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7 Steps to Planning the Perfect Grad Trip

After four years of long nights and hard work, it’s finally time for you to graduate and move on. If the thought of starting real life terrifies you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Instead of mourning the loss of your college years or fearing the unknown, think about all the time you’ll have to finally do the things you have been putting off due to school and schedules. Big or small, taking a trip away can help clear your mind and inspire your new post-grad life. You might be thinking graduation isn’t for another few more months, but if this is the first time you’re traveling without your family it can be an overwhelming process. Here’s a list of steps to take to ensure you have the best graduation trip.

1. Set your budget.

The first and most crucial step in planning your own trip is understanding how much you’re willing to spend. Traveling is expensive, which is why most of us have waited this long to do it. There’s a lot to consider. Not only do you have travel expenses such as transportation and hotels, you also need to think about how much food and attractions will cost once you get there. This may not be the most exciting step of the process but sitting down with your travel partners and discussing numbers will make for clear expectations and possibilities.

Courtesy: Huffington Post

2. Research locations.

Now that you have your finances in order, it’s time to decide where you’re going! Whether you’re looking to stay in the country or travel across the pond, choosing a location can be challenging. There are so many amazing places to go but envision a city you’ve always wanted to go (within budget) and run with it. This is your time to celebrate your college years and explore. Still, take some time to research different locations before making your final decision.

3. Pick your dates and book your flights.

Here’s where things get serious. Pull out a calendar and mark your dates. Consider what the weather will be like during that time of the year and if that works for what you want. You can also look up your desired location during that season to see if there are any conflicting events that may cause you trouble. If everything clears, then now’s your time because the earlier, the better. Book those flights (or trains, buses, etc.) and make it official. You’re almost on your way.

4. Choose where you’ll be staying.

Good news, it’s 2018 and hotels aren’t our only option anymore. If you’re looking to truly immerse yourself, Airbnb is a great option. You can rent for a cost-effective price and experience the city from the comfort of someone else’s home. For the social butterflies looking for adventure, hostels are available in most popular areas. Though they vary depending on location, you can find some great options for much less than a traditional hotel.

5. Write a list of must-see spots.

When you’re young, you don’t ever worry about setting itineraries or sightseeing. Most of the time, our families put the list together and we just go. Now, you’re an adult venturing out on your very own trip. This is your opportunity to do and see what you want, but this freedom can easily become chaotic. A way to avoid that is to write a list of all the places and things you want to experience on your trip. With a quick Google search, you can find an array of information on the best spots around. This can help ensure you spend your limited time in a specific place to the fullest.

Courtesy: Tumblr

6. Have your documents in order.

This is especially important if you plan to travel abroad. You don’t want to wait until the last minute and realize your passport is expired. Give yourself enough time to get all the proper forms in order so you can spend less time stressing and more time Googling “best rooftop bars.”

7. Enjoy the process.

With the stress of graduating, all these steps might seem like another chore, but they don’t have to be. Want to go to France? Throw a French wine night with your traveling buddies while you look for hotels. New York? Watch Sex and the City until you know every spot Carrie visited. Planning may not be everyone’s thing, but it can be exciting. Take your dread and turn it into something you enjoy. It will pay off when you’re sipping margaritas in Mexico with your best friends or backpacking through Europe over the summer.

Courtesy: Tumblr

Editing, Writing, and Media major at FSU. 
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