Tips for Booking Your Study Abroad Flight

One of the most stressful parts of the study abroad process is figuring out the flight situation. We know how complicated and confusing it can feel, but we’re here to help you make sense of it all! Below we’ve outlined five main things you should keep in mind when booking your flights.

  1. Take advantage of being a student 
  • Websites offer special rates on flights for students
  • Required to provide your student ID
  • Student Universe and STA Travel are both great websites that offer discounted airfare to college students
  • Skyscanner is also a great website to compare the cheapest flights
  1. Timing is everything
  • Prime booking window is between 2-4 months before your departure
  • Sign up for email alerts to see when prices have increased or decreased
  • Tuesday afternoon (around 3pm EST) is when ticket prices will be at their lowest
  1. Watch out for the luggage costs
  • Luggage fees can add up costing at least $70 for an extra bag
  • Although another flight might be a little bit more expensive, they may allow you to check 2 bags for free
  • Be aware of the costs and compare them from airline to airline when in the process of purchasing
  • Most major airlines have the first checked bag free (except JetBlue, Southwest, and American Airlines in some cases)
  1. Consider your layover
  • Decide if you are more comfortable with a layover at all
    • Do you want that layover to be in the US or in a foreign country?
  • Take into consideration the duration of your layover
    • Do you have enough time to make it to your connecting flight?
      • You want to set aside at least 60 minutes; 90 minutes if possible. Will you be changing airlines? Will you have enough time to get from one gate to the other?
    • Do you have too much time for your layover? (10 hour layover for example)
      • Overnight layovers – can you sleep in the airport or will you need to stay at an airport hotel
  1. Choose the best seat
  • You will probably want to avoid a middle seat on an international flight
  • If you book far enough ahead, most airlines will let you choose your seat when you book or move it after booking
  • Try to get the aisle seat if you know you cannot sit still, or the window seat if you plan on snoozing your way to the destination

Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, we hope that these five tips help ease your mind when you start looking for your flights! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our office at studyabroad@towson.edu.

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