After what feels like a lifetime of studying for and sitting exams the one thing that all Leaving Cert students should have to look forward to is a sixth-year holiday.
Some might call it a right of passage for any teen before making the big cross-over from the school world into the real world. Of course, not everyone heads on an end-of-exams holiday and that’s perfectly fine. But if you are one of the lucky (or unlucky) ones heading abroad to celebrate the end of your school years with your closest pals, then you might want to read on.
You’ve chosen the perfect destination, have bought all of the new clothes your pocket money could stretch to, and now you’re just waiting for the big day to arrive. We’ve put together the ultimate checklist as your holiday draws nearer.
Bring Everything You Need
It can be tempting when packing to focus on the fun stuff like clothes and accessories and worry less about the more practical things like medicine and suncream. But, it’s important to consider those too. In the lead-up to packing, we recommend creating a checklist for the practical bits that you want to bring away with you. These things could and very likely will be a life-saver for you at some point down the line and you’ll be glad you packed them when you find yourself in a pinch hundreds of miles away from home. We’ve put together a general list for you to copy from.
- Medicines (painkillers, anti-histamines, contraceptive etc)
- Sun cream
- Plug adapter
Do some research beforehand
Before rocking up to a country you’ve never been to before, do some research on it. This includes important stuff like COVID regulations (which vary in each country) and general rules and regulations, such as public behaviour, what currency they use etc.
Then you can also research the more fun stuff, like activities to do in the area. Maybe there’s a boat trip you could pre-book for the day or a show you’d like to reserve tickets to. This will give your holiday more structure and ensure you don’t miss out on anything that might sell out.
Make your parents feel comfortable
It’s likely that your parents or guardians are feeling pretty nervous about you branching out like this for the first time, even if they haven’t mentioned it out loud. This is as new for them as it is for you, and you too may be experiencing feelings of nervousness being away from your family for the first time. To make this easier on all of you have a chat with your family and organise times you will call them, maybe it will be first thing in the morning, or maybe you’ll text them consistently throughout the day. Whatever arrangement you come to communication is key so that you can enjoy your trip without feeling too homesick and so your family also knows that you’re safe and happy.
Chat with your friends
Organise a sit-down chat with your friends in the run-up to your holiday. There’s going to be plenty for you all to discuss, from organising transport to plans for the trip. To avoid any miscommunication spend a day together going through the final details of the trip. These will include the small things like what time to meet in the airport, what everyone is packing, and what activities everyone would like to do.
If you’re traveling with a big group it’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to expectations for the trip. If one person is hoping for a chilled-out poolside type trip but another is looking for an action-packed sight-seeing few days, there may be some need for compromising. Hash everything out and come to an agreement beforehand so that when you land at your destination you can relax and enjoy yourself.
Let your hair down
This is a time for you to relax and unwind after a very deserving 6 years of studying and working hard. Take this as an opportunity to have fun, learn more about yourself, and prepare for whatever the next step in your life may be, whether it’s college or otherwise. Of course, it’s important to remain safe, never split up from your friends, always look out for one another and use this opportunity to make your relationship even closer.