Before Your AESU Trip
Booking your trip is easy! To make your reservation: Call us at 1.800-638-7640, or click the “CHECK AVAILABILITY” button on any trip page to book your trip online. Check on Visa requirements (incl. American or Canadian citizens) if you are traveling beyond Europe.
PAYMENT PLAN: pay a little at a time and make your trip more affordable
After paying a deposit of $500 online to reserve your spot, you can pay your balance in as many installments as you like, with a minimum of $100 for each transaction with no fee. Please indicate booking number on your check payment. If you prefer to pay installments by credit card, please call us at 800-638-7640 for details. (All prices reflect a cash discount. There is a 4% processing fee for any payments made by credit card after initial deposit.) The total tour cost (land, and air if applicable) must be paid in full at least 90 days before departure.
If you are an American or Canadian citizen, you need only a valid 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 (Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip). 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.
Please consult your travel agent or doctor to find out if vaccinations are required (normally not for Europe). If you suffer from any form of illness, be sure to have an adequate supply of medicines before departing on your trip. You must advise us of any important medical condition you may have, before departure.
Travel insurance is required. (Some schools or alumni associations may offer travel insurance to you at a reduced rate.) If not, AESU also offers group travel insurance through Generali Travel Insurance. Ask our agents or copy this link into your browser:
Due to limited space on the tour motor coach, 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.
The easiest way to make your tour stressful is to over pack! See more details in Planning & Packing section on you trip’s Toolbox pages. Specific packing suggestions will be given with final documents.
FAQ for OTHER DESTINATIONS:
OTHER SHORT STAYS, SPECIALTY AND NON-EUROPE YOUNG ALUM TRIPS
Use suggestions for Europe as a guideline – depending on time of year traveling. Further suggestions will be given with final documents.
For every week you are away consider:
1 pair jeans/long pants and 2 shorts (again, check the weather)
6 T-shirts including a nicer shirt
1 Casual dress outfit
1 light jacket or thick coat depending on the season
1 hoodie & 1 sweater
Bathing suit, PJs, underwear, socks, walking shoes (see misc. list above)
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.
Planning Your Trip
European trips: We stay in superior tourist class hotels,3-star or 4-star, all with private bath/shower. Our hotels have been especially selected for their European atmosphere, friendly hospitality, cleanliness and location. Usual accommodations are two sharing a room (double occupancy). If you are traveling solo and do not want to pay a single supplement, we will attempt to arrange a 2-share with a same-gender traveler. If no travelers are available to share when final rooming assignments are made, the single supplement will apply.* The overnight ship from Italy to Greece offers 4-share cabins.
Some tour companies offer budget programs that stay in remote cabin campsites utilizing sleeping bags or occasional hotels with 4 or more sharing a room with no bath. We do NOT believe that this is the best way to spend a night in Europe.
You’ll be furnished a complete hotel address list with your final documents. Properties are subject to change and any substitutions would be the equivalent of those listed. * Independent hotel reservations, certain special tours always apply a single supplement. Please check your itinerary and also see roommate question regarding Young Alumni Programs.
Going solo is not a problem with AESU. Many of our participants don’t have a travel companion when booking a trip. If you’re traveling alone, we will arrange for you to share a double (same gender) at no extra cost. Our hotels are superior tourist class, ALL with private bath/shower. Usual accommodations are two sharing a room, however, if you prefer to stay in a single room, our reservations agent can make arrangements for a single at the applicable single supplement.(This also applies to AESU trips: Great Escape, Euro Focus, Explorer & Cosmopolitan).
AESU Short Getaways and Young Alumni tours
(Designed for college grads ages 22 – 35). Usual accommodations are two sharing a room. If you are traveling alone and do not want a single room, we will attempt to arrange for you to share a double with a same-gender traveler, but if this is not possible, we will make arrangements for a single at the applicable single supplement.
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, is your responsibility. See trip page for Airfare and transfer information.
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.
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 overseas. ATM cards have largely replaced the usage of travelers’ checks.
Every traveler shares a common responsibility to preserve our planet’s environment and respect its people. AESU enthusiastically endorses ASTA’s 10 Commandments, which effectively 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.
During Your Trip
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.
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 www.weather.com before you depart to see what the latest weather trends have been.
Travel to the Southern Hemisphere
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 mountain regions, where temps can be low 40’s, bring warm sweaters and socks. If traveling SEPT-DEC: this is their spring and summer. Pack lightweight fabrics. Some shorts and casual wear are fine.
Use Europe packing list as guideline and see tour pages for destination-specific details.
Your tour director 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.
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!
The best thing to do is take the necessary precautions before losing your IDs or valuables. Be prepared. Bring other forms of identification with you, and most importantly, make copies of IDs, passport and other important documentation.
The following are some helpful tips for preventing your IDs and other valuables from being lost or stolen:
- Keep your hands free. If both hands are full, it is difficult to stop a pickpocket.
- Keep all valuables – money, passport and credit cards – in a pouch near the front of your body.
- Maintain physical contact with bags and other valuables.
- When standing up, always check to see if anything has been left behind.
- Be cautious of other travelers and everyone around you.
Some travelers may find it safer and more convenient to carry their IDs and plane tickets in a single pouch around the neck. The pouch can be folded open to display all the essential information required for getting on a plane, decreasing the chance of leaving your ID behind.
Remember: Photocopied identification should be carried separately from the actual IDs. Another helpful tip is to make a digital copy of your passport, driver’s license and other ID and e-mail it to an easily accessible account through the Web. If you lose your ID, you can simply pull up the copy on a nearby Internet connection and print it.
After Your Trip
You are automatically a member when you take an AESU tour — no membership fees. After that you can save 5% off the cost of your next AESU land tour. (May not be used in conjunction with any other discounts and not applicable for city stays and options.)
We appreciate the time you take to complete a post-trip questionnaire or email us with your compliments or complaints. The answers will help to make our programs even better in the future. All data will be handled confidentially and will not be made available to third parties unless explicitly authorized.
Don’t just let the memories fade away after your trip of a lifetime. Keep in touch and post photos on our Facebook page and sign up for our free newsletter to find out what’s new in the world of travel. Keep an eye out for fun photo contests as well.