1) Prior to your trip, try to figure out how much shampoo and conditioner you use in 3 weeks. Only bring that amount. This will help save room in your suitcase and save you from throwing anything out to make room for souvenirs.
2) Get a suitcase as large as you can while still keeping within airline restrictions. You will NEED any extra room you can get. Also, make sure your suitcase has wheels. Dragging around what feels like a 2 ton suitcase is no fun.
3) Bring as much money as possible. Personally, I think a credit card is the best bet. With the card I had, my parents could add money on from home if I needed it which made things much easier. Also make sure you have some cash on you. You never know when a store won't accept credit cards and you can't always count on an ATM machine popping up whenever you need it.
4) When on the plane, casually slip your pillow and perhaps blanket into your bag. The airlines will throw them out anyway so you might as well get some use out of them. Sleeping on the coaches can get very uncomfortable and a pillow will be a great asset.
5) Depending on what kind of photographer you are will make the amount of film you bring vary. I only took six 25-exposure rolls of film and 90 pictures with a digital camera, whereas some people took up to 24 rolls of film.
6) Many people say that putting your clothes in Ziploc bags or rolling them tightly helps prevent wrinkles and saves space. I did both and confirm these statements. By rolling the clothes and vacuum packing them in bags, much room is saved and the wrinkling is nowhere as bad as it could be. If you are desperately in need of an iron though, many hotels have them available.
7) One VERY important thing, in my opinion, is the need for batteries. My camera and CD player both took batteries and you don't want to run out. The coach rides can get very boring without music to listen to and how are you going to remember the time of your life without some visual aids.
**If you have gone on a People to People trip and have any other suggestions for making the trip easier, please email me and I'll be more than happy to put up your comments.
Below are the Lakes of Killarney. We spent a wet, but wonderful morning on the lakes and then continued the day with a jaunty car ride.