Travel Checklist and Tips


Bring with you:

  1. Passports

  2. Emergency phone numbers

  3. Cellphones/electronics/chargers

  4. Medicines

  5. Credit cards /Cash

  6. Money for tips in cash ($80/person) – Anna will collect in Chicago

  7. One extra set of clothes in the carry-on; keep personal items and change of clothes close by

  8. Bring a purse or travel handbag (pick-pocket proof bag is highly recommended)

  9. Suitcase: please pack light; bring layers and comfortable clothing/shoes. Keep space for souvenirs; bring light jacket (poncho too)


On the Airplane:

  1. Get some sleep, please

  2. Get up and walk once every two-three hours, if possible

  3. Keep personal items close by

  4. Drink plenty of water; avoid caffeine, eat lightly


Passport Control and Customs:

  • We will proceed in this order when arriving at our first “port of entry” or when returning to the U.S.: Passport Control first, then Baggage Claim, then Customs.

  • All group members need to stay together as we go through passport control.

  • During passport control: go to the line that says: NON-EU members; purpose of the trip – tourism, visiting, staying for 5 days; going to Odorhei in Transylvania.

  • Group members traveling without both parents: only show notarized parent authorization form for traveling, if passport control asks for it. Otherwise, no need to show this.

  • Group members should not have anything to declare. The line says “Nothing to declare” (green line).

  • Wait for everyone to get suitcases  go together to the bus and meet tour guide.

  • On the way home, U.S. citizens must “declare” if they are bringing home + $700 worth of goods. Each traveler will need to fill out a customs form; flight attendants will distribute these on the plane.

On the road:

  • Please, NEVER BE LATE. Bus traffic/parking is strictly regulated in European cities, and the fines are huge.

  • Keep our driver and tour guides happy by being cordial, and pay attention/listen during guided tours.

  • Make a passport check part of your routine every time you board the coach for the day.

  • Communicate with Anna or tour guide if need extra time or have special needs/circumstances.

  • Have extra toiletries/sanitary products on hand at all time (tissues/TP). Some WC (bathroom) conditions might not be as they are in the US.

  • Keep a travel journal. Read & write during longer bus journeys. You will be glad you did it, one day.

  • Keep emergency phone numbers with you at all times.

  • Keep valuables in the hotel safe (or give to Anna to keep in her home).

  • Watch out for pickpocketing – please do not talk to strangers. There will be Roma children asking for money and following you if you make eye contact or talk to them. PLEASE do not talk to them or give money.

  • Always wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Try to blend in with the local culture.

  • Children should ALWAYS be close to their parents. Discourage "sensory deprivation" (i.e., iPods, shades, baseball caps) under most circumstances. Encourage kids to be “socially accessible” and to soak up every sight and sound while on foreign soil.


In the Hotel:


  • All group members need to know their room number.

  • Electricity: adapters and converters needed, make sure you check voltage.

  • Rest, when we are back at the hotel.

  • Exhausted kids sleep through guided tours and beautiful countryside. Please encourage “lights out” for your child(ren) by a particular hour.

  • Check-out: please be on time and ensure you take everything that belongs to you.

  • Hotel elevator and stairwells are often no wider than you are. If a hotel has no elevator, people have to carry their own bags to their rooms, so please pack light.

  • Laundry services will be available in Odorhei, Romania (on May 29/30).


  • Beware: Many Europeans understand English -- though they may not talk to us. They are also as adept as anyone when it comes to reading non-verbal cues and messages. Be conscious of how you act, of the space you occupy, of the volume you generate. Keep in mind, in Europe, there is no such thing as ‘personal space’.

  • Be patient and accept long lines, crowdedness, no air conditioning, and lack of personal space. Just go with the flow!

  • Make an attempt to speak their language, and remember that a simple smile goes a long way.

  • At the very least, make it a point to greet shopkeepers/bus drivers in their language. We will learn a bit of both Hungarian and Romanian as we go along.

  • Please, please, to your children about not being fussy eaters while on tour.

  • Encourage them to try new things and I guarantee you that they will love it.


Final thoughts:

  • Please be patient with people and different situations. Learn to laugh at those situations that test your patience and resolve, and you will have the time of your life!

  • Model a “travel attitude.” This is group travel; if something goes ‘not as scheduled’, don’t get upset; instead, just go with the flow.

  • Educate yourself and your children about where we are traveling and what is happening in that part of the world. Encourage them to buy maps, kids’ travel journals, etc., so they can follow the route we are taking. Both the libraries and Barnes and Noble has wonderful travel books about Romania and Hungary.

4 Months Before the Trip

  • Traveler Profile Form and Health and Medical Form– please complete and submit these forms for each individual traveler. Please submit this form to Anna, no later than March 12th, 2019.  

  • In preparation for the trip, please ensure that you have a valid passport.  It is important that your passport does NOT expire before December 5, 2019 (6 months after the trip).  If your passport expires before this date, please apply for a new passport at this time. 

  • If you do not have a current passport for yourself or any of your family members, please apply for a passport book at this time. Passport cards are not accepted in Europe, so make sure that you apply for a passport book.

  • If you do not hold a US passport, please contact Anna, so that we can ensure that you do not need special travel visas into Romania or Hungary.

1 Month Before the Trip


Ensure the following forms are completed, signed and turned in to Anna Newton, no later than April 30, 2019.

Emergency Form Envelope– this will be collected at our mandatory pre-departure meeting, on April 30th.  In this envelope, please include:


  1. Two (2) passport size photos for each individual traveling on this trip.

  2. Copy of your health insurance card.  This card copy should be readable and clear.

  3. Please be prepared to complete a Parental Authorization Form for students who are traveling without one of the parents. 

  4. Local Guide(s) and Bus Driver Tips – please include cash in the envelope - $70 per person to cover the tips for bus driver(s) and local guides.


Traveler Health and Medical Information– this is a health questionnaire and medical profile form. The form contains a request to fill out emergency contact names, phone numbers, allergies, prescriptions and has an area to complete requests for special needs. You can download this form here, or on our Forms and Resources section of the website.


If minors are traveling alone or only with one parent:

Both Hungary and Romania requires that minors (anyone under the age of 18) present a Parental Authorization Format the airport, indicating that the participant has permission to travel with the group, if both parents are not present on the trip.  

A parent or guardian must complete the form and have it notarized no earlier than 30 days prior to departure. The form can be downloaded here, or on our Forms and Resources section of the website.

Mandatory Pre-Departure Meeting on Tuesday, April 30th at 5 pm at EDS.