Safe Travel Guidelines Learn More

Planning & Packing

See FAQs for more details.

Passports and Visas

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.

Luggage Limits

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.

Suggested Packing List

The easiest way to make your tour stressful is to overpack! Traveling to Europe? Below is a generic packing list to help you get started. This is just a guide and isn’t tour-specific.

Preliminary Packing List

Packing information applies generally to European travel, but can be used as basic guideline for all destinations. More detailed packing information for other destinations will be sent to travelers with their travel documents.

Due to limited luggage space & weight restrictions on the motor coach, AESU requires that you limit yourself to one suitcase only, (approx. 29″x 20″x 10″) plus one carry-on tote bag (8″x16″x 21″). Please note: Many airlines will be assessing a fee for a passenger’s second checked bag. Most airlines allow one bag free of charge. Some exemptions apply. Check with your airline for details.

A must is light-weight, wrinkle-proof clothing (wash & wear, permanent press, etc.). Exact quantities depend on the length of tour.


Concentrate on coordinated outfits that you can mix & match according to color.

  • 5 tops/shirts
  • 3 skirts and/or slacks/capris
  • 1 semi-dressy dress
  • 2 WARM sweaters


  • 1 light coat or raincoat
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 pair pajamas
  • enough underwear & socks so that daily laundry isn’t necessary
  • 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes that are soft, well-ventilated, and have moderate to no heel!!! (Rubber soles are ideal for cobblestone, and we suggest closed-toe for chilly weather. Break them in before you go.)
  • 1 pair semi-dress shoes, perhaps tennis shoes
  • 5 shirts
  • 4 pair slacks
  • optional sports jacket
  • 1 dress shirt
  • 2 WARM sweaters
  • 1 light-weight raincoat
  • 1 pair bathing trunks
  • 1 belt
  • 1 tie
  • 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes (rubber sole), 1 pair dress shoes, perhaps tennis shoes
  • enough underwear & socks so that daily laundry isn’t necessary

Summer travelers should pack lightweight fabrics. Some shorts are fine but remember often shorts & uncovered shoulders are not appropriate at some religious sites.

Winter travelers should pack light woolens or fleece and remember that several layers are the best. Also take one coat or sturdy jacket.

Miscellaneous Items
  • 1 bar of soap in plastic case
  • washcloth
  • 1 small beach towel
  • toothbrush & paste
  • razor & cream
  • sunburn & insect bite lotion
  • small manicure set
  • sewing kit & scissors
  • plastic bags
  • band-aids
  • shampoo
  • deodorant
  • short clothes line with clips
  • small amount of liquid detergent in plastic leak-proof container
  • wash-n-dries
  • spot remover
  • rain hat or compact collapsible umbrella
  • sunglasses
  • extra glasses or contact lenses (bring prescription)
  • wrist watch
  • kleenex
  • travel diary
  • digital camera
  • digital memory stick
  • batteries


  • inflatable pillow for bus rides
  • calculator
  • money belt
  • personal checks


  • make-up
  • tampons or napkins
  • If you must bring a small hairdryer, you will need an electrical converter (transformer) for current—220 volts and a packet of varied plug converters. Both are available at luggage stores, electrical stores, or hardware stores, etc. A good compact (3 oz.) transformer to ask for is “Franzus.’’)
  • If you can’t avoid bringing clothes that need ironing, you will need a small travel iron. (For both iron and dryer if you are purchasing, you may want to look for dual-voltage products.)
  • Remember, if you are traveling with a friend, only one of you needs to bring dryer, iron, converter & plugs!

Do not pack sharp items, scissors, etc. in carry-on.

  • Anti-motion sickness (e.g.: Dramamine)
  • anti-diarrhea (e.g.: Kaopectate)
  • laxatives
  • cold medicine
  • multivitamins
  • necessary prescriptions in plastic bottles (if needed have doctor write stand-by prescriptions)

Please note that most name brand cosmetics and toiletries can be bought overseas. Make sure all items are in leak-proof, plastic containers before packing.


Plan before you pack. Make sure everything is clean and mended. Remember heavy items on bottom and toward lower end of case when it is standing upright. Use a “Category Layer System” – dressy items in bottom, pants in middle, shirts on top, for example.

Never pack your passport or other personal and travel documents! Keep them on your person!

Mandatory for all travelers: Pack your carry-on bag with what you will need for one overnight on arrival. This way, in the event that the airlines misplace your luggage, you will have all you need for your first overnight until your luggage arrives.

Remember the TSA 3-1-1- rule when packing your carry-on bag:
You may only pack the following in your carry-on:

  • 3 ounce bottles or less (by volume)
  • 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag
  • 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin

One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

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 mountainous regions, where temps can be low 40’s, bring warm sweaters and socks.

If traveling September-December:
This is their spring and summer. Pack lightweight fabrics. Some shorts and casual wear are fine.

International Date Line

If traveling to or from Australia, don’t forget that imaginary line on the earth’s surface along longitude 180 degrees. As the earth rotates, each day first begins and ends on this line. A traveler going west adds one day. Going back east, the traveler sets his calendar back one day. Approximate flying time from Los Angeles to Sydney is fifteen hours.

Don’t Pack Documents

Never pack your passport! Always keep it on your person! The same goes for travelers’ checks, cash, credit cards and personal checks.

You should also bring the following:

  • 2 extra passport photos if possible (in the event that you misplace your passport)
  • photo copies of your passport’s personal data pages
  • photo copies of your airline tickets, unless you have an electronic ticket
  • a listing of your credit card and travelers’ check numbers
  • photo 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.

Signing up solo? No problem

Grad 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. (This also applies to AESU trips: Great Escape, Euro Focus, Explorer & Cosmopolitan).

AESU Short Getaways, Specialty and Young Alumni tours: (Designed for college grads ages 22 – 35). 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 arrangements for a single at the applicable single supplement.

Questions about other destinations?


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)