Traveling as a high school or college student is an incredible opportunity. Dozens of programs, discounts and grants are available to help students plan their dream trip. Every student and every travel opportunity are different. With so many choices, it’s important to decide on a trip that checks all the boxes.

Why do you want to travel?

Many student travel tours are designed with a focus on volunteering or education. Sightseeing may also be a focal point. No matter why you want to travel, choose a trip that aligns with your personal goals.

Make sure your trip includes a good balance of activities. Free time and sightseeing are important, even if you’re in a foreign country to volunteer your time or learn a new language. Local residents should be a part of your trip, whether as host parents, travel guides or another capacity.

Where do you want to go?

For some students, volunteering or cultural immersion is more important than a specific location. If you’re interested in a certain destination, look for student travel tours that have an established program there.

Who do you want to travel with?

There are travel tours designed for young adults, multigenerational families, retired couples, single travelers, students and many other types of people. Tours created for students will likely help high schoolers and college-aged individuals get the most out of their travels.

The number of students on a tour can affect your experience. A large group will give you more opportunities to meet new friends but may feel overwhelming. Many students could limit your ability to explore on your own and make it harder to ask guides questions.

How long will you be traveling?

Student travel opportunities can range from just a week during spring break to an entire year abroad. While adventurous students may be tempted to spend months away from home and school, it may not be realistic. Cost, school credit restrictions and homesickness can all put a damper on longer trips.

What is your budget?

Student travel is a wonderful opportunity, but it is costly. Reliable accommodations, transportation for large groups and knowledgeable guides add up. The good news is that there are many groups that provide scholarships, grants and fundraising programs for student travelers.

Look for the best value within your budget. A few extra days of travel, additional excursions or included meals may be worth a higher price tag. Read the fine print; inexpensive packages may not include much beyond the basics and you could end up spending more overall.

What are the tour company’s policies?

Every tour company operates differently. Cancellation policies, packing guidelines, and limitations on how much students can communicate with friends and family at home will all affect your trip.

What did other students think?

Once you decide on a trip, dig into reviews and testimonies from other participants. Always take very positive and very negative reviews with a grain of salt. Take into account what students enjoyed and what they would have changed before booking your trip.

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