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One Last Hurrah: How to Make the Most of Your Graduation Trip

Grace Lower | Dec 21, 2020


As summertime approaches, so too does graduation season. If you’re a grad-to-be, congratulations!

You’ve made it through years of hard work and plenty of late-night study sessions. Before long, you’ll be kicking off your career. And more importantly, exams will soon be a thing of the past.

To mark this momentous occasion, many students will celebrate with a post-grad trip. Whether it takes the form of a family cruise or weekend getaway, travel can offer the perfect excuse for grads to relax and recharge. Aside from the well-deserved down-time, a graduation trip can also serve as an important pause between life’s seasons. If you’re planning to embark on a graduation trip of your own, here are a few ways to make the most out of your travels.

Choose a location that inspires you

If possible, try to take an active role in your trip’s planning process. This starts with choosing the perfect destination. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed by all the amazing locations to pick from, ask yourself what you’d like to get out of your trip. Are you looking for the chance to reconnect with family and friends? If so, a leisurely getaway to the mountains can provide plenty of opportunities for long, relaxed conversations. Eager for one last adventure? Check out rugged destinations with plenty of opportunities for recreation. Desperate for a fresh perspective? A long-distance trip to a new country could be just what the doctor ordered.

If you’re still unsure of where to go, get inspired by social media. Try perusing different travel hashtags on Instagram or using Pinterest’s suggested searches to find exciting destinations for any schedule or budget. 

Reflect on your accomplishments

You’re done with classes! Say “sayonara” to long nights of studying, weekends spent pouring over textbooks, and hours in the library. But, as with any transition, the period after graduation can be bittersweet. During your graduation trip, take some time to reminisce about your student experience. Consider how much you’ve grown since the start of your academic career. Chances are, you pushed yourself to succeed — even when faced with unexpected challenges.

Together with your travel companions, talk about the transformative moments in your academic career. Were there any organizations that excited you? Projects you were proud of? People who changed your perspective? Beyond your accomplishments as a scholar, recognize the skills you gained and the friendships you developed during your time in school. 

Celebrate with loved ones

A graduation trip is the perfect way to thank the people who supported you. If your travel companions helped you at any point during your time as a student, make sure to acknowledge their role in your success. Whether your gratitude takes the form of a hand-written note, a small souvenir, or a heartfelt “thank you,” your loved ones will appreciate the recognition during this exciting time. As an added bonus, your trip can provide the perfect opportunity to make new memories with the people who matter most.

Relax and unwind

Want to know the best part about a graduation trip? Doing nothing! With no pending deadlines, ongoing projects, or homework in sight, you’ll be perfectly poised for a restful getaway. Now’s the time to embrace your inner sloth: wake up late, take a nap in the middle of the day, or enjoy a leisurely meal just for the heck of it. If you use this obligation-free time to truly relax, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when you get back.

Be fearless

Despite all the revelry, the time after graduation can be objectively scary. With graduation comes a flurry of changes: looking for jobs, moving away, starting a new role, and saying hard goodbyes. It’s normal to feel anxious as you consider what lies ahead. So why not reinforce your confidence through travel?

During your graduation trip, practice saying “yes” to opportunities that you wouldn’t normally consider. For you, that could mean going dancing, signing up for surf lessons, or trying a bizarre new food. If you regularly venture outside your comfort zone, you’ll find that you’re braver and more capable than you think. 

Now before you rush to sign up for sword-swallowing lessons, remember that part of being adventurous is knowing your limits. Make sure to take all necessary precautions before taking on a daring activity or destination. Understand relevant safety information, and look into additional protections, such as travel medical insurance. Then, once you’ve done your research, get ready to take the plunge!

As a grad-to-be, you’ve spent years studying and striving to better understand the world. A graduation trip can be a cherry on top of a successful academic journey. As you travel, try to hone the practical skills that you gained as a student: the ability to stay organized, the ability to listen carefully, the ability to think critically about the world. So many of the traits that benefitted you in the classroom will make you a successful traveler — and chances are, they’ll help you tackle whatever opportunity comes next. 

Above all, use your trip as a way to blow off some steam and celebrate a job well-done. You’ve earned it!


About the Author

Grace Lower

Grace Lower has a love for all things writing and travel. When she's not exploring new places, Grace enjoys teaching English as a Second Language, making terrible puns, and running incredibly long distances at incredibly slow speeds.

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