Planning a school trip to Costa Rica involves several important paperwork and identification requirements to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Here's a comprehensive list of what you'll need:
Passports: All participants, including students, teachers, and chaperones, must have valid passports. Ensure that passports are not close to expiring; it's recommended that they are valid for at least six months beyond your return date.
Visas: Costa Rica generally allows tourists to stay for up to 90 days without requiring a visa, but this can vary by nationality. Check the specific visa requirements for your country and apply if necessary.
Travel Insurance: Purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen events. Make sure to carry physical copies of insurance cards and contact information.
Notarized Parental Consent Forms: If any students are traveling without their parents or legal guardians, you may need notarized parental consent forms granting permission for the child to travel with the school group. Check the specific requirements with your school and legal authorities.
Medical Information: Compile a list of students' medical conditions, allergies, and any required medications. Ensure that responsible adults (teachers or chaperones) have access to this information in case of emergencies.
Emergency Contacts: Maintain a list of emergency contact information for all participants, including parents, guardians, and school administrators. Share this list with relevant parties.
Travel Itinerary: Create a detailed travel itinerary that includes flight information, accommodation details, and planned activities. Share this itinerary with participants and school staff.
Photocopies of Documents: Make multiple photocopies of all important documents, including passports, visas, and insurance cards. Keep these copies separate from the originals.
Travel Authorization Letters: Some countries require travel authorization letters from the school or school district. Check with your school administration if such letters are necessary for your trip.
Money and Currency: Inform students and parents about the currency used in Costa Rica (Costa Rican Colón) and advise them to carry a small amount of local currency for small expenses.
Emergency Contact Information for Your Country's Embassy: Have the contact information for your country's embassy or consulate in Costa Rica in case you need assistance during your trip.
Luggage Tags: Ensure that all luggage is tagged with the name, contact information, and the name of your school to avoid mix-ups or loss.
Group Roster: Keep a roster of all participants, including students and adults, with contact details. Share this with your school and anyone responsible for the trip.
Travel Permissions: Confirm that you have written permission from your school or school district to conduct the trip, including the dates, itinerary, and purpose.
Customs Declarations: Familiarize yourself with customs regulations for Costa Rica and ensure that you are aware of any items that may require declarations or restrictions.
Remember that the specific requirements and recommendations may vary based on your school, the tour company you choose (such as Appleseed Expeditions), and the nature of your trip. Always communicate with your school administration, tour company, and local authorities to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork and identification in order well before your departure.