By Ashley of CollegeCandy.com
For some students, these days mean briefly returning to Mom and Dad's for (free!) home cooking and sleeping in your high school bed well into the late afternoon. But if this spring break directs you to a city far away from your childhood -- one that is filled with boobs and booze and foreign languages -- then here are a few basic travel tips to make your trip a memorable one... and for the right reasons.
Save the date. Whether your destination is domestic or international, double-check the expiration dates on your travel documents -- driver's license, identification card, passport -- and make sure that you're still legal to do travel. Any expiration dates must not only be after you leave for your trip, but also after you return back to campus. Be extra careful with passports: according to WordTravels.com, certain countries do not let you travel if your passport is set to expire within three to six months, so renew them as soon as possible! (Editor's Note: Seriously. I made this mistake and it cost me $550 to get a new one expidited!)
Bang for your buck. Though travel sites advertise flights, hotels and trip packages at bargain prices, some deals are too good to be true. Watch out for hidden fees that pop up the moment you hit the "purchase" button: fees to book seats, fees to carry on bags, fees for checking bags, etc. Also, be careful of logistical loopholes that fail to mention refund policies or travel insurance. Basically, READ THE FINE PRINT.
Recruit your Jwowws. Travel with people who have your back. And your front. People who get you from all sides and are ready to clock anyone who tries to take advantage of someone who is traveling for the first (or even 100th) time. People who will hold your hair back in the bathroom and pick you up when you fall in the sand once you finally found the beach. There's nothing worse than traveling to a new place to find yourself alone around people you don't trust! Plus, Jwowws are sociable and down for a good time, too.
Foreign exchanges. If you're headed out of the country for a few days, familiarize yourself with the monetary exchange rate so that you don't go over your budget. Usually, the airport you land at will have the worst exchange rates and you'll lose money trying to get the right currency. Find places nearby with the best exchange rates and fill your wallet before you go. Though travel credit cards are a great idea (but they often have minor fees on every abroad purchase!), always carry cash -- it leaves room for authentic spontaneity, like trying local foods and stocking up on cheesy souvenirs for your classmates who stayed behind.
Study party. The last thing you want to do while on an amazing vacation is sit in the hotel room and look up things to fill your day with. Have a few ideas of interesting places to go, and don't be afraid to meet interesting people and ask for some local advice. Just keep your guard high enough and your BAC low enough to stay safe, especially since you'll be around hundreds of strangers for days at a time.
Shopping spree. There's no need to show off your riches over spring break, so leave Louis Vuitton and Chanel in the dorm. Fill your suitcase with a shoulder-strap purse, a small pocket wallet and a pair of sandals with straps around the ankles -- flip flops slip off way too easily! Check the weather forecast and try to pack as light as possible, bringing only those items in your wardrobe that easily mix and match to make new outfits. And though so many of your clothes would look great on you over break, remember that extra baggage costs more on airlines. Grab travel-size shampoos and body washes appropriate for plane rides -- and, for your sake and for everyone who will be scrolling through your vacation photos on Facebook, don't forget the sunblock.
Spring Break is right around the corner and we've got all the tips and tricks you need to know to make it the best one ever! Click here to see it all.
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