60 Links Every Student Traveler Needs

Seeing as how college is (ostensibly) all about racking up an education, life experiences, and intimate knowledge of how to not get scurvy from subsisting entirely on packaged ramen, it’s an appropriate enough time to get up and get traveling. Finances and schedules, however, mean students face their own unique set of globetrotting challenges. The following links prove a useful start to learning about navigating the ensuing challenges and enjoying everything the crazy, amazing world harbors.

Gear and Tools

  1. Google Maps

    Students equipped with Internet access merely need to call up Google Maps and search for pretty much anything they need to do and anywhere they need to go. Just jot down directions if a printer or smartphone are unavailable. Pens and pencils aren’t terrifying, y’all.

  2. Craigslist

    One must always practice caution when shopping or meeting online, of course, but Craigslist does host some great deals on useful travel supplies. Lucky visitors might also find some last-minute deals on local events, so keep checking!

  3. One Bag, One World

    Traveling light saves time and money, leaving room in the suitcase for family and friend gifts, and this site bursts with information on doing it right.

  4. Practical Travel Gear

    The top-ranked travel gear website helps wanderlusty students make the best choices when it comes to selecting the necessities – and maybe some of the luxuries, too!

  5. Travel Tools from GoFox.com

    Bookmark GoFox.com’s massive collection of tools, which cover pretty much everything from currency and electricity conversions to what documents globetrotters require in what nations.

  6. Overstock.com

    Both travel gear and travel packages are available at this wildly popular discount site, which provides the cash-strapped with chances to pay less than retail on almost anything they could need.

  7. TravLang

    Yes, the site looks like it stepped out of 1994, but that doesn’t diminish its usefulness any. Before visiting a nation with a different linguistic tradition, get familiar with the most common phrases travelers will probably need. With over 80 to choose from, chances are the majority of visitors find what they need.

  8. RetailMeNot.com

    RetailMeNot.com posts coupons from online stores, so make sure to browse their deals prior to making any commitments to specific outlets or supplies.

  9. Yelp

    If visiting one of the available countries, hop on to see what locals and travelers alike have to say about the different sights, sounds, and tastes available in the neighborhood before heading out.

  10. Consumer Reports

    While not devoted exclusively to travel goods and services, checking Consumer Reports before purchasing will help one pick out the most affordable, reliable products.

General Travel

  1. Travel & Cultures at National Geographic

    National Geographic’s Travel & Cultures website showcases amazing stories and photos from around the world, helping students discover peoples and places they might want to someday experiences.

  2. Worldwide Tipping Guide at Magellan’s

    Regardless of whether or not one’s budget is a concern (some rare and lucky college kids enjoy the luxury of no fiscal constraints), understanding local tipping customs remains key in order to avoid a serious social faux pas.

  3. Student Travel Guide at About.com

    About.com hosts a site for pretty much every other subject out there, so of course travel information pertinent to student interests would make an appearance at some point.

  4. TripAdvisor

    The consumer-oriented TripAdvisor offers up globetrotters a chance to rate their experiences with lodgings, transportation, restaurants, and local attractions in the interest of organizing the safest, happiest, most cost-effective trip possible.

  5. Lonely Planet

    With forums, online and print guides, articles, and plenty more valuable resources, Lonely Planet is one of the leaders in helping travelers cobble together their dream journeys.

  6. Frommer’s

    As with Lonely Planet, Frommer’s also dishes out more or less all the things travelers of all types need to know, with amazing resources available online and off.

  7. Where I’ve Been

    Popular as a Facebook application, Where I’ve Been has expanded its offerings to include online scrapbooks and story sharing in addition to the original interactive map.

  8. Cool Travel Guide

    Everything featured on Cool Travel Guide relates back to the title – author Laura Dunston delves deeply into the magic and wonder of drinking up the world’s amazing sights.

  9. The Travel Channel

    It might not always offer up the most student-friendly advice and suggestions, but that doesn’t mean this site (and its shows) can’t entertain and educate college kids about all things travel.

  10. Trek Hound

    Trek Hound targets “independent travelers” by sharing stories, photos, advice, and anything else student globetrotters will find both engaging and useful.

On the Cheap

  1. Budget Travel

    This venerable magazine, blog, and guidebook series delivers exactly what its title promises – amazing advice on enjoying the world’s bounty without hemorrhaging money.

  2. STA Travel

    Seeing as how STA Travel caters exclusively to students (and faculty to a lesser extent), it would behoove the globetrotting collegiate to check out the site and see what’s available within their budget. Be sure to check their safe hostel guide and pick up a discount card for savings at restaurants and notable landmarks around the world.

  3. Orbitz

    Before flying home or across the ocean, compare fees at no cost with one of the Internet’s most popular travel planning sites. Itinerary planning is also available, with special deals on cruises, hotels, car rentals, and attractions.

  4. CouchSurfing

    For the adventurous and cash-strapped, arranging a hospitality exchange via CouchSurfing might prove a fabulous experience. The site connects citizens offering room and board in their own homes, with a staunch reputation system to help insure participants’ utmost safety.

  5. HostelBookers.com

    Use HostelBookers.com when searching for low-cost hotels and hostels almost anywhere in the world. Best of all, it requires no booking fees whatsoever, making it an ideal companion to penny-pinching college kids.

  6. Skype

    Skype allows people to connect for free or cheap using the internet and a microphone or webcam, which frequently come standard on newer laptops. Give it a shot when trying to connect with loved ones back home and the wallet doesn’t allow for an international cell plan.

  7. Expedia

    Another terrifically popular price comparison resource, Expedia provides deals as well as assisting users in finding those offered by participating businesses.

  8. Frugal Traveler

    The New York Times‘ Seth Kugel hosts a blog devoted entirely to traveling awesome while still traveling fiscally smart.

  9. Travelocity

    It’s more than just the home of that quirky little gnome from the commercials; Travelocity – like Orbitz and Expedia – aggregates prices for flights, cars, hotels, and other out-of-town necessities.

  10. Budget Travel Guide at About.com

    If the About.com Student Travel section doesn’t dredge up what the globetrotting collegiate needs, try their frugal equivalent instead.

Safety

  1. Travel at U.S. Department of State

    American students hoping to ensure their own health and safety overseas should check with the Department of State before committing to any trip. The site also provides information about passports, visas, adoption, emergency services, embassies, and other important documents.

  2. Travel and Living Abroad at Foreign & Commonwealth Office

    No matter what country one hails from, this United Kingdom-based resource provides updated information on potential hazards present in nations worldwide.

  3. Travel Safety Information at Corporate Travel Safety

    Despite the website’s title, students can still easily benefit from the 130 pages’ worth of travel safety content presented here. With advice spanning airplanes to women’s needs, they can find pretty much anything they may need.

  4. SafeTravel.dot.gov

    Another resource offered by the U.S. government, which keeps visitors updated on the latest travel regulations for domestic and international journeys.

  5. Transportation Security Administration

    The TSA is undoubtedly quite a controversial organization these days, but anyone leaving or entering the United States has to know the rules before passing through security. In addition, their homepage presents safety statistics for the week so passengers know what’s gone down in American airports.

  6. EveryBlock

    Right now, EveryBlock is only available in 16 different cities in the United States, with plans to expand. When traveling to any of these major metropolitan areas, plug in zip codes for a detailed look at crimes and other potential safety hazards present.

  7. A Woman’s Guide to Safe Travel

    Unfortunately, unfair social norms mean women exist as a more vulnerable demographic, particularly in regions where they enjoy far fewer rights. Because of this, they have to stay a little more alert when traveling, and the provided link covers a wide range of concerns, including pregnancy.

  8. Sara’s Wish Foundation

    This nonprofit launched when the eponymous study abroad student’s parents lost her in a tragic bus accident. In her memory, they dedicate their funds and information to preventing others from experiencing the same tragedy.

  9. AAA

    Students super concerned about their safety and possessing a little extra cash to ensure it should think about subscribing to this motor vehicle assistance service if they’re traversing the United States. In addition, they can use the website to bag some great deals on attractions, goods, and car maintenance.

  10. The Weather Channel

    Stay up-to-date on any potentially hazardous natural disasters with The Weather Channel’s official website, which will post up essential information in the event something tragic goes down.

Study Abroad

  1. AbroadView.org

    Students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, and more gather at AbroadView.org to exchange stories of traveling (and, of course, studying!) in a foreign country. Other resources cover eco-friendliness, safety, research, news, volunteering, careers, and more for those who just can’t seem to get enough of the world.

  2. Semester at Sea

    This incredibly popular (and green!) initiative launches students onto a floating classroom, which stops in country after country, is a unique, multifaceted opportunity for college kids and “lifelong learners” alike.

  3. IIEPassport.org

    Students at schools lacking study abroad opportunities – or ones piquing their interest – might want to head here to search for programs meeting their needs and wants.

  4. StudyAbroad.com

    Browse this extensive database overflowing with study abroad initiatives and hopefully find one appropriate to interests, finances, and academic needs. Scholarships and travel tips from other students are available as well!

  5. Boren Awards for International Study

    Apply for these generous grants and scholarships when hoping to receive an immersive education in either underrepresented nations or those critical to American security. Numerous degree plans, particularly political science, foreign language, and business, benefit from these initiatives.

  6. Study Abroad with AIFS

    Check out grants and scholarships to study abroad opportunities in 21 different countries and hear stories from others wanting to share what they’ve learned.

  7. International Student Identity Card

    Every study abroad and international student must absolutely invest in the ISIC, which allows them to enjoy fabulous discounts all over the world – even their own home cities!

  8. AmeriSpan

    AmeriSpan started as a way to nurture cultural awareness between native English and Spanish speakers, but grew to encompass other languages as well. The organization’s programming heavily emphasizes the cultural element, making it ideal for business, anthropology, sociology, art, and foreign language majors.

  9. GoAbroad.com

    This site focuses on students, businesspeople, and volunteers hoping to enjoy stints in other countries, with resources (including scholarship information!) and program searches available for almost every area of interest.

  10. Institute of International Education

    Home of the Gilman Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the IIE serves as an excellent start when learning more about the whos, whats, whys, and hows of attending school overseas.

Volunteer Opportunities

  1. Cross-Cultural Solutions

    Cross-Cultural Solutions’ programs cater to a wide range of travelers, with student, gap year, and alternative break options available. Just pick an area and region of interest and explore the myriad ways to give back to the world.

  2. Global Crossroad

    Since 2003, this acclaimed organization has taken students and other volunteers to 16 different countries with 200 different projects available. They only charge $70 a week and offer summer sessions perfect for an alternative break.

  3. AmeriCorps

    American students preferring to fight poverty and encourage education in their own nation – which is just as noble as heading overseas – have plenty of programs suiting their needs here.

  4. Projects Abroad

    Both internships and volunteer programs are available through this organization, which annually sends over 8,000 participants to five different continents for different social, linguistic, educational, and ecological causes. Trips last between one week and five months, and they do offer alternative spring break options as well.

  5. idealist

    Aspirant volunteers, interns, grad students, and workers looking to connect with altruistic opportunities head to idealist, a social network dedicated to finding the perfect fit – domestic or abroad.

  6. International Volunteer HQ

    With fees starting at $180, multiple projects for multiple interests, and space to share stories, photos, and advice, IVHQ should be an essential resource for students desiring volunteer work.

  7. Teach for America

    Recent graduates looking for some travel, life experience, and some job training might want to consider this laudable education program before trying for that master’s or PhD.

  8. United Planet

    Volunteer abroad initiatives in 40 countries last between one to 52 weeks, courtesy of this exceptionally applauded organization.

  9. GVI

    Because they specifically offer gap year, summer, and semester programs, GVI’s eclectic offerings (including teaching, sports, healthcare, ecological issues, and more) might prove the best fit for a student’s lifestyle and budget constraints.

  10. International Student Volunteers

    Pretty much everything one needs to know about this initiative can be found in its name, although they do leave out the “adventure” component.

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