Preparing to Study Abroad – Ticket & Travel Tips

Written by jenmcclain May 14, 2018

In prepping for my very last minute decision to study abroad I learned some very interesting things I’d like to share with you.

I had a hard time committing to studying abroad, or even believing it was possible, so I did the six month planning guide in the three months prior to leaving. Believe me, it’s difficult to cram it into three months, but I always do things the hard way. Thankfully, I am very lucky to have an incredibly helpful and supportive family and three amazing universities offering assistance. So, here are some tidbits of information that you may find useful. 

Because of being a non-traditional student, over the age of 25, I didn’t qualify for the cheaper student tickets. I just searched different ticket vendors for the lowest prices. I found Google flights had the best prices that matched with appropriately timed flights (after work hours and no funky airport changes). I’m sure they were other options, but the flight I ended up choosing worked well for me.

Also, ticket prices fluctuate. I found they were at their lowest early in the week (Monday -Wednesday) and later in the month. I had only two months to monitor this, so the end of the month drop may have just been coincidence. 

Pay attention if you have layovers. If you end up hanging out somewhere for a little while it’s good to know things about where you will be waiting. Most importantly the currency. I know it’s difficult to exchange currency, but you might end up needing it for some food or water while you’re waiting. So it’s worth taking some, even if it is only a small amount. 

Lastly, make sure you understand what luggage each airline allows. For example, I had to pay lots of money at my flight changeover because I didn’t understand that a hold bag and a checked bag are the same thing (this being my first time flying long distance). My first flight allowed a free checked bag and a free carry on, but the second one charged for the checked bag (or hold bag). Paying for it in advance (when you buy the tickets or while your waiting for your new flight to arrive) is way easier than having to go through the bag check line twice. 

Hope these tips were helpful to you, and safe travels!