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Costa Rica

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					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!