Get Ready for Your Rustic Pathways Trip

Get Ready for Your Rustic Pathways Trip

Are you as excited as we are for this summer? We’ve compiled everything you need to know to get ready for your trip here on this page. Don’t forget to visit your My Rustic Portal and reach out to your Personal Travel Advisor with any specific questions if you can’t find the answers here. Consider this your pre-departure Encyclopedia. Let’s get started!

What’s inside?

  • Top Pre-Travel FAQs
  • Passports and Visas
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Country Information
  • Packing
  • Cell Phone and Technology Usage
  • Mentally Prepare for Travel
  • Thoughtful Travel
  • Rustic Rules
  • #soRustic Photo Contest
  • Embrace The Experience

Top Pre-Travel FAQs

As you prepare for your adventures, you’re bound to have questions. You’re not alone. Other travelers are likely asking themselves the same things. Take a look at our answers to top frequently asked questions.

Vaccines, Visas, and Passports

If you have two months or more until your departure date, you (most likely) have enough time to get vaccinated, secure a visa, or renew your passport.

Review our travel vaccinations page to make see if whether any vaccines are recommended for your destination country.

Check visa requirements for the country where you’re traveling. Some countries require you to obtain a visa before you arrive. Visa requirements differ depending on the country in which your passport was issued. Here’s a quick list with some helpful info.

Make sure your passport is current. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months from the date you arrive in country.

COVID-19 Testing

A supervised pre-travel test (PCR, NAAT, or rapid antigen) is required to be taken within 24 hours of arrival on your program. This can be conducted at a doctor’s office, testing center, pharmacy, or via proctored telehealth.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, its recommended to visit your doctor and ask about a letter of recovery. This will cover you should you continue to test positive prior to your program or while returning to the US.

Country Information

Understanding some cultural basics, what foods you’ll eat, and some of the country’s history will make you a more responsible and informed traveler (which means you’ll have a more meaningful Rustic experience).

You can access all country books here.


Looking to make packing for your Rustic trip a breeze? Don’t forget to download and review your packing list from your program’s page. Be sure to check out these packing tips from Rustic staff, and advice from alumni about what they wish they’d brought (and left behind) before their trips! Also review tips for packing culturally-appropriate and comfortable clothing.

Finally, understand what items to bring and not to bring as (optional) donations on your trip.

Cell Phone and Technology Usage

We believe in learning from others face to face and embracing our surroundings. We know you do too. We also know that our phones are more than just phones. They are cameras, music players, and connections to unparalleled knowledge.

We think it is possible to bring our phones with us on our travels and have it enrich our experience. We hope you’ll find ways to use your phone to make your Rustic Pathways experience richer, and that you’ll put it away when the time is right.

Also, be sure to talk to your family about communication expectations during your trip so that you’re all on the same page.

Mentally Prepare for Travel

Be sure to spend time mentally preparing for your trip too—reflecting on what you’re hoping to take away from this experience is just as important as making sure your passport is current and that you’ve packed a quick dry towel and closed toe shoes.

Whether you’re a Rustic rookie or a well-traveled veteran, it’s 100 percent okay to be nervous about things like feeling homesick, making friends, or not having cellphone or wifi service. Click here for some really good advice from alumni about what to do if you’re feeling a little (or a lot) overwhelmed. ?

Thoughtful Travel

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or you’re prepping for your first solo international travel experience, it’s always good to brush up on recommendations for being courteous and respectful of people and cultures. Check out 11 Tips to Become a More Thoughtful Traveler.

Another way to show respect to the people you meet and for the cultures you experience during travel is by learning how to say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you in the local language.

Rustic Rules

Every student takes a pledge to follow these guidelines during their Rustic experience. We take these rules very seriously and set the same expectations for every student that travels with us.

#soRustic Photo Contest

After returning from your travels be sure to enter this year’s #sorustic contest! To enter follow @rusticpathways on Instagram, post the best photo(s) from your travels, and make sure to use #sorustic in your caption. (Remember, we can only see your entries if you have a public account.) Every Friday we’ll announce one winner to receive a small prize. At the end of the summer, we’ll select one entry to win the ultimate prize! For more info see our #sorustic contest rules.

Embrace the Experience

You’re about to embark on a real adventure. You’re going to get off the tourist track, experience local life, see incredible landscapes, have meaningful conversations, learn about the world, and push your boundaries.

Ask any traveler and they’ll tell you the moments you remember forever are the ones that were never planned. So have an open mind on your program and embody a “go with the flow” mentality—what you don’t expect might surprise you!

If you have specific pre-departure questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Personal Travel Advisor directly, or give us a call at 440.975.9691.