Planning Your Trip
Have an idea of sites you want to visit and things you want to do during your trip. Do some research on travel blogs and communities. You should ask friends and family who have traveled before about places they enjoyed the most. Read through site-specific guide books like Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Rough Guide, Rick Steves, or Frommers.
However, we advise that you take advantage of this unique opportunity to live as a real Parisian, and keep your trips to other countries to a minimum. Use your free time and weekends to discover Paris and other parts of France! Students who travel too frequently outside of Paris often regret not having spent more time in Paris at the end of the semester.
DO NOT book anything until after the first week of semester-long classes. You may find there are mandatory excursions for your courses, make-up classes, or NYU-sponsored trips already in place.
Last Minute Tips
- Inform someone (your parents, the school, a friend) of your travel plans in case of emergency.
- Make sure you have more than one source of money (e.g. cash and a credit card, or two credit cards)
- Make a copy of your passport and a credit card and pack these to bring along with you.
- Bring email confirmations of all reservations and arrangements you have made.
- Write down the address of your destination to show to a local if you need help. Also, print out directions of how to get to that location.
Traveling by Plane
- Fly early in the morning or late at night.
- Fly in low season (spring and autumn).
- Make use of sales which sometimes appear 3 to 5 weeks before the flight.
Things to remember about discount airlines:
- They are usually stricter about fares. So even if you bought your tickets cheap, fuel and tax costs will add up.
- You will most likely be charged for anything and everything else - online fees, checking fees, passport fees, luggage fees, etc.
- Most discount airlines use smaller and more distant airports so you will most likely have to pay for additional ground transport to and from the city you are visiting.
- Discount airlines will not wait for late passengers. If you are late by even a minute, airport officials will not let you check in. In these circumstances you will most likely not get a refund and have to pay for a new ticket.
Traveling by Train
If you are planning on traveling (especially after your semester) you may find that Eurail is the best option. It is a train pass that gives you train travel within 18 European Countries. Not only is it a cheap, convenient way to travel around Europe, but also many Euro trains are super comfy! Buy your tickets in the US as they are more expensive in Europe.
Traveling by Bus
Student recommendations from Fall 2009. Let us know if this list should change!
Spring/Fall Break Stories
I went to Amsterdam, London, Belgium, and Madrid. I traveled to all the cities by train except for Madrid, which I flew to. I made all of my travel plans online. I loved Belgium. I went during Easter, so we went to the well- known chocolate stores and saw their amazing displays. I had the best time going to places off the beaten track or finding good restaurants.
- Jill, NYU Paris student