You’ve just returned from your educational student tour and are still reveling in travel’s “afterglobe”—the lingering feelings of happiness, confidence, awe, nostalgia, camaraderie and curious satisfaction that comes from a great traveling experience. Read below for suggestions on how to both ease back into your daily routine at home and make the most of your “afterglobe” experience.
The Transition Back:
1) Get your body back on track.
Traveling and flying can leave you feeling weary once the fun is done. Focus on getting a good night’s sleep, re-hydrating, light exercise and eating fresh healthy foods. Similar to our advice for arrival day, help minimize jet lag by immediately resetting your watch to local time and falling back into the usual routine for bedtime and waking up.
2) Take care of life’s little things.
Unpack right away, do laundry, sort through accumulated mail and email, check your bank and credit card statements, disable any international phone packages, run out for groceries and go through your souvenirs and purchases from the trip. If you’re a pet owner, set aside some time to give them lots of extra love and attention—they missed you!
Maximizing the Impact of your Travel Experience:
3) Encourage parents to ask their students about specific moments of the trip by giving them a list of suggestions.
Ex. “Dear Parents, ask your students about…”
The unique street performer by Plaza Mayor
The evening quest for Rome’s most elusive gelato flavor
How they felt during the visit to the American Cemetery and Omaha Beach
Playing soccer with the local students in Sarapiquí
Learning to negotiate with the locals at the street markets in London’s East End
What surprised them the most about the people or language?
Their biggest “wow” moment
4) Sort through photos and videos.
Pull out a collection of your best images and add names/tags while the destinations, sights and emotions are still top of mind. Set up a photo sharing site and ask your students and adult travelers to share their images too. And check out some of these creative ways to display your travel photos.
5) Share your opinions of the experience.
Right now is the best time to fill out that post-trip survey while the details are still fresh in your mind. And writing an article to the local newspaper, a journal entry, a blog post or a letter to a family member about the experience is a great way to reflect on the memories and keep them vivid. Encourage your student travelers to do the same.
6) Host a Welcome Home party!
Keep the fun and learning momentum going with an informal post-trip gathering to rehash memorable moments, swap photos and share laughs. Feature foods, music and maybe even some dancing from the culture(s) you just visited. Ask students to create albums of their favorite photographs (and video clips) and watch the slideshows on a big screen as a group. Perhaps have travelers submit photos and video files in advance to you (or a student who’s an aspiring film editor) to put together in a fun educational travel video. Take a post-trip photo of the group. Discuss what the students expected before the trip, what they experienced in-person and how it impacted them.
7) Start planning your next trip.
Feed off the momentum and excitement from this tour to start getting travelers on board for next year’s voyage. Use the photo albums and/or the educational travel video from your Welcome Home party to promote your next trip and ask this year’s travelers to speak about their experience at your informational meeting for students and parents.
What are the first things you do when you return from a trip?
We’d love to hear your tips for getting back into the routine of daily life and making the most of your student travel memories.