The basics
STUDY ABROAD : Before you leave - Must read

Flying abroad w/ StudentUniverse

An introduction to StudentUniverse and how they can help you arrange your flights abroad....

Flying abroad with Student Universe
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Get your promo discount: You can save an extra $25 off an international flight when you use the promo code: GOA25. Click here to get your discount today.

 

 

Booking your flight:

 

 

 

1) Searching and booking flights

 

When planning your trip abroad, it is crucial to allow yourself enough time to compare flights and find the best deals. Here is a list of tips and suggestions on how to get the best price on flights:

 

  • Use StudentUniverse when booking your flight. They negotiate prices with airlines that don’t fluctuate as much as they do on other travel booking sites — their airfare prices look more like a straight line than the market prices.

 

  • Start searching 60-90 days in advance as prices tend to increase after this timeframe. If you leave booking until the last minute, you could be spending significantly more than you would have if you had planned accordingly.

 

  • Play with your departure and arrival dates using their flexible booking function, which allows you to compare flights 3 days before and after the dates you put in the search box. Generally, flights departing on Tuesday and Wednesday tend to be less expensive, flights departing on Friday and Sunday tend to be more expensive, and flights departing on Monday, Thursday and Saturday are in the middle.

 

  • Be flexible about your departure and arrival times as oftentimes you’ll find cheaper flights in the early morning, late evening or overnight. You can adjust these times using our search tool.

 

  • Be proactive about what day and time you compare flights. As a general rule, Tuesday afternoon tends to show the cheapest flights, so you should look during that time to see if any prices have changed.

 

  • Flying during the holidays can be tricky, but one way to get cheap flights is to fly on the holiday itself. Flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas rather than the few days before could save you hundreds of dollars.

 

  • If you don’t have a lot of time to compare flights for your trip, you can sign up for fare alerts to let you know when prices drop. With fare alerts, you are able to set your desired travel period and destinations and will receive an email when the cheapest airline tickets become available.

 

 

 

2) Before departure

 

You can never be quite prepared enough for everything that awaits you in a foreign country, but be sure to check out these tips to get you ahead of the game!

 

  • Obtain or update a passport and make sure all your paperwork is in order.

 

  • Keep up to date with the currency exchange; you might be surprised at how much you’re really going to spend.

 

  • Watch the news for any updates that may pertain to you about where you are going.

 

  • All your paperwork for flights and itinerary should be on hand at the airport and during your trip over.

 

  • Let multiple people know where you are arriving to and where you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

 

  • Make sure all your courses, flights, housing and itinerary are established and secured before leaving.

 

  • Check with your bank about overseas rates and check to find a local bank close to your American university.

 

 

 

3) Packing

You’ve made it through all the applications, bought your tickets, and found out where you will be living. But, what will you bring?

The answer is you’ll probably want to take all your prized possessions with you to your new home, but heavy and multiple bags mean more fees. It's most likely smarter to pack light, and shop for essentials in your new home.

 

 

Once you’ve decided the most important items to take with you, it’s time to start packing. Place the heaviest items (such as shoes, books, and of course, clothing) at the bottom of your suitcase, which equalizes the weight when it is scaled. Roll up your clothes into compact pieces instead of folding them. This will maximize space (and prevent creasing and wrinkling) and help you better organize your suitcases. Stuff socks and underwear into the shoes you pack, which should go in the side pockets of the bag to save room. Wear layers when you travel to reduce what needs to be packed.

 

Use a scale to weigh your bags before you leave for the airport. If you are unable to fit everything into your bags and can’t bear to leave certain items behind, arrange to have them shipped. What may not fit in the bags you will check in can also be placed in the carry on. In your carry on bag, keep items such as medication, money, travel documents and keys there.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of items that goes beyond the basics, which you may not have considered:

 

  • A travel adapter/converter
  • Space-saver bags
  • Baby powder/dry shampoo
  • Microfiber towel
  • Eye mask/earplugs
  • Travel-size toiletries
  • Carry on size weekend travel bag
  • Sling-over (cross-body) purse/money belt
  • Backpack/book bag
  • Durable water bottle/coffee mug
  • Your favorite snacks from your native country
  • Copies of all important documents
  • A start-up amount of currency

 

No matter what, in the end the key is to pack light! Happy packing!

 

 

 

 

 

4) Tips for a long flight

Whether it’s your first time headed overseas, or you’re familiar with the journey, venturing to the United States involves a physically and mentally exhausting flight to get there. We’ve created a list of tips to help ease the hardships of a long flight and make your journey as comfortable as possible. Get ready to sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!

 

Pre-flight

What to pack

  • Travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Refreshing face mist
  • Empty water bottle to fill once past security
  • Snacks with high protein and low salt
  • Fuzzy socks or slippers
  • Neckroll pillow
  • Eye mask and earplugs
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Entertainment (laptop, iPad, e-reader, etc.) and portable charger
  • Pen for customs forms

 

What to wear

  • Comfortable loose-fitting clothes
  • Shoes you can slip off easily
  • Dress in layers to be ready for changes in climate and in-flight temperature
  • Large scarf that can double as a blanket
  • Avoid tight socks that can restrict circulation

 

How to prepare

  • Make a playlist of songs that will help you fall asleep
  • A few days prior to your trip, adjust your sleep pattern to be closer to your destination time zone
  • Fully charge all of your electronic devices
  • Take extra vitamin C and B-complex vitamins to boost your immune system
  • Eat a healthy meal before your flight
  • Use the restroom right before your flight

 

In-flight

  • If possible, choose a seat at the front or rear of your section for more leg room
  • Boost circulation by walking to the bathroom frequently
  • Use hand sanitizer to clean your seat area
  • Drink 8 oz of water every hour and avoid caffeinated beverages to prevent dehydration

 

 

 

Post-flight

  • Drink as much water as possible to rehydrate
  • Walk outdoors to stretch, aid circulation, and get fresh air

 

 

 

5) Explore your new home

With StudentUniverse’s student travel deals you can go further and get the most out of your time abroad. You'll find all the resources you need to make the most of your next trip right here. As a member (membership is free) you will get special travel deals from their partners including student flights, cheap hotels, tour packagesactivities, and more.

 

Student flights

StudentUniverse negotiates with over 70 airline partners to get special student flight discounts because you're a niche group. Compare flights using our search tool to see where we can take you within your budget. There is no other point in your life where you can travel as freely around the US and have it be so affordable to explore new destinations, so take advantage of these deals on domestic flights!

 

 

Cheap hotels

Exploring the United States is also cheaper thanks to our deals on hotels. Members save up to 40% off the retail price of their hotel room! So go beyond experiencing your university’s city—get out there and take weekend trips to new US cities without breaking the bank.

 

 

Tour packages

StudentUniverse group tours take the stress out of planning student travel as your itinerary is pre-organized by expert local guides, and many include both food and lodging. Group adventures are a great option for students who want a very on-the-go and active trip that allows you to get the most out of every minute. You also get the opportunity to meet like-minded travellers who you normally would not get to meet if you had planned a trip on your own. America’s National Parks tours are a great way to explore the natural wonders of the United States!

 

 

Activities

There are cool things to do all over the US, whether it's for your next big trip or right in your backyard. From city tours to pub crawls and zip lining, experience student deals worth sharing. Pre-purchasing your activities allows you to get discounted rates that you normally cannot get when purchasing the same activity on the spot. Sightseeing and city passes are a great option to explore the highlights of your new city!

 

 

Travel insurance

You never know what could happen when you travel abroad, so it's important to protect yourself. StudentUniverse’s travel insurance gives you peace of mind knowing they’ll have your back. They’ll help you with incidents before, during and after your trip, no matter how big or how small. Who could you call if something were to go wrong?

 

 

 

6) Preparing for return

So you have just spent the semester or year in the United States where you mastered the language, immersed yourself in the local culture, saw some pretty amazing sights, and gained a whole new perspective about yourself and the world. Kudos to you for making the most of your time in the States! Now that your classes are coming to an end, you are due to fly back home shortly and are excited to see your family after months of being apart. You look at your closet and the various souvenirs and objects you’ve collected since you arrived overseas. You’re thinking how the heck am I going to fit all this into my luggage?

 

 

Start planning

Packing takes planning and time. Don’t start two hours before you get on the plane! You will most likely pack and repack until you are satisfied before having your bulging baggage closed, zipped up and ready to go. Give yourself at least a day to start placing things into your suitcases and give yourself a few more days before that to throw out items, clean up your room or apartment, and decide how to fit everything into your bags.

Fortunately, packing for your return is much easier than when you initially departed to study. Instead of deciding what to bring and how much, you have to think about how to fit your belongings into your luggage and what you need and don’t need to bring home. You can store some of your items at your university or at an off-campus storage unit if you will need them again for next semester. Most international airlines allow two suitcases weighing up to 70 kilograms. They will slap you with hefty fees for going over the weight limit, so bear that in mind as well.

 

 

Advice on packing

First of all, decide what to leave behind: it is advisable to leave items such as shampoo, soap and other toiletries. They take up unnecessary space in your bags and you will likely have all of the essentials ready for you at home. If you wore out a shirt or a pair of shoes, throw them out especially if you went shopping at American stores and bought new ones to replace them. Don’t hold on to anything that is not essential.

 

For more advice on how to pack, refer to “3: Packing” for reminders on how to maximize space in your suitcase, where to place each item, and what to do if something can’t fit in your suitcase.

 

 

 

Take a break, book a student fare

StudentUniverse is the world’s leading student and youth travel booking site offering exclusive discounts on flightshotelstours and group travel. Their unique pricing and terms are negotiated with a network of world-class global partners specifically for their student demographic.

 

To book one of their special student fares, StudentUniverse have to verify your student status. The process is automatic, but occasionally they do need to see a class schedule, copy of a student ID card or other documents to help confirm. Becoming a member is free. Plus they don't require members to purchase a student ID card unlike other companies.

 

Every year, StudentUniverse allows thousands of students and youth to go further and spend less. Students save off the retail value of flights from their already low prices as well as promo codes for different dollar amounts off certain flights. They help international students travel to the U.S., explore their new country, visit home during breaks and return at the end of the semester.

Planning on making your first flight booking on StudentUniverse? Lucky you! You can save an extra $25 off an international flight with use of promo code: GOA25**

 

 

 

                                               

Origin

 

                                               

 

                                               

Destination

 

                                               

 

                                               

One Way

 

                                               

 

                                               

Santa Cruz

 

                                               

 

                                               

Miami

 

                                               

 

                                               

$294*

 

                                               

 

                                               

Lisbon

 

                                               

 

                                               

Boston

 

                                               

 

                                               

$317*

 

                                               

 

                                               

Guatemala City

 

                                               

 

                                               

New York

 

                                               

 

                                               

$361*

 

                                               

 

                                               

Seoul

 

                                               

 

                                               

San Francisco

 

                                               

 

                                               

$430*

 

                                               

 

                                               

Auckland

 

                                               

 

                                               

Los Angeles

 

                                               

 

                                               

$554*

 

                                               

 

*Total price includes taxes and fees. Discounts are based on searches done in the last 14 days for one way flights to the US departing between 06/01/2015 - 8/31/2015.

 

**GOA25 Promo Code Terms: The promotion code entitles you to a $25 discount on the purchase of one(1) airline ticket at StudentUniverse.com. Valid only for one way flights departing from outside the US and arriving in the US. Offer not valid on hotels, activities, rail passes, insurance, car rentals or previously booked flights. Promotion Code is limited to a one-time use only per person. Only verified members are eligible to purchase. This promo code can only be used by new members. Coupons/Discounts cannot be combined with any other offer. Discount will not be applied to taxes and fees.

 

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About Author

Flying abroad with Student Universe

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.