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?

  • Your 2019 Pre-Departure Package
  • Passports and Visas
  • Country Information
  • Packing
  • Maximize Your Impact
  • Cell Phone and Technology Usage
  • Mentally Prepare for Travel
  • Rustic Rules
  • Social Media Contests
  • 2019 Summer Recap Video
  • Top Pre-Travel FAQs
  • Embrace The Experience

Your 2019 Pre-Departure Package

See what’s inside your pre-departure package here and how to use each item. Then learn how to use your Travel Poster to connect with other students traveling this summer.

2019 Rustic Pathways Pre-Departure Package

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. If it’s not, here’s how to get a new passport in two weeks.

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 13 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.

Country Information

Log in to your My Rustic Portal to download your Country Book and learn more about where you’re going this summer! Then spend a couple of minutes testing what you learned with this short questionnaire. 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? Our team of travel experts have curated a collection of our favorite travel gear and made it available to you on Rustic Gear. Our gear kits are filled with awesome, high-quality products for your Rustic travels…and for years to come. See our staff talk about their favorite gear items.

Plus, don’t forget to download and review your packing list from your My Rustic Portal. 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.

Accommodation Info

If you’re curious about where you’ll be staying during your trip, review the itinerary in your My Rustic Portal. You can also learn more about our base houses and homestays.

Cell Phone and Technology Usage

We believe in learning from others face to face and embracing our surroundings. We know you do too. Watch this video and read this alumni’s thoughts on why it’s so important to “unplug.”

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. 😬

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.

Social Media Contests

After returning from your travels be sure to enter this year’s #sorustic contest! To enter follow @rusticpathways on Instagram or Twitter, 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 Monday 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—a free Rustic trip of their choice in 2019! For more info see our #sorustic2019 contest rules.

Maximize Your Impact

Get familiar with our non-profit division, the Rustic Pathways Foundation, by checking out our current projects around the world. The Foundation aims to amplify the impact you and your student will make while traveling and allow our team to provide greater support to our community partners year round.

2019 Summer Recap Video

Each year we create recap video to relive our travel moments from the summer, but this year we want to make it entirely from your videos! Check out our recap videos from 20182017, 2016, and 2015!

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 800.321.4353.