If there’s one thing that every college grad should be able to do before entering the work force, it’s to travel the world and do a little soul searching. If you earned your degree from a program, then you worked insanely hard for several years to graduate and you deserve a little bit of adventure before you discover what the new daily grind will be. If you don’t know how to prepare for a trip like that, here are 5 essential after college travel tips.
1. Get Your Passport
If you don’t already have a passport, then you’re going to have to apply for one right away. Usually they cost a little over $100 and take at least 6 weeks to process. You can expedite the process, but that costs a lot more. If you already have your passport, make sure it hasn’t expired and find out if you need any kind of visa. If you’re traveling for 3 months or less you usually don’t.
2. Get Your Immunizations
Once you buy your tickets, you want to find out exactly what kinds of immunizations you’ll need with respect to the countries you’ll be visiting. If the list of immunizations is no different from the standard set in the United States, be sure to check all of your records to be sure that you’re up to date on everything. You may find out that you’re not even up to date on all of your standard immunizations, so it could be a blessing in disguise if it forces you to get any necessary booster shots that could prevent serious illness had you otherwise not known about your gap in coverage.
3. Book All of Your Lodging in Advance
The last thing you want to do is end up in a foreign country with no place to sleep. There are a lot of really great youth hostels in most cities that usually offer communal sleeping spaces for very reasonable prices. If you plan to do a lot of camping, make sure that there aren’t any permits that you need to get ahead of time for the places where you plan to camp.
4. Get Your Gear
Having a great trip after college is all about bringing just the bare essentials and keeping yourself as light as possible. That’s the only way to really have an adventure. Be sure to get yourself a good sleeping bag, a hiker’s backpack, a refillable water bottle and flatware. You can save a lot of money by buying all of your food from the market and making it yourself. Just having a water bottle and flatware can really go a long way.
5. Be sure You Have Health Coverage
You never know what could happen while you’re away, which is why you want to be sure that you are insured while you are traveling abroad. Your current medical plan may already cover partial or full costs of healthcare while abroad, but it may depend on the countries you’re visiting. If necessary, you will want to buy temporary traveler’s health insurance just to be on the safe side.