Whether you’re a veteran traveler or the opposite, think back to when you first traveled abroad. I bet you can remember it in great detail as all those wonderful memories come flooding back. I can assure you it’s not hard to think of those amazing times you had in a culture vastly different from your own.

With more and more young travelers embarking on their first grand European capital educational tour or seeing the sites in Asia there will always be things they should experience.

For this reason, I have listed below seven things everyone should experience on their first educational tour.

1. Put your foreign language skills to work.

Whether you studied French, German, Italian, Spanish, or another language there is no better place to test out what you’ve spent years learning than in that country. I can’t stress enough how important it is to study a foreign language when traveling overseas, the locals will be more than happy to see you trying your hand at communicating in their native tongue. Don’t be embarrassed if you make a mistake or two because they will appreciate the effort.

2. Immerse yourself in the culture.

Before leaving, read up on the country you’re visiting. Try to learn as much as you can and you’ll benefit greatly from your hard work. Take a crack at the local language, try the local delicacy, make friends, get lost, laugh, learn, and just enjoy all of the good things that come with traveling abroad for the first time.

3. Keep a journal.

You’ll be thankful you did down the road. It’s as simple as that. If you’re not into writing, keep a photo journal or make a collage. There are hundreds of ways to remember your journey so find something that interests you and go with it. Just get creative! When the time comes that your children are leaving for their first educational student tour you will be able to show them your travel journal and hopefully they’ll be inspired to do the same thing.

 4. Try the local cuisine.

As I mentioned earlier, you should always try the dish that country’s known for. Whether it’s good old fish n’ chips in a quaint London pub, escargot in France, or tapas in Spain just give it a try. Hey you many even love it! When I’m traveling, I’ll try anything once. You can also bet that the dishes will be fantastic!

 5. Start a souvenir collection.

After you’ve travelled out of the country for the first time, the travel bug will have taken a bite. It’s safe to say you’ll want to explore the world and its wonders, and experience all that you can in this short time we’re given. Picking an unique item to bring home will be a great keepsake from your travels. They’ll remind you of the wonderful times and give you a conversation starter for parties. Perhaps you’ll collect magnets or pieces of art, but whatever you choose I’m sure you’ll cherish it for years to come.

6. Photos! Photos! Photos!

Be sure to take lots of pictures while on your student tour and don’t forget to bring back up SD cards. I’ve come home from trips with hundreds of photos that will have a close place to my heart. While it’s great to have pictures of monuments, food, works of art, and everyday street scenes, don’t forget to include you in the photos. You’ll have these pictures for years to come so make sure you’re in them as well.

 7. Go off the beaten path.

This is one of my favorite things about traveling. There’s no greater reward than leaving the tourist spots behind and getting lost. Talk with your teacher beforehand about the possibility of visiting places that are lesser known among tourists. EA Tours is pleased to offer tours that are 100% custom-designed. Tell us where you want to go, what you want to see and do, and we’ll make it happen.

What did you do on your initial tour abroad? Are there things you wish you’d have known to experience? What advice would you tell first time travelers?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my list of things you should do on your first educational tour. If I left anything off that you believe should be listed let me know in the comments.

Until next time,