PREPARE FOR YOUR STUDENT TRIP

If you’re heading out on tour, see our list of last minute preparation tips to make sure you’re ready to go and have the best time ever!

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Student Packing List

Make your student trip abroad a success by packing smart. We recommend one suitcase and one carry on to make travel quick and easy. Be sure to check the weather reports for your destination to ensure you have all the appropriate clothing and don’t forget comfortable walking shoes, after long days your feet will thank you. Download our complete Packing List here.

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Travel Documents

Passports, valid at least 6 months after travel dates, are required for all international student travel with Brightspark. Make sure all account information matches your passport details, as this will be used to produce all travel documents. For more detailed information regarding these documents, please visit the Government of Canada website, or if you have a non-Canadian passport, please contact your local embassy.

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Money

Start by familiarizing yourself with the preferred local currency and exchange rates for your destination. We recommend a budget of $30-$50 a day to cover lunches, snacks and souvenirs. We also suggest exchanging enough money for at least the first 3 days prior to departure. While on tour, ATMs are the safest and easiest way to withdraw local currency. Don’t forget to contact your bank and credit card company about your travel plans before leaving.

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Phone

Taking your phone on tour? Before departure, contact your wireless provider to ensure your international plan suites your needs. For those foregoing a data plan, ensure your phone is kept on Airplane mode to avoid charges. Save money by: turning off apps and notifications, track data and call usage with a data tracker and by using free Wi-Fi and hot spot connections in public places.

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Health and Safety Tips

Health and safety is a priority on all Brightspark class trips. Below are some tips to ensure students are protected while on tour.

  1. Purchase medical insurance for any unforeseen illnesses or accidents that occur. Medical insurance is included in deluxe Travel Guard insurance. 
  2. Leave valuable items at home and make sure all wallets, cash and cards are in a secure place on your person or in your sight at all times.
  3. Before departure, make electronic copies of all travel documents in case they are lost or damaged while in destination.
  4. Always travel in groups. Never give out personal information to strangers.
  5. Make sure immunizations and records are up to date. For an updated list recommended for your destination, consult the Government of Canada’s Travel Vaccination website.

Trip Preparation FAQs

Can parents participate in a tour without being a chaperone? This is at the discretion of your school and Group Leader. Please speak with the Group Leader at the school.
Can I pay extra for my child to have their own bed or a cot? While this may be possible, it really depends on if the hotel provides cots or if there's another bed or room available. The Principal or Group Leader would also need to approve this decision.
How are roommates chosen? Roommates are chosen at the school's discretion.
How does the rooming work? Are students required to share a bed? How big is the bed? It's common practice to have students share a room on school trips for two reasons: cost and availability. Because overnight school trips are very popular especially in the spring time, hotel and accommodation availability is very limited if everyone were to have their own room or bed. For this reason, there are usually 4 students per room and each student shares a double bed with one other student.
What does night security look like if the hotel has to divide our group onto two floors? The number of Night Security is ultimately chosen by the Group Leader. However, we recommend one Night Security personnel per bus travelling (ie. if the school has 1 bus, 1 Night Security is recommended). If the school is a one bus movement and needs to be on two floors at the hotel, the Night Security will alternate between floors throughout the night. If another guard is requested by the school, we will work with the school on the best solution and request a second guard if possible
How are the chaperones chosen? All chaperones are chosen at the school's discretion.
Will I need to carry a passport? On international tours, all tour participants need to carry a passport. If your child does not currently have a passport, be sure to apply several months before the tour departs. For Canadian citizens, the passport needs to be valid for at least six months after returning home. Non-Canadian citizens need to carry a non-expired passport and a multi-entry visa. Verify all requirements with the governing agency of the tour destination.
How do I apply for a passport? For all passport information, including how to apply, please visit the Government of Canada's Website or the governing agency of your home country.
Are visas needed to travel abroad? Visa requirements depend on the country or countries your child is visiting, the passport you are traveling under, and the length of the trip. Contact the embassy for each country your child will be visiting as soon as possible to make sure you have time to secure all necessary paperwork.
Do you have any fundraising efforts? We have a great step-by-step process in our fundraising blog here.
Is there Wi-Fi on the bus or hotel? Wi-Fi is available with certain coach companies for an additional fee. Please speak to your Sales Representative about adding this. As for the hotel, most hotels provide complimentary Wi-Fi.
How will the group be divided at the hotel? Each hotel configuration is different, but we typically request that hotels keep each group on a minimal number of floors (with boys and girls separated). If necessary, please speak to your Rep about alternate arrangements.

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