Prepare For Your Trip

Packing Tips

  • Travel light! Leave any expensive jewelry and anything you would be heartbroken to lose at home.
  • Remember that traveler names MUST match names on official identification, such as a driver’s license.
  • Weather can be erratic and rain is possible. Pack comfortable clothing for layering, appropriate shoes for considerable walking, and rain wear.
  • Since airline regulations continue to change, we encourage the following luggage limitations:  one checked bag (50 pound maximum; 62” size maximum) or one carry-on bag (40 pound maximum; 45” size maximum).  A backpack is recommended as a second carry on since you can use this for touring as well.  Note:  baggage maximum size measurements are shown as a total number of inches, such as 45″.  This is the total of the length, width and height of the piece.  There are standard sets of dimensions that go to make up these totals (for example, 22 x 14 x 9 is the standard for 45″).
  • There is a charge each way to check each bag, usually $15 – $30.  Cash should be collected at the airport for the return trip to cover checked bag fees.
  • Allow extra room for any gifts or souvenirs you may purchase.  Airlines are strict regarding carry-on baggage.  Please note that with today’s heightened security, any “toy” souvenirs that are possible weapons, including lighters, will be confiscated. Snow globes are also not allowed onboard.
  • We suggest that you write your name and address inside your suitcase.  Keep a record of your suitcase contents and in your carry-on bag for additional security.
  • If you take a prescribed medication, you must provide your group leader with a copy of the prescription.  Do not mix medicine in the same bottle. It is very important to check with your doctor regarding your medication and any health concerns you may have prior to your trip.  Be certain that medication is clearly marked and appropriately prescribed!
  • DO NOT pack prescribed medication in your checked suitcase. We always recommend that travelers carry on their luggage, but if it’s necessary for you to check a bag, please remember to keep this medication inside of the personal item (backpack, purse, etc.) that will be carried onto the airplane.
  • For updates on permitted and prohibited checked and carry-on items please review the following website from the Transportation Security Administration: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

Behavior Expectations

Global Travel Alliance guides are not disciplinarians on your trip; your school chaperones are.  You must follow all the rules of both your school and Global Travel Alliance or you will be sent home at your family’s expense.  Your safety is our primary concern. 

  • Respectful behavior is expected at all times.  This includes appropriate language – profanity is not allowed. Courteous behavior at the hotels is especially important!  A lot of time and effort went into acquiring the conveniently located hotels we use, so your chaperones and Global Travel Alliance guides will not allow any one student to damage our relationship with the hotels.  In order for our groups to continue using these hotels, pranks or other mischievous behavior will be dealt with in a serious manner.
  • Generally accepted school attire will be worn throughout the trip.
  • No alcohol consumption for any minor or adult for the duration of the trip.
  • Boys and girls are not allowed in opposite gender rooms.
  • It is the responsibility of the school group leaders to know the whereabouts of students at all times.  During free time, students are to remain in small groups of three or more and will be assigned one chaperone to whom they will report.
  • Room checks will be done each night.  Once all students are accounted for and instructions for that night and following day are given, students must remain in their rooms. A private security guard will monitor disturbance and prevent entrance/exit from rooms.
  • In order to get the maximum learning experience, participation in all group activities is required.

Money Matters

  • Since our price is usually all-inclusive, the only expenses you will have on this trip are snacks and souvenirs.  You are responsible for handling your own money and we strongly discourage bringing large amounts of cash.  At the most, $20-$25/day would be a suggested amount for spending money.  Your guide will let you know the when/where you’ll have the opportunity to shop.
  • ATM’s and bank/credit cards (especially pre-paid credit cards) are unquestionably the best way for money exchange and making purchases…don’t forget your PIN!
  • Travelers must be aware of pickpockets.  When visiting the sites, keep a few small bills (1’s and 5’s) in your front pocket to pay for small purchases like drinks/snacks so you don’t have to open your wallet in a busy place.

Other Important Reminders

  • You might receive luggage tags and emergency cards with hotel and emergency contact information prior to departure.  If applicable, emergency cards are required to be worn each day of the trip!  
  • Remember that the Global Travel Alliance Booking Conditions state that our prices assume four people to a room.
  • Each school’s group leader is responsible to get their group to the airport and on the plane in a timely manner.  A general rule is to arrive at the airport approx. 2 hours prior to departure. With all baggage now being screened, it could take your group a while to get to your gate! Your assigned Global Travel Alliance guide will contact school group leaders prior to your departure to go over any last minute details.  The guide(s) will greet you upon your arrival and accompany you for the remainder of the trip.
  • Be ready to walk a considerable amount and wear comfortable shoes!  You will be staying at conveniently-located hotels, but you will be walking around the various sites each day.  Also, it is recommended that travelers bring a water bottle each day of their trip.
  • Be advised that there will be security checkpoints at the airports and various sites.  Extra bags will take longer to inspect.  Carrying only one bag (not a purse and a backpack) is strongly encouraged.   Again, your guide will advise you on which items to bring/leave at the different stops.
  • You must be on time for all scheduled meeting times.  However, please remember that everything does not flow like clockwork in major cities.  Global Travel Alliance guides will do their best to keep things on schedule, but unforeseen circumstances may come into play.  Please be flexible and stay positive in those situations.

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