Road Scholars’ Tips for First-Time Travelers

Is it your first time enrolling on a Road Scholar learning adventure? Are you feeling a little nervous about traveling for the first time with us? It can be a big first step to register for a program or step on a plane, but don’t let that hold you back — here are a few of our tips for first-time travelers!

A group of Road Scholars laughing together in the desert outside of Death Valley National Park

#1. Consider setting up an international phone plan.

Having a working phone throughout your travels, especially if you're going outside of the country, can give you great peace of mind and make your travels easier. Contact your mobile phone provider to find out what international plans they might offer.

#2. Do your research.

Not only will researching your destination ahead of time make you feel more confident about where you're going, but you're also likely to discover things that will make you even more excited to head out! Check out your program webpage for a list of our suggested reading materials and books before (or after) your program, and make sure you read through any informational materials we send you carefully.   

A woman packs a carry-on suitcase

#3. Pack as light as possible.

Packing light offers several benefits to Road Scholars. First, it will likely make your travels to and from your destination simpler, as you may not have to check a bag at the airport and you'll find it easier to maneuver through busy terminals. It will also make your travels during your program easier, and you may even have extra room to bring home souvenirs! 

#4. Keep yourself safe.

Leave any unnecessary valuables at home, and consider leaving your travel itinerary with a friend or family member. By traveling as part of a group with Road Scholar, know that you're already going a long way to keep yourself safe in a new place.

A woman smiles while scrolling through her laptop computer

Looking for even more advice? Hear firsthand from Road Scholars who share their advice for feeling more confident and tips for preparing for your first learning adventure!

“Start in the U.S. if you are anxious about international travel. Keep it to a week initially. Don't get too active or too sedentary. Have a positive attitude. Treat yourself to packing cubes. And just do it!!! Road Scholar will take care of you and your fellow travelers will be great.”
—Betty W.

“I truly believe in the old adage 'use it or lose it.' Road Scholar leaders and participants are so helpful and design activities based on the group. Solo traveling is no problem. Listen to your body and do what is safe and comfortable for you. Most of all...listen to your soul. Go for it!”
—Darla P.

Road Scholars walk along a dirt path surrounded by trees

“Walk every day. Also start doing some weight training — start light, even one pound weights, and work your way up to what you can handle and work on balance and mobility. Eat right, drink lots of water and get some good sleep!”
—Dorothy B.

“Age is only a number. If you feel good enough to travel, then do it. Last year my roommate in Costa Rica was 93 and outhiked us all.”
—Paula W.

“Start on a trip close to home with a direct flight.”
—Susan B.

“Every program has an activity level score. Look for tours that match your activity level.”
—Susan M.

“I always get scared before I go so I do lots of research, but, my fears are usually just that, fears…There are lots of things to think about but that's part of the fun, isn't it?”
—Bert M.

Do you have tips and tricks for travel? Do you want to connect with other Road Scholars? Join our Facebook Groups to hear about others’ experiences and get inspired!