Travel in North America

Trip Planning

U-M International Center, Education Abroad Office

The Education Abroad Office has information about traveling on your own as inexpensively as possible, places to visit, transportation, lodging, and student tours in the U.S. and Canada. Call 734.764.9310 or email ic-abroad@umich.edu.

The Ann Arbor District Library

The Ann Arbor District Library has an extensive collection of current travel guides that can be checked out. They have all the most popular guides, such as Fodor's, Let's Go, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, etc., for all regions of this country. To get started, search their catalog online http://www.aadl.org/catalog by the subject: United States – Guidebooks. To get a borrower card at the Public Library, you just have to give them proof of Ann Arbor residency (such as an envelope with your name and local address on it).

State and National Tourist Offices

All U.S. states have travel and tourism offices. Visit the U.S. Travel and Tourism Sites which may offer free brochures and maps in addition to their online information. Some cities also maintain their own Convention and Visitors Bureaus with information about the city and local events. The Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau is located at 120 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, 734.995.7281.

Travel to Canada has links to Canadian tourism and visa information.

Mexico Tourist Information

Local Travel Agencies

Travel agencies sell or provide information on airline tickets, student tours, train passes, car rental, and hotel reservations. For bus travel or for individual train tickets, see Greyhound and Amtrak information below. There is no cost to visit or call a travel agency but there may be a fee if the agency makes a booking for you. Boersma travel is an agency in Ann Arbor that offers special airfare from time to time. Also check STA travel’s website for student deals at http://www.statravel.com/ or call 1-800-332-5442.

Boersma Travel
12 Nickels Arcade
Ann Arbor MI 48104
734.994.6204

Local Tours

The Outdoor Adventures rental center offers camping and sports equipment rentals to students at very reasonable rates.

American Automobile Association (“Triple A” or AAA)

Once a membership fee is paid, members receive emergency road service, free Travelers Checks, discounts on car rentals or admission tickets to local amusement parks, free tour books and city, state or country maps, as well as other useful information. AAA will also plan the best route for any automobile trip in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. If you are good at doing your own planning, you may not need to join AAA.

AAA Worldwide Travel Service locations:
1200 S. Main, 734.747.7000
2650 Carpenter Rd., 734.973.2800

Transportation

This section contains information on several major modes of transportation: Train Travel, Bus Travel, and Airlines, and Car Travel.

Train Travel

Amtrak
Amtrak offers train service to most major cities in the United States. The Amtrak Station in Ann Arbor is located at 325 Depot St and can be reached by telephone at 734.994.4906. For routes and schedules, visit the Amtrak web site. Be sure to check out the Hot Deals section to look for reduced prices on certain routes.

VIA Rail Canada
VIA Rail Canada offers train service in Canada only. You can find routes, schedules, and book tickets directly from the Via Rail Canada web site.

Bus Travel

Greyhound Bus Lines
Greyhound offers cross-country bus service as well as service between cities within Michigan. The bus station in Ann Arbor is located at 116 W. Huron St. between Main and Ashley Streets and can be reached by telephone at 734.662.5511. You can find routes, schedules, and book tickets directly from the Greyhound web site.

Megabus
Megabus offers low-cost bus service in the Midwest and Northeast part of the U.S., however currently the only route available from Ann Arbor goes to Chicago. Megabus boasts fares as low as $1 (plus fees) on certain days! Fares vary depending on when you are planning to travel, but often it can be one of the cheapest ways to get to and from Chicago! Unlike the Greyhound buses which makes several stops en route to Chicago, Megabus is direct, which results in a slightly shorter commute. The Megabus picks up in the State Street Park and Ride Lot, which is easily accessible with AATA Bus 62.

Green Tortoise
Slow but sure is the rule of thumb here. This company offers long leisurely trips through the U.S. national parks, Alaska, the west coast of the U.S., Mexico and several Central American countries as well as elsewhere in the U.S. Participants work together to set an itinerary, cook meals, etc. Past participants have occasionally reported mechanical problems with the buses, so make sure you are not in a hurry if you sign up! Visit their web site for routes and schedules.

Greyhound of Canada
This bus company is independent of Greyhound USA. Tickets and bus passes for Greyhound of Canada cannot be bought or used in the USA! They can only be purchased at the Greyhound Canada station IN CANADA. Visit their web site for routes and schedules.

Airlines

Prices and schedules change so quickly in the airline industry that the best idea is to call several airline companies or travel agencies or check out their websites every time you want to take a trip to see what special offers they have. Be sure to ask about frequent flier programs; most airlines will give you a free ticket after you have used that airline a certain number of times. A few on-line travel sites are provided below:

With web sites like Priceline.com and Hotwire.com, you find out the name of the airline only after you have purchased the flight. Be sure to read the web site carefully for information about how this process works.

For information on airlines and flights to and from Detroit Metro Airport please visit: http://www.metroairport.com/Airlines.aspx

For student airfare, be sure to check out STA Travel.

Shuttles to Detroit Metro Airport

Airport taxis and shuttles make it easy to get from your home to the Detroit Metro Airport. Visit the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau web site for a list of companies or the Office of New Student Programs Airport Transportation list.

The Central Student Government (CSG) also offers airport shuttle service called CSG AirBus before and after Thanksgiving, fall, winter and spring breaks. Visit the CSG AirBus web site to learn more about this service.

Car Travel

There are many different companies that rent cars, and they often run special offers.

You must have a valid U.S. driver's license or an International Driver's License to rent a car.

If you already have automobile insurance, please check with your insurance agent regarding whether or how your policy covers you in a rental car. Insurance is also available from the rental car company. Please check with the rental car agent for details.

Zipcar
Zipcar is a car-sharing service that allows you to use designated Zipcar vehicles which are parked in various places around Ann Arbor. You can use Zipcar with a driver's license from outside the U.S. or Canada, see http://www.zipcar.com/universities/university-of-michigan.

Accommodations

In general, hotels are the most expensive places to stay in North America. Motels are somewhat less expensive. Book hotels online at web sites such as www.hotels.com or www.priceline.com. Alternatively, you could book directly on a hotel’s web site. Some examples of lower cost hotel chains include Holiday Inn, Best Western, and Days Inn.

For alternatives to hotels and motels you may consider:

Further Reading

See the Resources for Travel in North America page on this site for more travel information. Local book stores typically have a travel section where you can find detailed guides on locations all around the world. These books often include great amounts of destination-specific information on the topics covered above and more!