Note a fun packing list below for your next student travel adventure:
by J.J. Peterson
Whatever you do, don’t try to hike the Alps in high heels or take pictures of the Colesium with a daguerreotype. It’s 2012 and we have other ways of doing things. Here’s some of what we recommend you bring on your next adventure:
- Backpack (daypack) – this will hold all of the wonderful things I’m going to tell you about! Super.
- Currency – That’s just a fancy word for pesos. Let’s see: hotels cost money, taxis, trains, buses, and planes cost money, souvenirs cost money, and so do the Starbucks on every corner of Planet Earth. We recommend cold hard cash. It’s fast, safe for the environment (green), and easy to budget. Credit cars are fine too…if you want to sleep inside and fly instead of swim.
- Camera – Remember that one time, when you and your college friend “backpacked across Europe?” You’ll remember it if you have some pictures to look at! Also, if you’re plugged into social media, you know how easy it can be to share your pictures with friends and family back home. How sweet of you. Seriously, a camera is 21st century Travel 101. Get the picture?
- Shoes – And make ‘em comfy. Don’t be that guy or gal that shows up at Arlington National Cemetery with gold-strapped leather-sole flip flops. You’re dogs will be barkin’ soon enough. If you’re a true explorer, your feet will get plenty of exercise as you walk around town or hike up mountains. So go with good arch support, strong laces, gel insoles, and flashing red lights…if you’re three years old.
- Sense– Please bring yours. Especially if you’re alone. Don’t go down a dark ally by yourself and don’t share a cab with the cute Albanian guy. Oh, the DJ at a club in Mexico City has a tasty white pill for you to swallow? Prrrobably not a good idea. Don’t steal and don’t jaywalk. Buy a map. Use common sense.
- Sketchbook – Whether it’s for work or play, sketching is a fun way to capture the moment. Bringing a small, hardcover book with blank pages is great for on-the-move artists, and can also act as a travel journal.
- Old underwear – This tip is a Double W: weird and wonderful. Need extra room for your bag? “Yeah, but how is this possible?” Well, just throw away your old underwear in the hotel room garbage can after a single use, and KABLAM! Packing that last night before your return flight home is that much easier…and less smelly, too.
- Snacks – Airports and hotels jack up their snack prices because they know they own the only on-the-move option. Nobody likes an airport price. So why pay it? Stop by your local grocer and get a less expensive, healthy alternative. Granola bars work great, apples too, and also nuts.
- Cell phone – Oh, you like to be “old school?” Well, pay phones died with the last dinosaur, so your pocket full of quarters is only useful at the G Concourse arcade room. Plus, a cell is phone these days is like a swiss army knife…it’s a calendar…and a music player…and a book…and a compass…a map…a calculator…a currency converter…ok you get the point.
- A friend – The pro’s definitely outweigh any con’s: it’s more safe, it’s more friendly, and great minds think alike. Share the stress, share the fun, and share the memories.
Ok, so now you’re all set to travel. You’re ready to carry the stuff you bring and buy, your feet won’t hurt, and your pictures will say a thousand words. If not, you can jot them down in your journal or sketchbook. Inexpensive, healthy snacks? Got ‘em. Cell phone in case of emergency? Check. And remember: bring your friend. Have a great trip, we’ll see ya next fall…