International Student Hacks: Travel Edition

- The Experience, Samirah Jaigirdar '22 

Looking out the window of a plane the viewer can see a town down below.
Flight to anywhere

As an international student, I do a lot of traveling to and from campus. I have missed flights, lost items, been stuck in snowstorms and more. I’ve learned a lot from these experiences. And I want to share some of that knowledge with you. Hence, here are some of my tried and tested travel tips:

  1. When traveling during the winter months, always have a heavy jacket, thick socks and a wool hat with you. My first year at Conn, my plane got diverted to Philadelphia during a snowstorm and I was wearing flip flops. I don’t recommend it.
  2. Keep prescriptions for the medications you take. Customs may ask about the bottle of pills in your bag. 
  3. Keep a list of your social media account handles on hand. U.S. Immigration may ask for them. You are not required to give your passwords, just the account names. 
  4. Only use suitcase locks approved by the TSA. This will ensure a TSA agent does not break your chain during a security check should they require one. If they do check your bags, they will relock them and put a notice inside that it was checked. 
  5. Keep $20 to $30 dollars on hand in small denominations (some $1 bills, and a couple $5 bills). This may be useful if you want a snack, need a luggage cart or forgot to bring your toothpaste! 
  6. Travel light. I travel with one checked bag and one carry-on. It makes sprinting through the airport to catch a departing bus/train much easier! Plus, you don’t need to pay for a luggage cart at the airport. 
  7. Have a portable charger on hand. You’d be surprised how busy charging ports are in airports. 
  8. Before a long flight, steer clear of caffeine so you can fall asleep on the plane. Staying awake for 24 hours will not make the conversation with U.S. immigration officers any fun!