Two words: TSA PreCheck. PreCheck is an $85, five-year membership that gets you expedited screening in U.S. airport security lines, and hopefully soon to European security lines. What does that mean exactly? No more worries about body screenings, shuffling through luggages, and no more taking off shoes or sorting through which toiletries to toss out. An added bonus to PreCheck is Global entry, which gives travelers the ability to quickly pass through U.S. customs for an extra $15.
Aside form all the big websites including, Kayak, Expedia, Cheap O’ Air, we like to use the lesser known but equally economic sites like The Flight Deal, Fareness, Airfarewatchdog, Skyscanner, and Concorde. These sites offer budget-friendly wholesale deals, sometimes even offering last minute and daily deals. We can help you with flight information as a Campus Abroad traveler.
Check your phone carrier’s international plan and data rates. Verizon is a top competitor that provides incomparable data plans abroad. The Google’s Project Fi features also allows Android phones to work abroad—in 135 countries—in much the same way as they would at home. If you are running out of options with your carrier, you can always buy a portable Wi-Fi hotspot like Skyroam to keep in on you at all times.
The last thing you need to worry about while traveling abroad is calling your credit card company. You want to make sure that you have 24/7 access to your money, credit card or debit card wherever you are on the days you are traveling. CNTraveler writes a story about Cynthia Drescher’s deep dive into the latest changes to travel-friendly credit cards, with its perks, of course.
Apps like TripIt. LoungeBuddy. SeatGuru. GateGuru. Google Translate. Mobile Passport. We all can use a personal itinerary/organizer that will help us manage our time through our trip, Camp Counselors and Schedules or not. These apps are an addition to having it all on your mobile device, right in your hand.
Copy the page with all your information in your passport. In fact, make more than one copy and keep them in places where you have your belongings. Clearing ID and passports are the number one duties of travelers, but sometimes we forget to bring them along when we step out of the house, hotel, or cafe. In dire instances like this, its always helpful to have a copy on hand.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recommendations for vaccines you should get before you head abroad. The sites also list other health related concerns and questions pertaining to regular and unique issues.
Contact your medical insurance provider to know if your policy covers overseas emergencies. You should take into consideration the amount of time you will be traveling, where you will be, and what you will be doing. It is easy to add supplemental plans and we can help you with these.
After you create a travel alert through your bank and credit card companies, you want to make sure to research exchange rates. We can help with this as well but apart of the experience is to get you to manage your finances wisely and efficiently. Research what banks are in the area you will travel to, and what cards are or are not accepted in which countries.