan your next trip certainly isn’t going to limit that excitement. Throughout the planning process your EF Tours Consultant will help ensure that your tour is thoroughly organized and coordinated. Here are 8 student travel tips to help you proactively cover some of the more common last minute questions and hurdles.
Is Your Passport Really Valid?
Your passport must be valid six months after your return date; otherwise your passport is considered expired by many countries. Although EF Tours cannot help you renew your passport, we can do our best to point you in the right direction of the people who can. It is important to note that this must be done 110 days prior to your tour’s departure. Also, make sure that the name on your EF Tours account exactly matches the name on your passport. If it doesn’t, let us know 110 days prior to your departure date and we can easily update the name on your account.
Spending Money On Tour
One of the most common questions from teachers and parents is what form of currency should students bring on tour. We recommend that students use debit cards, but before your departure be sure to speak with your bank. They’ll make a travel note on your account, but they’ll also help verify what card currency is the best option. Just to be safe, we also recommend that travelers convert $50-$100 into their tour destination’s local currency before they leave.
Staying In Touch While Abroad
A few weeks before your tour’s departure contact your cellphone provider and discuss what international calling options are available. Be aware of roaming fees, and WiFi options to make sure you’re using your phone efficiently. While WiFi is typically available in most tour destinations, especially Europe, it’s not always free. Check with your hotel ahead of time to determine whether or not they have WiFi and if there is a cost associated with it. Keep this in mind when deciding what temporary phone plan is best to use while you’re abroad.
Sharing Pictures and Videos While On Tour
It’s up to the Group Leader and travelers to share pictures and videos from tour. Some Group Leaders choose to set up a Facebook page for the group to share photos with family and friends, while others send updates via email. If you do post photos and videos to your social networks make sure you tag us! We’ll try to share your posts with everyone else.
Receiving Hotel and Flight Information
Travelers can expect all hotel and flight information to be posted to their account 21 days before their tour’s departure. If you have questions about this before the information is confirmed please feel free to discuss them with your Tour Consultant.
Overnight Travel is for Sleeping
If you have an overnight flight, try and get as much sleep as possible on the plane. As soon as you arrive, you hit the ground running, and in some cases, you may not be able to stop at your hotel immediately following your arrival. Overall, we want you to see and experience as much as possible. The more sleep you’re able to get on the plane the more rested and ready you’ll be for Day 1 of your tour.
Packing Light and Right
Pack light! If possible, try and limit your luggage to a carry-on so you don’t have to worry about it being lost or delayed. While on tour, travelers are responsible for their luggage, so the lighter it is, the easier it is to carry! Following your passport, the second most important item to remember is a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Much of your travel adventure will take place on foot, so make sure you pack more than just a pair of sandals.
Dietary Restrictions? No problem
If you have any dietary restrictions, please let your Tour Consultant know right away. We’ll make sure that special meals are organized over the course of your tour. If these restrictions affect your flight meals as well, parents should contact the airline 24 to 72 hours before the flight.