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We at the Office of International Education and Programs want to make sure that our students are as informed as possible. This includes providing you with tips and suggestions from students who have previously studied abroad with us. Below you'll find an ongoing collection of resources grouped by:

GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS

  1. Do your research - Visit the U.S. Department of State's website about travel abroad as a U.S. citizen. It would also be a good idea to read the country-specific recommendationsfor your travel destination.
  2. Health check - When traveling to different regions of the world, it never hurts to check the health precautions outlined by the World Health Organization, organized by country. The Center for Disease Control website is another great resource.
  3. Make copies of everything - Make 2-3 copies of important documents like your passport, visa, insurance cards, etc. If anything happens to these documents, you'll be glad you have copies! Leave a copy at home with your parents and carry a couple copies in various places in your luggage just in case!
  4. Write contact information on paper - It is important to write phone numbers, emails, addresses, etc. down on a piece of paper and carry it with you. This will be very important if your phone or computer is ever lost or stolen. Make an extra copy and keep copies in different places throughout your luggage.
  5. Tipping - This custom differs based on country, service, and more. It is best to do a quick search and read about the customs in your destination country before arriving.
  6. Ask at the hotel - The staff at your hotel/hostel can be an amazing resource. They will probably have extra maps, coupons, and suggestions for your trip. Ask them about restaurants, directions, tours, and more!

AIR, RAIL, BUS, and TRAVEL COMPANIES 

General Low-Cost Airlines in Europe
  • EasyJet: One of the low-cost airlines operating in Europe. Visit their website for an interactive map of the routes offered. Though the flights can be a good deal, especially when purchased in advance, be aware of the restrictive baggage policy.
  • RyanAir: Another low-cost airline operating throughout Europe. The website features an interactive map to help plan your trip. Again, make sure that you read the baggage policies, as this company tends to be very strict and the penalty fees can be very expensive.
  • WizzAir: Features an interactive map to help plan your trip. There is also a page with helpful information and travel conditions. Read up on the baggage policy to make sure to avoid any delays or fees when traveling.
  • Vueling: Another company offering low-cost flights across Europe. Check out the map of destinations and the baggage policy on their website.

International Bus Travel

  • Eurolines: An international bus company that offers bus travel throughout Europe. This company offers a Eurolines Pass, which is a 15-day pass allowing travel between 50 different cities across Europe, handy for a vacation or a couple weeks spent exploring.
  • Megabus: This company is less spread out, but does service Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands at a low-cost.
  • iDBus: This low-cost bus company services various cities throughout France, Belgium, and Northern Italy. A few select cities like Barcelona, London, and Amsterdam are also included.
  • Student Agency: This Czech company offers low-cost bus travel throughout Eastern Europe.

International Train Travel

  • RailEurope: Helps you find the right rail companies and tickets to accommodate your international travel. In some cases you may need tickets with more than one company in order to complete your journey due to service boundaries.
  • SNCF: This company services mainly France, but ventures into Northern Italy and the U.K. Be sure to book in advance for better rates. For a one-time fee of 50 Euro you will have access to reduced rates throughout the year.

SMARTPHONE INFO + APPS

  • AT&T: The global section of AT&T's website is a very helpful resource when it comes to figuring out what will be your best bet while traveling abroad.
  • T-Mobile: T-Mobile has some international plans accessible in certain countries. Check this website to find out if your study abroad destination is one of these countries.
  • Verizon Wireless: According to Verizon, you can use this interactive Trip Planner to help determine the global services you'll need and see if your device is covered while abroad. This lays out prices and services.

Helpful Apps for Smartphones

Accommodations

  • HostelWorld: Quick and secure way to book a place to stay while on the go. Search 35,000 properties in over 6,000 destinations worldwide- including more economic options like hostels, perfect for students.

Airline and Rail Travel

  • SkyScanner: Compares the complete price, including taxes and fees. 
  • GateGuru: Flight and airport information to manage your travel day. Real-time flight status with push notifications along with airport content specifically customized to your itinerary.
  • TSA App: 24/7 access to airport security information and helpful tips to prepare for security before getting to the airport, including knowing what items can and can't go through security in checked or carry-on baggage.
  • JetLag App: Helps reduce the symptoms of jet lag. Just fill in your departure and arrival information and you will receive your jet lag reducing advice.
  • EuRail App: You can map routes and see at which stops trains should be - without connecting to the internet.

Banking and Currency

  • LifeLock: Electronic copy of your banking cards and personal information, credit card balances, tracking updates, etc.
  • XE Currency: Offers live proprietary currency rates, charts, and even stores the last updated rates.
  • Tipulator: A tip calculator to help split bills and tips while also explaining the customary tipping rules for specific locations abroad.

Communication

  • Whats App: Allows you to text and talk for free as long as there is wi-fi.
  • Viber: Allows you to talk and text for free between smartphone with wifi, but also between a smartphone and a computer, or just between two computers.
  • Text Now: Can call anyone in your contacts after watching ads, always free to text when there is wi-fi available.
  • Skype: Free chat (text, voice, and video) and call landlines at cheap rates.

Language and Translation

  • Jibbigo: A voice translation app that you can use online or offline. Translate your speech or text into 20+ languages.
  • TripLingo: Learn essential phrases (in four slang levels!), translate your voice or connect to a live translator, and get a crash course on the local culture.
  • RadioLingua: Offers quick lessons in more than 20 languages.
  • DuoLingo: Completely free, without ads or hidden charges- have fun while learning by leveling up and competing with friends.

Maps

  • CityMaps: Detailed offline maps, travel content, popular places, and tips.
  • HopStop: Detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions, real-time transit information, official transit maps, nearby station search, and station-to-station schedules in over 600 cities throughout the world.

Packing

  • PackingPro: An app that shows the seasons, weather, and fashion to wear in specific countries.
  • TripList: Helps make packing lists and to-do lists for your travels.

Safety

  • Travel Safe Pro: List of nearest consulates and their contact numbers as well as common local emergency numbers like police, fire, and medical help.
  • ASAPP SOS: Provides students traveling in more than 18 countries with the ability to notify emergency contacts, services or help with only one touch.

Tourism and Leisure

  • AroundMe: Allows you to search for the nearest restaurants, banks, gas stations, book and hotel or find a movie schedule nearby.
  • Viator: Helps you to find tours and day trips in your new destination.
  • FoodSpotting: A visual guide to good food and where to find it. Find the specific dishes you crave and the best restaurants for them.