Travel Advice: Air Travel

The study abroad prices do not include airfare. Students must purchase their own ticket. The classes do not travel as groups, as many students decide to arrive in Europe prior to the class or remain after it ends.

In France, Italia, and España, students are given a specific date that they are required to meet in Paris, Roma, or Madrid respectively. Usually flights from the US arrive in Europe in the morning. Travelers generally leave on one day and arrive the next day in Europe.

We leave for our first walk at 16:00 (4 PM) on the first day of class (check the class calendar).

Many students decide to arrive in Europe prior to the start of the program. In this case, students are responsible to pay for their own lodging. Arriving early in Europe is strongly recommended because, the student can adjust to the time difference, get used to European life, and generally settle in prior to the start of the program.

Arriving in Rome, Madrid, or Paris one or two days prior to the program is perfect. It enables you to get used to the city, get groceries, and generally settle in before the class starts. An ideal scenario is to visit a city we do not go to as a group and spend a few days there before the program starts. Then travel to the program city one or two days before the program starts.

Although many students arrive early in Europe, Bailly strongly recommends that students do not plan an extensive stay in a city that we will visit as a class prior to the program. Your visits with the class will then be redundant.

The prices of airline tickets are unpredictable. So many global factors influence costs that it is impossible to accurately predict a price. Generally, however, these two statements hold true: (1) Summer tickets from Miami to Europe range from $400 – $1,600.  (2) The earlier a ticket is purchased, the more affordable it is. Bailly usually purchases his summer tickets as early as November of the previous year.

Travelling around Europe is very easy and quite safe. Trains are the best, but discount airlines are also quite affordable.

Please remember that flights that leave very early in the morning will likely require you to hire a taxi, whereas later ones are accessible by public transport. Taxis are generally considerably more expensive than public transportation.

Read Bailly’s guide to Rome’s Airport.


“I generally buy my airline ticket quite early. Once I find a price that is reasonable, I purchase it. I like to check it off my list-no need to think about it anymore. I also strongly believe that the most direct flight will save me travel time and avoid extended jet-lag adjustment. Some flights may involve multiple stopovers and extended travel time, for minimal savings. A direct (or one stopover) and shorter flight is worth the extra $100-$200 to me. Lastly, I suggest you join a loyalty program. I have a Oneworld account. Miles add up quickly.”

This travel advice is primarily directed to students participating in Professor Bailly’s FIU Honors College EspañaFrance, and Italia, Study Abroad programs. It is intended to help twenty-somethings explore, seek adventure, and truly immerse themselves in a culture. The goals are to travel affordably, travel safely, and live like a local. Always remember,  however, that what works for some, may not necessarily work for you. Ultimately, your decisions are your decisions.

John William Bailly  28 November 2022

2 thoughts on “Travel Advice: Air Travel”

  1. I highly recommend using the Hopper app to help track flight prices. The app does a great job at showing you the cheapest flight prices for the dates of travel you’re looking for while providing predictions for when the prices will drop or increase.


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