Heading Home for the Holidays? Travel Tips for Study Abroad Students

JCU students head home for the holidays

JCU students head home for the holidays

Now that exams are over and winter vacation has officially begun, many students are heading home for the holidays. If you’ve been studying in Italy for several years, you might already be a pro at things like packing strategically and navigating international airports.

But, if this is your first experience heading homeward from Rome, follow these simple rules for a stress-free start to winter break!

Be Selective when Packing to Avoid Extra Costs

Most students have trouble “editing” the contents of their suitcase down to the genuine essentials. But that fourth pair of shoes could end up costing you substantial over-weight luggage fees at the airport, so it’s worth being a bit conservative. Try weighing and measuring your luggage in advance of your departure date, to ensure you’ve not gone over the limit.

Extra luggage could mean extra costs at the airport!

Extra luggage could mean extra costs at the airport!

It’s also a good idea to check with your home country’s customs policies to ensure that any local treats, foods, and gifts you’re packing are allowed across the border.

Study abroad students from the United States, for example, should check US customs rules for a complete list of prohibited items. Some food items like meats and certain types of alcohol might be forbidden, or only allowed in limited amounts.

Review Airport Regulations before Prepping Your Carry-On

Restrictions on what you can bring in your carry-on bag will be even tighter than rules for your checked luggage. It’s a good idea to review airport regulations before you start packing. Students who study in Rome, for example, should be mindful of Aeroporti di Roma’s regulations on transporting liquids and other items.

In addition to keeping your carry-on bag regulation-friendly, it’s also wise to fully charge your phone for the journey home. That way, you’ll be able to quickly contact family members once you arrive at your local airport.

Finally, make sure you’ve placed essential items, like your passport and plane ticket, in an easily-accessible section of your carry-on for quick retrieval at the airport.

Students should ensure that they’ve packed essential travel documents in their carry-on bag

Students should ensure that they’ve packed essential travel documents in their carry-on bag

Study Abroad Students Should Double Check Flight Times

While it’s not common for students at universities in Rome to completely forget the date of their flight home for winter break, it’s easy to mix up departure times. And since delays are typical around the holidays, it’s a good idea to double-check the day of, just in case your flight time has changed.

Students should map out transportation to the airport well in advance, and aim to arrive at least two hours prior to their departure time. Waiting around a bit to board your flight is definitely worth avoiding the distinctly unfestive stress of cutting it close – or missing your plane altogether!

What’s your best piece of travel advice for students heading home this holiday season?

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