Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a passport? A visa?

If you are an American or Canadian citizen, you need only a Passport. The easiest way to get a passport is through your local post office, County Court House, or Passport Agency. When applying, be sure to take with you: your genuine birth certificate, which includes the registrar's signature and a raised seal; two recent photographs that are 2" x 2", full face view, black/white or color; and ID, like your Driver's License. You may need a Visa for our tours if you are not an American or Canadian citizen if you are traveling to Europe. If you are a citizen of another country, you must contact the appropriate consulates for each nation on the itinerary; and you must obtain these visas on your own.

Check on Visa requirements (incl. American or Canadian citizens) if you are traveling beyond Europe.

Note: Some countries may charge for a tourist visa on entry or a departure tax on leaving the country.

2. How much luggage can I take?

Due to limited space on the tour motorcoach, please bring ONE suitcase only and ONE carry-on. Please limit your suitcase size to no larger than 29" x 20" x 10" and your carry-on to no larger than 8" x 16" x 21". 
Keep in mind that throughout the duration of the tour, you are responsible for your own luggage, so do not pack more than you can carry. Laundry facilities are available in major cities.

3. What should I pack?

The easiest way to make your tour stressful is to overpack!
Traveling to Europe? Download our suggested packing list here.
Looking for a packing list for another destination? Skip to the end of this page.

4. What about packing documents?

Never pack your passport!Always keep it on your person! The same goes for travelers' checks, cash, credit cards and personal checks. Pack 2 extra passport photos if possible (in the event that you misplace your passport); photo copies of your passport's personal data pages and your airline tickets, unless you have an electronic ticket; a listing of your credit card and travelers' check numbers; and copies of any personal IDs. This info will be extremely valuable should you lose any actual documents. Always keep actual documents on your person, and never in your checked suitcase.

5. How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Free airport transfers are available on published departure and return dates. When you book your trip air-inclusive, the transfer to and from the airport to your start and end hotel is included. This can be a substantial savings and give you peace of mind. For more details click here.

6. What will the weather be like?

Travel to Europe:
Just like the United States, Europe has unpredictable hot summers, cool summers, rainy summers, and dry summers! The weather, in general, is much like it is in most part of the US: sixties to seventies in May; seventies to nineties from June to August. It is generally cooler in England and warmer in Italy and Greece. The nations to which you travel in-between have moderate summer temps. You can always check on before you depart to see what the latest weather trends have been.

Travel to the South Pacific:
The seasons are “upside down” – reversed, but not as extreme as North America. If traveling JUNE-AUGUST: this is their mild winter with temperatures in the 60’s. Pack some light woolens and a coat or sturdy jacket. In Southern New Zealand’s mountain region, where temps can be low 40’s, bring warm sweaters and socks. Northern Australia is tropical with temps in the 70’s – 80’s. If traveling SEPT-DEC: this is their spring and summer. Pack lightweight fabrics. Some shorts and casual wear are fine.

For weather information on additional destinations, skip to the end of this page..

7. Can I buy my airfare from AESU? What if I buy it elsewhere?

AESU offers great low rates and If you purchase AESU airfare, you will receive airport transfers. If you purchase airfare elsewhere, transferring to the first hotel, as well as to the airport at the end of your trip, is your responsibility.

8. I know some meals are included…but what if I'm a vegetarian?

Tours include breakfast daily, lunches & dinner as per itinerary. If you are a vegetarian, or have special dietary needs, please inform your tour escort as soon as you arrive. All meals are pre-paid, so a substitute meal is always up to the goodwill of the establishment. We cannot guarantee that all special requests will be granted, but, in the past, most restaurants have been cooperative. Please keep in mind that substitute meals may not be as varied as a vegetarian meals are here.

9. How much spending money will I need?

We recommend $50-$80 per day, depending on your spending habits. That money covers items of a personal nature, stamps, laundry, beverages with meals (except for coffee/tea at breakfast, water at dinner, and occasionally a glass of wine), meals not included on tour, and expenses for free-time activities (metro tickets, taxis, entrance fees). This amount does not include money for souvenir/gift shopping.
We strongly recommend bringing a credit card (Visa, American Express, and Mastercard are the most widely accepted) as well as an ATM card. Check with your bank prior to departure to ensure your ATM card is usable oversea's. ATM cards have largely replaced the usage of travelers' checks and ATM machines are available in Costa Rica.

10. How do I exchange money?

Your tour escort will aid you in locating currency exchange stations, and can also advise you of how much money to change. Keep in mind that you can exchange only bills, not coins.

11. What is the acceptable amount to tip? Whom am I expected to tip?

Standard service charges of 15-20% are paid for by AESU; in restaurants on your own, tip approximately 10% UNLESS the service is included. Check your bill carefully for this charge.
It is customary to recognize the tour director and bus driver by complimenting them with gratuity (suggested amount for driver $2-3 per day, tour director $4-5 per day.) They work very hard to make your tour the most memorable and best time of your life!

12. Should I purchase travel insurance?

We highly recommend travel insurance. Your alumni association may offer travel insurance to you at a reduced rate. If not, AESU will offer our group travel insurance to you. Ask our reservations agent for details or click on this link:

13. I don't have a room mate, what do I do?

Graduation tours: Our hotels are 3* or 4* hotels, ALL with private bath/shower. The land package price is based on double occupancy. Our hotels have been especially selected for their atmosphere, friendly hospitality, cleanliness and location. Usual accommodations are two sharing a room, however, if you're traveling alone, we will attempt to arrange for you to share a double at NO EXTRA COST. If this is not possible or if you prefer to stay in a single room, our reservations agent can make arrangements for a single at the applicable single supplement. Young Alumni tours: If you are traveling alone and do not want a single room, we will attempt to arrange for you to share a double, but if this is not possible, we will make arrangments for a single at the applicable single supplement.

14. Does AESU support ECO travel?

Every traveler shares a common responsibility to preserve our planet's environment and respect its people. AESU enthusiastically endorses ASTA's 10 Commandments, which effecively reaffirm that responsibility. Let's live by these Commandments, to ensure our world's beauty is preserved for our generation and for generations to come. Thank you for the opportunity to travel together and to discover our remarkable world in a responsible manner. Over a decade ago AESU founded "TRAVEL FOR GOOD" -- many years before large travel companies became active in environmental travel.

15. Information for Dubai travelers (click here)

16. Information for Costa Rica travelers (click here)

17. Information for Africa travelers (click here)