Safety and Important Documents:
Register your trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows US citizens and residents to enroll their trip with the nearest Embassy or Consulate. By registering, STEP will provide you with travel warning and safety conditions in your destination country and help you contact family and friends in case of an emergency.
Find information regarding passports, visas and other necessary travel documents on the US State Department site for student travelers.
Travel Preparation and Planning:
- Make multiple copies of all your important documents that you plan to travel with, including passport, drivers license, student ID, visa documents, debit cards and credit cards. Give 1 copy to someone you are close to (parents, roommate, siblings) for safekeeping and another in a safe space once you reach your destination. Include a list of important phone numbers: local police, debit and credit card, nearest US Embassy, etc.
- Don’t forget to notify your bank and credit card companies of your departure.
- Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your planned return date.
- Don’t travel with too much money on you.
Packing your carry-on luggage:
Prepare for the unexpected by packing your carry-on luggage with all of essentials:
- All prescription and over the counter medications.
- Anything valuable (jewelry, laptops, tablets).
- Extra clothes.
- Important documents.
- Information regarding your destination.
- Phone/laptop chargers.
- Some toiletries (Note: Airlines restrict liquids to 3oz. or under).
- Empty water bottle that you can fill up once past security.
Smart Phone Travel Apps:
Planning to bring your smart phone? Consider the following apps:
- FlightTrack- follows flight paths and detailed info including departure gates and delays.
- XE Currency- currency converter.
- Packing Pro- helps you pack the essentials.
- Tipulator- calculate the appropriate amount to tip wherever you are in the world.
- Skyscanner- for booking flights.
- Hostelworld- for booking budget hotels and hostels.
- PinPin ATM finder- helps you find ATMS in over 220 countries.
For more options, check out Time Out's Best 50 Apps for Travel.
Travel Credit Cards:
Travel credit cards often offer rewards such as frequent flyer miles, cash back, and no transaction fees. If you are interested in traveling with a travel specific credit card, be sure to do your research! Credit cards will charge monthly interest and may charge a once a year user fee. For more information on travel credit cards, take a look at:
Travel Websites and Blogs:
Below are some websites that offer travel packages, flights, accommodations, and include information regarding site seeing, activities, and restaurants.
Lonely Planet also has an extensive collection of in-depth travel guides.
Adjusting to other cultures and places can be stressful, consider a Guide to Living Abroad.
Consider a copy The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking and How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter by Nomadic Matt.
Other Helpful Websites:
This listing does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation.