The Traveler badge is part of the “It's Your Story - Tell It!” badge set introduced in 2011 and is featured on the Tagalongs sash.
Step 1: Research destinations
Explore the world – both near and far. In this step, you’re gathering information for a lifetime of travel adventure. Consider places you can go now, but, also, let yourself get as exotic, dreamy, and indulgent as you want.
CHOICES – DO ONE:
Create an inspiration travel board. Find images and information for at least 10 destinations, and use them to make an inspiration board. Travel agencies and chambers of commerce are great resources.
Interview three travel veterans or professionals in the travel industry.Maybe you have an aunt who raves about the restaurants in a nearby town or a friend who studied in Shanghai. Find out what they enjoyed most (and least) on their adventures, what interested or surprised them, and what tips they have.
FOR MORE FUN: Turn your interview into a radio show or travel commercial – and share it with your Girl Scout group.
Get inspiration from movies and books.Spend a few hours watching movies or documentaries, reading a travel memoir, or checking out the Girl Scouts travel website. Collect ideas for your reference and to share.
FOR MORE FUN: Host a series of movie screenings or book club conversations with friends. Serve snacks from the areas where the movies or books are set.
Girl Scout Travel
Got the travel bug? Start here.Think about where you’d like to go and what you’d like to get out of your trip. Maybe you’d like to explore your own neighborhood, go on an overnight camping trip, or participate in a community service project. If you’d like to go farther, consider these options:
TRY A DESTINATION
Travel with girls across the country – and around the world – through a destinationseven facilitated by Girl Scouts of the USA. These trips range from two days to three weeks and are divided into six categories:
International, Outdoors, Science, People, Apprenticeships,
Getaways. (Getaways are 2 to 4 day events that take place all over the country and don’t require an application)
VISIT A WORLD CENTER
England, Switzerland, India, and Mexico are homes to four centers run by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). There girls from around the globe can find out more about each other, the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movement, and the countries they are visiting. At times, the centers offer special programs, and the facilities provide inexpensive lodging for members of WAGGGS.
If rock climbing is your thing, maybe you want to take it to the next level with a destination like Ultimate Challenge or Sequoia National Park Multi-Sport Adventure. Or, if you’re up for the challenge, you can try something totally new!
Step 2: Look into fun itineraries
Travel planning means figuring out how you’ll get where you want to go, where you’ll stay, what you’ll eat, and the great places you’ll visit (as well as the best ways to get to them). Some people prefer jam-packed days full of activities; others like time for wandering around. Dig into itineraries to see what appeals most to you.
CHOICES – DO ONE:
Interview a travel agent or a tour operator. Ask how they organize itineraries, and get recommendations for at least three destinations that interest you. Take notes for reference, then, chat with friends and family about what kind of itinerary you prefer.
Tip:Get a professional opinion on how many activities you can comfortably fit into one day and truly have time to enjoy!
Check out at least two existing itineraries for the same trip.Books, magazines, websites, tour groups, exchange programs, and study-abroad organizations often create suggested itineraries. Collect two or more for a trip of at least two days and one night, and discuss them with friends and family. Which one sounds best to you? Why?
Make an itinerary for a place you know well.Figure out how you like to travel by suggesting activities for others to do and see in a place you know. Make an itinerary for at least two days and one night; then, show it to someone else who knows that area, and discuss what choices they’d make.
More to EXPLORE Pretend you’re A Girl Scout in 1980. Try this activity from their Traveler badge: Imagine you are a travel agent, and prepare the trips that will fulfill two requests listed below. Include where the people should go, how they will travel, and what they might see and do:
- “Plan a trip for me for two weeks to tow islands.”
- “Our Junior troop, which includes some girls in wheelchairs, wants to have a fun weekend nearby. Will you plan where we can go?”
- “I do not know where our family wants to go for our vacation. We have triplet girls, age 11. Could you plan a week filled with fun for our family?”
- “Where would you suggest I go on a three-day vacation? I want to know what exciting adventures you can plan for me.”
- “I want to be the first tourist on the moon. Please, prepare a travel brochure that will tell me about the ride, sights, food, and where I will stay.”
Step 3: Find out how to create a budget, including ways to travel inexpensively
It’s during the budgeting process when all the big ideas for a trip take concrete form; money matters require real juggling. The good news is that if you do your research, you’ll be surprised by the adventures available on any budget.
CHOICES – DO ONE:
Take two itineraries you looked at, and cost them out. Research transportation, admission, lodging, and food fees, and figure out exactly how much they will cost. What are some ways to cut costs = alternative activities, public transportation, free fun? Rewrite one itinerary to show how you could take a similar trip for half the cost.
Rewrite an itinerary for a budget-conscious traveler. Look at an itinerary for a trip abroad created for a luxury traveler. Now, find ways to cut costs. Look for budget trips – such as traveling during off-peak seasons and staying at youth hostels (or WAGGGS World Centers overseas!) – and discounts through travel books, magazines, and websites; and talk to seasoned travelers in your network.
Look into volunteer trips, travel scholarships, and working abroad. Some organizations pay for your travel in exchange for work in places throughout America and globally. There are travel opportunities through the Girl Scout destinations, the US government, and service organizations. While you may not be able to take advantage of these now, they’re great to consider for the future. Gather information about five opportunities for subsidized travel, and discuss them with friends and family.
A hostel is different from a traditional hotel. The rooms in a hostel are often shared with other travelers, which makes them much cheaper. Staying at a hostel can be a great way to meet girls from around the world. The Girl Scouts have partnered with Hostelling International to offer clean, inexpensive rooms and special travel and cultural education programs. To find out more, visit the Hostelling International USA website.
If you’re unsure how to pack, check out great packing information on the Girl Scout destinationswebsite.
When you’re on a trip, safety always comes first. Be sure to use the buddy system at all times, and always be alert and aware of your surroundings. Find a detailed list of tips on the Girl Scouts website.
TRAVELING ABROAD? Wear your World Association pin, which is recognized by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 145 countries.
TO PACK A DRESS FLAT
Fold sleeves and sides of skirt. Then fold at waist line. Creases show less there.
TO PACK SHOES
Stuff shoes with small articles. Use bags for shoes.
TO PACK SUITCASE
Pack heavy articles on bottom. Make smooth layers for folded garments. Needed things on top, if possible.
TO PACK TOILETRIES Use waterproof cases for damp things.
Step 4: Gain travel expertise before you go
Depending on where you’re going, being a savvy traveler can require new skills – before you go, and on the road. Practice one of these to get the hang of an important piece of travel expertise.
CHOICES – DO ONE:
Find out the nitty-gritty of visas and health requirements.Find out what you need to get a short-term travel visa, a student visa, and a working visa in three countries from different parts of the world. Look into specific vaccination or immunization requirements for those places.
FOR MORE FUN: Check out a passport application. Even if you don’t need one now, it’s a good idea to know the requirements.
Map it out.Get a map for a big city you’re interested in visiting, and pretend you’re trying to see five major landmarks in one day. How would you get from the airport to the city – or where could you park a car? Once you’re there, will you walk, take a bus or the subway, or drive? Check out schedules, fares, and fees to complete your research.
Learn at least 10 words or phrases in a new language.If you’re interested in a specific language, learn basic words and phrases, such as names of food; how to say “hello,” “good-bye,” “please,” and “thank you,” numbers; and how to get directions. Or find out how to say “hello” and “good-bye” in 10 different languages.
FOR MORE FUN: Find a way to use your new language in an activity with younger Girl Scouts, such as in a flag ceremony or a council-sponsored event.
The Global Travel Toolkit
Available at the Girl Scouts website, this toolkit has everything you need to know about travel. Many tips come in handy whether you’re traveling locally, nationally, or internationally. From deciding where to go to earning money to dealing with culture shock, this handy kit will help you make your trip smooth, safe, and informed.
More to EXPLORE: Pretend You’re a Senior in 1963. Try this activity from their “Project: Communications – Language.” Go on a “language” group camp weekend. Use your chosen language as the means of communication for the entire time you are away.
More to EXPLORE: Write a travel blog while you’re on the road. If you don’t have access to a laptop computer to take with you, write your entries in a journal and upload them when you get home. The best part of a blog is that it is a memory book to share.
Tips for Making the Most of a Great Hometown Trip
Not traveling far? That doesn’t mean you can’t have a totally new experience – and help others while you’re doing it. What about charging up your trip with one of these ideas? If you choose one of these, you don’t, also, need to make the memory from step 5 (but of course, you can if you’d like!):
· Collaborate with a local cable company, historical society, museum, library, or chamber of commerce to turn your trip into a tourism operation. Take video that advertises what’s great about your town, or post a travel blog for tourists.
· Plan a neighborhood walk or tour for younger girls. Include interesting places like an ethnic bakery or a toy store – and make it new for you. Ask local merchants to take you behind the scenes!
· Volunteer with an organization that helps people with disabilities to assist a person with special needs on a short day trip. Find out about facilities they may need, such as wheelchair ramps.
Step 5: Take your trip – and make a memory
You’ve explored what you need to know to make a trip a success – now, put it into action. Choose your destination and an itinerary for two days’ worth of activities that will fit your budget. Document your trip in one of these fun ways so you can share it with friends, family, and fellow Girl Scouts when you get home.
CHOICES – DO ONE:
Use the Girl Scout Travel Log. Available on the Girl Scouts travel website, this is a great resource to frame your trip. It helps you figure out more about yourself, think about what kind of culture you’ll encounter (and what culture even means), and it gives you ideas for when you get home. Even if you’re not going far, the log can help you make the most of your trip.
Choose a theme and take photos. How about a series of pictures of similar objects that you’ve encountered in various locations: different doors, wheels on various vehicles, anything sporting the color yellow? Or, what about how girls live? You’ll likely notice some differences – and similarities. Or take along something fun to photograph in different places – a gnome or your favorite SWAP! (You can get your photo essay published on the Girl Scouts website.)
Capture your trip on video.When you get home, edit your video into a travel documentary. It might include travel tips for other girls, interviews with people you met, and great shots that share a sense of scenery.
FOR MORE FUN: Have a screening for other Girl Scouts to inspire them to earn their Traveler badge.
|Aid worker||Ambassador||Art historian or curator|
|Book scout||Archaeologist||Exchange program coordinator|
|Diplomat||Cultural anthropologist||Foreign language teacher|
|Doctor||Documentary writer||Foreign service officer|
|Economist||FBI special agent||International business executive|
|Politician||Linguistics professor||International education specialist|
|Tour guide||Literary translator||Interpreter|
|Travel agent||Military officer||Peace Corps volunteer|
|Travel writer||Movie location scout||State Department employee|