Travel Resources for Exchange Visitors
If you plan on taking short trips during your program or want to plan a longer trip during the travel period after your program, the following resources may be helpful. For your safety and protection, contact InterExchange if you have questions about accident and sickness insurance, as you may want to maintain coverage during your travel period.
Travel & Tour Companies
The following is a short list of travel agencies specializing in student and/or cheap travel:
- Cheap Tickets 1.800.755.4333
- Expedia 1.800.397.3342
- Lowestfare 1.800.678.0998
- Orbitz 1.888.656.4546
- Student Universe 1.800.272.9676
- Travelocity 1.888.709.5983
The United States is also served by a number of competitively priced airlines that are sometimes not available through the above sites. To access fares for these airlines, you should use the airlines’ websites for the best rates or call the customer service numbers.
Some American customs may seem strange to people from other countries, but knowing about them may help you better adapt during your stay in the U.S.
- Being on time is important.
- Americans like privacy and personal space.
- Americans can be very direct and honest, even though it may seem rude to people from another culture.
- Americans ask about how your day is going without expecting an answer.
- Americans wait their turn in lines.
- Americans value independent thinking.
- Americans like to joke, smile and talk.
- Americans are very concerned with personal hygiene and cleanliness. It is not unusual for them to bathe one or even two times a day.
Feeling a little overwhelmed, tense and anxious by a new culture is a normal experience known as “culture shock.” If these emotions are affecting your everyday life and interfering with your work and social life, you may want to ask for help. Browse our recommendations for recognizing and dealing with culture shock during your time in the United States.
Plane, Train or Bus Travel
Traveling by Plane
You can purchase an Airpass from most major airlines. Airpasses are couponssold outside of the U.S. that give you anywhere from 3 to 10 flights within the continental U.S. Airpasses usually begin at around $400 for 3 coupons with the price increasing with each additional flight. They may be purchased either through a travel agency or directly from the airline.
Be sure to check with your airline on how many pieces of luggage you may bring, the size, and weight of those pieces and cost per bag. Please be aware that many airlines in the U.S. have started to charge for luggage on domestic flights. Contact your airline before you depart to find out the latest fees and restrictions.
- AirTran 1.800.247.8726
- Delta 1.800.221.1212
- Frontier 1.800.432.1359
- Jet Blue 1.800.538.2583
- Southwest 1.800.435.9792
- Spirit Airlines 1.800.772.7117
- United Air 1.800.225.5833
- US Airways 1.800.428.4322
Please note: Some discount tickets purchased through these companies may be nonrefundable. You also may have to pay a fee if you want to make any changes. Make sure to ask when you are purchasing the ticket if there are penalties for making changes.
Traveling by Train
Amtrak’s USARail Pass 1.800.USARAIL
For international visitors who want to see America up close, Amtrak’s USARail Pass lets you travel across the country, or in any of its regions for up to 15 or 30 days. In addition, you’ll get unlimited stopovers between your point of origin and your final destination.
Visit the Amtrak website for other passes and single train tickets across the United States.
Traveling by Bus
Travel by bus is a good way to see a lot of the country but it can take much longer than any other travel option. You can take overnight buses and save on the cost of a motel or hostel. Check companies’ websites for additional discounts available.
You have several options traveling by car: rental, drive-away and buying. You must have a driver’s license. No drive-away or rental company can issue you a car without a driver’s license!
Renting a car is an option available across the country. Many car rental companies require drivers to be at least 25 years old, and most charge a per-day surcharge for individuals under the age of 25. In all cases, you will need a major credit card to rent a car.
Popular Rental Car Agencies
- Advantage 1.800.777.5500
- Alamo 1.800.462.5266
- Avis 1.800.331.1212
- Budget 1.800.527.0700
- Hertz 1.800.654.3131
- National 1.800.328.4567
- Thrifty 1.800.367.2277
A drive-away company is then responsible for finding travelers like you to drive a vehicle from one point to another. This is an inexpensive way to travel by car, and a cheap alternative to car rental companies. You can find more drive-away companies through an online search engine.
Popular Drive-Away Companies:
- A Advantage Auto Transport 1.800.233.4875
- Auto Driveway Co. 1.800.346.2277
- Autolog 1.800.432.5182
During the travel period of your program you may choose to travel in the U.S. on your own itinerary. Below are some examples of popular websites you might find useful when planning your travels.
We recommend that you bring traveler’s checks with you in U.S. dollars. You can use them in almost any store, just like cash, but you will probably need your passport or some other ID. If they get stolen or lost, you can have them replaced, but only if you have the receipt(s).
Make sure you keep the receipts separate from the checks, and contact the company that issued the traveler’s checks immediately if your checks get lost or stolen.
Some issuers of Traveler’s Checks in the U.S.:
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