The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&Ms attendance for the Alabama game was at 108,101 fans ranking it at the third largest game in Kyle Field history.(Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
‘The Mexican 12th Man’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 30, 2024

Growing up in the hills of Monterrey, Mexico, Pedro and Carlos Luna were surrounded by soccer.  Clad in the gold and blue of Tigres UANL,...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

International travel: Britain on a budget

U.S.+citizens+looking+to+apply+for+a+U.S.+passport+need+personal+documents+like+original+proofs+of+your+citizenship+document%2C+an+acceptable%26%23160%3Bphoto+ID+document+and+a+photocopy+of+both.
Photo by Courtesy of Regan Bennett

U.S. citizens looking to apply for a U.S. passport need personal documents like original proofs of your citizenship document, an acceptable photo ID document and a photocopy of both.

Pack your bags and grab your passport — London is calling.
Traveling internationally from the United States is in no way cheap, but there are certainly ways to reduce costs: take a carry-on instead of checking a bag; travel at non-peak times and be open to a layover or two.
“To help reduce costs, consider flying on an airline that has longer layovers,” Beth Deuermeyer Ph.D., program manager at Texas A&M University Innovation Partners, who has family living in London said.
The United Kingdom currently does not require COVID-19 testing to enter the country. On April 21, there were 21,227 new COVID-19 cases and 646 new deaths in the country, according to worldometers.info. My experience flying amid the pandemic was slightly concerning, but wearing a high-quality mask and using hand sanitizer regularly made me feel comfortable. With most planes equipped with high efficiency particulate air filters, cabin air is much cleaner than the air in restaurants and stores, according to National Geographic. About 40% of a cabin’s air gets filtered through the HEPA system, with the remaining 60% being fresh air that is piped in from outside the plane, according to National Geographic.
The 2,000-year history of England’s capital city is rich with architectural masterpieces, landmarks and free attractions; making the city accessible to travelers on a tighter budget.
With so much to see in such a short amount of time, purchase a $48 ticket with BigBus Tours for a drive all around the city. The tour passes sights such as Tower Bridge and The Marble Arch to Harrods — where a browse around the world famous shop is irresistible. From Gucci to Gelato, they have it all. A bus tour is a great avenue for sightseeing and learning the city’s history, with the option of listening to a guided commentary that tells you all about the famous monuments and buildings you admire.
“The buses are a cheaper way to see the whole city and they often come with discounted or free tickets into some of London’s tourist attractions like the Tower of London and the wax museum,” Deuermeyer said.
If you want to take in all the sights and get  off at a few of the many stops, the bus can be an all-day activity. On the second and last day a stop by Buckingham Palace and a picnic in St. James Park is a good way to offset the intense activity of the previous day. An evening stroll down the banks by Tower Bridge and some Jamaican jerk chicken from one of the many diverse street food vendors is a great way to end the day.
I stayed with my family on my visit to London, but the area is definitely not short of accommodations. From hostels to budge-friendly hotels, there are many deals available to be snatched up. St. Christopher’s Inn at London Bridge is one of the many I found, and it has beds available in dormitory style rooms from around $21 a night on booking.com.
The London tube system, along with great public transport, make the city easy and efficient to navigate. The purchase of an Oyster card for a fee of $6.50 will allow you to add funds at your own discretion to use for access to the tube at the stations all over the city.
If you make a whirlwind tour and fall in love with international travel, Texas A&M offers scholarship opportunities for students to travel internationally via the study abroad programs. Available scholarships include the education abroad scholarship, along with other opportunities offered by colleges and departments across the university, according to abroad.tamu.edu.
A&M’s Department of Communication has a study abroad program in Siena, Italy which have recently started back up after COVID-related setbacks. Students take four communication courses over the semester-long program while embracing Italian culture through field trips and more.
Even on a tight budget, if you can, travel. The memories and experiences will last forever.
How to get a passport:
To be able to apply for a U.S. passport, you must be a U.S. citizen.
To apply for a U.S. passport, you will need the following items:

  • Application form, filled out electronically or by hand. It is very important this form is not signed until present with a passport official.
  • Personal documents: You will need an original proof of your citizenship document, an acceptable photo ID document and a photocopy of both.

The next step is submitting your passport application. There are many post offices that accept passport applications. Appointments are available to schedule at usps.com.
The application fee for a passport book for first-time applicants ages 16 and older is $130 with an additional $35 execution fee, according to travel.state.gov. Renewals cost $130.
Routine processing is 8-11 weeks, according to travel.state.gov. If you pay an $80 fee for expedited shipping, the time frame is cut to five to seven weeks. U.S. passports are valid for 10 years.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *