Travel Arrangements

It is the trip leaders responsibility to find a travel agent. Please let the Center for Study Abroad office know about your experiences with various travel agents. We are always looking for good ones and would like to stay away from problems.  A travel agent can help with airline reservations, ground transportation, accommodations or all of these.

In arranging air transportation, please be sure that all deadlines are clear; this includes deadlines for deposits, for surrendering seats without penalty, for final payment, itinerary changes, and penalties and costs for changes in tickets after these deadlines.  There may be students who wish to stay longer and will ask for changes in return dates. Please make sure that this is allowed by the airline.  It is typical for airlines to allow up to 20% of passengers to change.   DO NOT ALLOW STUDENTS TO CONTACT THE TRAVEL AGENT.  This leads to confusion, for you, the student, and the travel agent.

Consider the following in making airline reservations.

  • Can theyMix and Match (Open jaw routing)? Is the group able to travel into one city and return from a different city?
  • Are deviations permitted from different cities?  Is it possible to have individual students change their departure time and city?  It is typical that some students will want to change their return date and possibly city.  NEVER allow students to contact the travel agent.
  •  Special Requests.  Can we request advance seat assignments and special meal requests, etc?
  • Are deposits refundable? Deposit is all that is needed until ticketing. Typically we pay a $100 per student deposit that is refundable until 90 days prior to departure.
  • Can we cancel seats if numbers change, without penalty?

Caution:Always check baggage fees.  Even if there are no international fees there may be domestic fees, if you group is booked with two separate tickets.

Accommodation and ground transportation can be arranged by trip leaders or travel agents and should be reasonable in cost and appropriate for the group.

Booking Guidelines

Faculty are free to use any travel agent that they like.  Below are some suggestions.  (Note that we have not had experience with any of these at this time so would very much appreciate any feedback.)

For air travel only:

For Ground arrangements or entire trip:

 Bus in Europe
  • CarTours – For transportation in Spain and PortugalContact - David Silva, david@cartour.es.  Have used this company in Spain and Portugal with excellent results.
  • Global Passenger Network - contact Raquel Morcillo, raquel@gpn.travel.  This is an international association of Coach companies that should be able to help you with bus transportation in Europe.
Train in Europe

If you are going by rail in Europe or the British Isles we strongly suggest that you contact Alan R. Wissenberg ofEurAide(see below for address, etc).  Euraide is based in Munich Germany, but is run by Alan, who is VERY knowledgeable about rail travel.   He has put together several trips and has saved us somewhere between $200 and $250per student.  You can send him an itinerary via email and he will make suggestions and give you a cost estimate.  You can contact Alan at munichbased@yahoo.com.  Euraide's website offers good information about rail passes etc.: www.euraide.de/

NOTE: Alan is often very busy and difficult to contact.  URL: http://www.euraide.com/

  • It can be very difficult to find travel agents that meet our price demands.  They often want guides and 4* hotels when we often do not need guides and certainly do not need 4* hotels. This is particularly true in Europe.
  • Tour agencies in the country to which you are traveling tend to be much cheaper.  We have connections in some countries.
  • Be prepared to haggle.  If traveling to Europe you will probably need to do some of the arrangements on your own.
  • If the travel agent cannot meet your price, it may be best to make arrangements on your own.  It is more work, but is often much cheaper.
  • I would suggest that you pick two travel agents and see who can give you a better price and who is easiest to work with.  Travel agents also need to be flexible.  Often they are too rigid and will not listen our desires.
  • It is fine to do the land arrangements and the air travel with separate companies.
  • It may be hard to get bids on air travel from more than one company since they often have to reserve the space to get a quote.
  • You can begin making arrangements as soon as your trip is approved. It is best not to wait too late as prices increase as time before the trip decreases.
  • Do not forget food money for meals not covered by the tour company.  Please let us know about your experience with whom ever you work with.
  • Please try and be as economical as possible, while at the same time making sure that the students are comfortable.