College Ready, Set, Go.

It seems every college student longs to travel. If it’s far away from home the better. How can you plan for this and what do you need to know? The college itself can give you plenty of information. Since it will be a learning experience in every sense of the word, there will be plenty of information available. Besides the information that the college will supply, you can research on the Internet, speak with other students who have attended this college before, and speak to the student advisor. If you are attending a school out of the country, you’ll need to know if you will require a passport and/or a visa. You may need to receive inoculations prior to your trip. You’ll have to establish a way to receive money. You might want to research if your cell phone will be of use. Begin by learning all that you can about the area where you will be staying. Check if you will be able to purchase medication or cosmetics that you cannot do without. If you have any allergies, be sure to address them before your trip. You may have to bring along a supply of cosmetics with you or send it on ahead, if you must have a particular brand. Don’t speak the language? You may need guide books, translators or a word guide. After you’ve completed your research, you can begin to get organized.

It’s impractical to take everything you own with you. You will do laundry and you will still purchase new things. Research the weather so you’ll be packing the appropriate clothing and shoes. Dormitory rooms are usually small, so the collapsible duffels on wheels are the best choice. This type of discount luggage is unstructured and lightweight. You’ll also need a smaller case for weekend trips. This could double as your lightweight luggage carryon piece, or it could be a folding backpack. Many of these wheeled duffels can piggyback smaller pieces. Mosaic travelgear and Coronado are two very popular and durable rolling brands of luggage used by students. A fold-up rain jacket and small umbrella is often a must. Lightweight travel alarm clocks are another necessity. They do not require electricity and are small and compact. If there’s a traveler in the family, these are often received as corporate gifts. Be careful that you can handle everything by yourself that you decide to take along.

You’ll want to be sure to have small cable locks with you to secure any of your belongings when necessary. They can also be handy when taking small trips or sleeping on buses or trains. You’ll also need a under-the-clothing travel wallet or money belt to keep your important papers secure when traveling in some areas. Always make a copy of everything and keep it in a separate place in case papers are lost or stolen. Especially when traveling in a foreign country, you want to be prepared. Keep in mind also that foreign electricity will be different from the United States. You will probably need an electrical converter and adapters for many of the items you do not want to be without. Newer laptop computers are usually dual voltage, but you will still need a grounded adapter to plug into the socket and many travelers swear by a foreign electric surge protector. You can burn out your appliance if you plug a low American voltage item into the higher voltage foreign electricity. There are many travel accessories that make travel more pleasant and you’ll want to choose what will work for your particular needs. Of course, it’s easier if you’re in the states and not in a foreign country.

One of the most important things is to keep a journal. Whether you take notes electronically, or just write in a book, you’ll have so many new experiences, you’ll want to record them. Next time, you’ll be the one coaching someone else who’s getting ready for the college experience.

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