As our summer season approaches, students prepare for their voyage down to the BVIs to be greeted by some new and some familiar smiling Sail Caribbean faces. Questions will be stirring: Who will be a part of my crew? What destinations will I explore? Does anyone else know how to play guitar? Rest assured, young adventurers, these answers await you patiently. In the meantime, we want to make sure you, as our beloved guests, arrive to our abode comfortably and contently. Here are a few tricks and tips we’ve prepared for your upcoming day of travel.
1. Roll your clothes!
If you do one thing and one thing only, roll your clothes while you are packing your duffle for your summer program. Rolling your articles will substantially reduce space, leaving room for more bathing suits to show off, more hula shirts to dance in and stellar souvenirs to come home with.
2. Wear loose, flexible clothes and carry on an extra layer!
Don’t worry about dressing to impress, worry about how you’ll feel 5 hours into your travel day. Casual, relaxed fit attire will keep you feeling comfy whether you are curled up in your seat on the plane or ferry as well as trekking your way with baggage in hand to your next form of transportation. Temperatures will vary drastically throughout your travels to the islands so wear layers for diverse weather!
3. The right shoes are crucial.
Weather-permitting, the least complicated and the most comfortable shoe attire is always the best option. Keep in mind: you will have to remove your shoes while going through security, so copious straps, buckles, zippers and ties will make your experience more of a hassle. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
4. Keep your essential go-to grabs in your carry-on baggage!
This means your hair bands, facial wipes, hand sanitizer, gum, chap stick, entertaining reading material, your
empty SC Nalgene water bottle (and fill it up in the airport!), electronics chargers, headphones, etc. These small but precious items are essential to a hassle-free travel day. Don’t forget to keep any liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes under 3.4 oz and stored in a quart-sized bag.
5. Download apps and videos or plan your playlists in advance.
Music, TV shows, movies and phone apps are soothing and enjoyable during a day of travel and expected waiting periods. Being prepared with on-the-go entertainment and your own personal travel soundtrack will keep your spirits high. Do note: not every airport or terminal has free wifi or even wifi at all. A backup battery pack will help in times when an outlet isn’t available and your heart is desperately aching for a viewing of Frozen.
6. Pack small but satisfying snacks!
Airport food can no doubt put a dent in your cash supply, which would of course be better spent on some golden finds once down in the islands. Save your dollars for new, crisp teeshirts and hats from Sydney’s Peace & Love shop on Jost Van Dyke by bringing some healthy bites for throughout the day.
7. People-watch or try striking up a conversation.
Nothing is better than observing the many interactions happening at airports and terminals. Embrace the free entertainment of constant real-time socializing between different peoples and cultures, and don’t be afraid to do some of your own! A few days before our programs start, each camper will receive a list of other students traveling to the islands that day (Travelmates!), so keep an eye out for some potential crew mates!
8. Start writing in your journal early!
A camp journal is the place to record all of the unforgettable memories you will gather throughout the program. Starting your documentation early will give you a big smile in the future as you reminisce over your pre-program exhilaration.
9. Have fun and take plenty of travel selfies!
There is no shame in proper documentation of every joyful feeling and available backdrop you have during your travel day. Smile as much as possible, no matter any hiccups that come to pass and before you know it, the waiting will be over and you will have arrived to take on your next adventure with us!
About the author: Ryan loves making Sail Caribbean’s extraordinary adventures visible to the public on social media. During the summer, she works hard to keep everyone connected with coordinating daily trip blogs and capturing plenty of stunning media. After graduating from Penn State in 2015 with a degree in Public Relations and French, she joined us for her first summer in the British Virgin Islands, followed by the big move to SC Headquarters ‘on the Island’ to work full time. When she’s not neck-deep in media files, you’ll find her kicking back with some jams and her fluffy kitty sidekick, Lucy.
The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.