World Traveler Information


Insider Info

dotWhen you wake up and get ready for school, usually you pack things you'll need for the day. Your books, a snack, gym shoes; you know, the usual. Imagine that same bag, or one a bit bigger, filled with clothes, maps, travel plans and a camera to capture all the wonderful places there are to see in this world!

People with a sense of adventure and with traveling in their blood live and breathe for a chance to pack a bag like that and head off to the great unknown!

dotEveryone travels for different reasons, and the destination usually depends on what your definition of a vacation is and what you find to be interesting.

For some, taking a trip to an abandoned building or wandering around their hometown to admire the architecture is a relaxing experience. For others, a trip across the country or to another continent is the distance they need to go to satisfy their urge to see the world.

dotTravel agents and tourism offices can give directions to points of interest, either near or far.

dotTraveling as a student is a great way to learn about other cultures and experience new things.

Seeing the Great Barrier Reef of Australia in a book is one way to learn. And for some, that's good enough. But for those adventuresome types, seeing things on paper just isn't always enough. Equipped with a full set of scuba gear, being face to face with a coral reef is more their cup of tea. Running into a shark of some sort would make the experience even better!

Stacey Heldman dove into the Great Barrier Reef and traveled around Australia during a year-long trek. "I didn't run into a great white shark, but what I did see I will never forget."

dotPeople who are seasoned travelers will tell you that if you're thinking of traveling, can manage to take the time off from your life at home and can afford to, you should go for it.

"I have yet to meet anyone who has been a backpacker and regrets doing it. Try it, you'll love it!" says John Klunder. He traveled to Europe when he was a student and worked for the summer. Recently he went again with his wife, who shares his passion for seeing the world and meeting new people.

According to the Klunders, the people part of the whole thing is one of the best parts. They can both share stories about people they met from all over and stories these other people had to tell. Becoming friends with someone from another part of the world is a great way to make geography really hit home.

dotThe money part of the traveling is something to consider as well. Getting to where you are going will affect the cost of your ticket. Traveling by air, road, train or boat are ways to go. Costs can go from $40 for a bus ticket to a nearby city, to $2,000 for a return flight to Australia!

Unfortunately, Star Trek is the only place you would be able to beam from one place to another, so be prepared for sitting in one place for a long time. Be patient if you get delayed.

Just remember, you will eventually get where you are going. If you get stuck in an airport, enjoy the scenery. It also gives you a good chance to people watch.

While you travel, you can either take enough savings to cover your costs, or work along the way. Taking traveler's checks is the safest way to transport your money. If you want to work as you go, you must be of age to obtain a visa, which is the legal paperwork required for you to work in another country.

Some career areas that may interest travel enthusiasts include the following:

Travel Agent: An obvious choice. They spend time talking about traveling, making travel plans and learning of new and exciting destinations.

Scuba Instructor: This is a job that requires specialized training, but once you become certified as an instructor there is work in tourist destinations. Tourists come to instructors to learn the basics, and then for direction on dives to a whole other world!

Food and Beverage Server or Bartender: The skills gained in this job are transferable from country to country. It's universal, because hey -- people like to eat!

dotTravelers come in all shapes and sizes, range in age, and have various physical abilities. For the independent type, traveling alone is an option. For those who prefer familiar faces, there's always the option of traveling with a friend or family member.

dotTravelers are people who like to broaden their horizons. Learning about other cultures and seeing new sights excites and intrigues them.

People who travel on a regular basis do so for as many reasons. There is not one typical traveler. There are as many types of people who like to travel as there are places to see in this world.

Getting Started

dotTo purchase tickets, students can get a better deal by getting an International Student Identity Card. This card is the only card accepted in 93 countries as proof of full-time student status.

For a small fee, the ISIC card gets you discounts on travel, accommodations and admission to museums and cultural attractions. Since 1968, when this card was first issued, over 20 million students have taken advantage of its benefits.

The ISIC card is a product of the International Student Travel Confederation. This organization is a nonprofit confederation of student travel organizations around the world whose focus is to develop, promote and facilitate travel among young people and students.

Other associations that exist for some of the same reasons include the International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Federation of International Youth Travel Organizations (FIYTO).

dotHostels are places that are set up for people who are traveling on a budget. Hostels exist in over 60 countries, and provide a place to get a good night's sleep in friendly and comfortable surroundings at an affordable price.

You do often need a membership to stay, which can cost $25 a year. People of all ages are welcome, but if you are under 14, you need to be accompanied by an adult.

dotThe equipment that is required for traveling will depend on the destination. Exploring buildings takes an inquisitive mind, some good hiking boots and safety equipment. Talk to your family doctor to make sure you are up-to-date on vaccines.

Going to another country or another part of your home country requires more stuff. Making a list is usually a good way to start. Travel agents who help with bookings can also give advice on this subject.

If you find yourself looking around corners just to see what's there, or love to experience new things, you probably have a bit of the instinct that travelers have.

Television and the Internet make far away places come to your living room. However, for a true traveler, this just wouldn't be good enough!

Associations

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Internethttp://www.unesco.org

Federation of International Youth Travel Organizations (FIYTO)
Internethttp://www.fiyto.org

Publications

National Geographic Magazine
Internethttp://www.nationalgeographic.com/

Links

Lonely Planet
Publishes guidebooks for budget travelers

Northern California Hostels
Information on budget accommodation around the world

Hostelworld.com
Find a bed in over 170 countries