1. Welcome, lone traveler from Ashburn!
Travel with the school is always a bit of a daunting experience as you never know how it is going to turn out or what is going to happen. With my school I went on many trips however only two of these were for longer than a day and were out of the country and these were to Germany by coach. They were enjoyable trips however if you are not fully prepared then it can all go wrong. The one thing that nobody can prepare you for is the coach ride. You need to make sure you cover everything that could happen on the coach. This includes comfort for if you want to sleep (itís a long journey!) and boredom when travelling. But donít fear, boredom is the worst thing that could happen on the coach. Make sure you pick someone you know you wonít fall out with if you sit next to them, as when youíre a teenager, friendship is pretty much everything. Itís like a rule or a law.
2. Main article
The most important overall thing about the whole trip, besides having fun, is what you pack. Now, you need to remember that unlike a holiday with your parents, or a holiday somewhere within the same country, if you forget something it is simple to go out and replace it to ensure you have everything you need with you on the holiday. However, when going with school when youíre a teenager, especially abroad, this isnít the case. Not only would it be harder to find replacement items as, even to the most fluent foreign speaker, a new country can be pretty scary. Another thing, if you DO forget anything, imagine the embarrassment you would have explaining to your teachers what it is youíve forgotten Ė cringe! Therefore to ensure that this doesnít happen, make sure you pack all the essentials, and prepare for every weather type that could occur in the country youíre in. Even if you feel daft packing for rain and cold weather when youíre going somewhere warm, I can guarantee you wonít be the only one! And imagine how much better you will feel if those weather types do occur and youíre dressed for the weather, unlike some of the people in the group. You donít want ANYTHING to spoil your trip!
One of my main downfalls when I went on my trips with school was electrical appliances. I completely forgot to take my phone charger or my iPod charger and just took the charger for my camera batteries! This was also awful as, even though it may cost a lot or you may not be able to use your phone abroad, my phone and iPod are everything to me (and I know this is the case for most teenagers). So remember to pack these! I was also worried that any electrical appliances wouldnít work due to foreign plugs but my teacher took enough adapters for one for each student. However, I would ask your teacher if they plan on doing this, donít just presume! Or just to be on the safe sides (or if you have more than one electrical appliance you want to take) then take your own adapters.
My final point is one that I cannot stress or preach to you enough and that was the mistake that 80% of the people I went on my trip with made. When you get to the place youíre staying (ours was a hostel) and you see your room, get in there with the people youíre sharing with, get comfortable and get your bearings everyone makes one mistake. Itís always the first major mistake and it, in my eyes is always the worst. Unpacking! The first time I went on the trip, me and all my friends unpacked within the first hour of being there, but when it came to the final day, we were stressing out as rather than spend our last hours having a laugh, taking the last few photos, buying presents and going where we want, we had to spend it packing. I was sensible the second time as I refused to unpack, which confused my friends however when I told them to listen to me and not to unpack either, they did. On the final day they were grateful as whilst everyone else was packing, we got to go roaming around having our last few hours of fun.
Donít let this put you off trips with school, they are fun and will be some of the best experiences of your life. Just make sure you are prepared for anything and everything and I can ensure that you will have a fantastic time!