“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” -Miriam Beard, Author
Many years ago, travel was for the elite. These days, international travel is something affordable in cost, and priceless in experience.
As college students, we are entitled to even more discounts than the average person. A student ID card will get you discounted rates to attractions of all kinds- all over the globe. Depending on where you are, rates for hostels (inexpensive lodging) vary from around $8 to $30 a night. A trip doesn’t have to cost tons of cash, and the experience will stay with you for a lifetime.
How To Get a Passport:To leave the country of the United States (with the exception of Canada and Mexico), you will need a passport. Don’t worry, it’s EASY! Follow these steps and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have.
1. Get a certified copy of your birth certificate. Your parents or the recorders office in the county where you were born will have one. The recorder will charge a small fee for a copy (less than $10).
2. Get your picture taken. Places like Walgreens ($7.99) and Longs ($6.99) will do passport photos quickly and for an affordable price. You will get two 2″x2″ photos in a neat little folder. You will need both pictures, so don’t give one to your sweetie. 3. Take your pictures, birth certificate, ID and/or driver’s license to the clerk-recorder’s office (433 Second St. in Y.C.). You will need to bring 2 payments: $55 for passport services and $30 for Sutter Co. (processing fee). Ask for a passport application and fill it out there; this way, if you have any questions, the nice ladies at the office can help you. Be SURE to fill it out correctly and completely, mistakes will cause a delay in the process.
4. Mail your application. In about 6 weeks you will have your crisp new passport delivered to you by mail.
Prepare and GO!This is, by far, the most exciting part of travel aside from the trip itself. Where to GO? Think about your interests and curiosities, time of year (season at destination), daydreams and most importantly, your budget. To get a better idea of airfares, consult a Sunday Sacramento Bee. Look in the Travel section for the list of lowest international fares.
If you have a computer, it’s even better. Helpful websites are listed at the end of this article. In many cases, your local travel agent can give you quotes over the phone. Stop by to view the huge collection of brochures on your possible destinations. Good information as well as pictures are easily located at the travel agency. I recommend Destinations Travel on Colusa Avenue in Yuba City. They provide a wall of these brochures and a friendly, helpful staff.
While waiting for your passport, you can stash money for your trip and do some research on the computer, at the library or the book store. When you decide on where you want to go, hunt for the best deal on your airfare as this will usually be the most costly. Once you have a confirmed reservation for your flight(s), you can begin to explore the areas around your arrival city and where you may want to stay for the first two nights.
When arriving any big city, keep in mind that the true flavor of the country lies outside of city limits. Most metropolitan areas are, more or less, the same all over the world. Two nights is usually enough time to recover from jet-lag and snag maps of places to visit and explore. Time to adjust is good too- waking up in another land than you’re used to, can be pleasantly shocking sometimes!
Travel TypeI personally prefer independent travel as opposed to a package with air, hotel and meals included. First time travelers may want to look into an air/hotel package to feel more secure, but it will most likely cost more.
Helpful WebsitesPassport Info.- www.suttercounty.org [go to: Departments: Clerk Recorder: Passports]
www.statravel.com (Student Travel Organization) www.airlineconsolidator.com (Discount International Airfares) www.cheaptickets.com
Good airfare prices can also be found on the websites representing your destination- they want you to get there and will help you find a good deal. Send questions via e-mail like crazy, you never know who or what will turn up!
www.hihostels.comYou don’t have to be a card-carrying member of a hostel organization to stay there.
Good Travel Sites-www.ricksteves.com (of PBS fame, Rick Steves specializes in low cost- high quality European travel…GREAT info.)
www.budgettravel.msnbc.com (of Budget Travel magazine- good information on world wide destinations, tips, specials and more.)