July 2011 Dates & itinerary finalized 70 days prior to trip Please note: Dates may change from the original July 12-21 by +/- 4 days Dates are set to combine groups to fill a bus (40-45 people) Keeps costs lower New friends You may even have a roommate or 2 from another school Passport Make sure you have one or are in process of getting one Be sure the name on your passport matches EXACTLY with what is on file at EF Make a copy for me or bring it in for me to copy Excursions Some are signed up for horseback riding; others are not This is OK, we just need to know ahead if not everyone is going so we have a chaperone with each group Insurance T shirts Do we want to design one? Luggage Bright piece of ribbon for easy airport ID Get something to carry money close to body, not in pockets Pickpockets are unfortunately good at what they do Journal To remember the details of this trip – you’ll be happy you did later To list all you buy to declare at US Customs Tipping – discretionary but recommended Tour Director ~ $6/day With us 24/7 for 8-10 days Bus Driver ~ $3/day I will collect this during our final departure meeting during last week of school so you won’t have to worry about spending it! Spending Money EF recommends saving $30-$50/day for food, transportation & souvenirs Costa Rica is not as expensive as European countries so you will be safe erring on the low side of this estimate. Currency Costa Rica uses colon but many places accept US dollars Credit Cards Can be used but phone lines are SLOW ATMs available throughout Costa Rica & are recommended over using credit cards for purchases Inform your credit card company/bank of travel plans so they don’t flag/cancel your card during the trip Travelers Checks Not recommended and not often accepted in Costa Rica Laptop/netbook Very few places in Costa Rica will have reliable WiFi Cell Phone US cell phones do not work well in most areas of Costa Rica Our best communication option will be buying a calling card once in Costa Rica Valuables Jewelry or other valuables may be lost/stolen & should be left home Pack as lightly as possible ~ one carry-on and one piece of luggage should be plenty! We will walk A LOT so comfortable shoes are a must Also recommended: Light rain gear – this will be their rainy season Sandals w/strap for water activities & ziplining Hat Sunscreen beach towel insect repellent Small binoculars travel-size toilet paper camera Motion Sickness Buses travel some pretty narrow and curvy roads, so bring something with you if you are susceptible GI issues If you suffer from these normally, traveling can often make it worse Dehydration During travel & hot weather, this can be dangerous Please drink a lot of water Water in Costa Rica is chlorinated & safe to drink We have earned 1 Round Trip airline ticket good for anywhere in the continental US You keep the money from any tickets you sell to put toward your spending or tip money Winner can reserve more than one seat when redeeming their ticket, but they must pay for the others Major US airports including Grand Rapids, Chicago and Detroit are eligible for travel Blackout dates :Thanksgiving, Christmas, Midwinter break How much to charge? How long to sell the tickets? On Tour Get plenty of sleep so you can enjoy the fast-paced adventure we have planned for you Respect other travelers Be on time Be a Global Citizen Appreciate differences in culture Try local foods Costa Rican food is flavorful but not spicy. Typical dishes include: rice and beans, plantains, vegetables, beef, chicken, pork or fish, and fresh fruit Appreciate all the ups & downs of being away from the comforts of home Enjoy your new sense of adventure, independence & confidence!