We recognize there are many steps to planning a trip. We have developed a detailed checklist to help simplify the process.
You should also be familiar with the DFA Traveler Guide, which outlines the financial-related aspects of traveling on Cornell business. (Policy 3.2 Travel Expenses, Appendix A Traveler Guide.)
[ ] Register your trip with Cornell's Travel Registry. (Required for all faculty, staff, and students.)
Paperwork and documents
[ ] Make sure you have a valid passport. Your passport should not expire less than 6 months prior to your return to the United States. Non-U.S. citizens' passports should be valid for a longer period.
[ ] Determine if you will need an entry visa for any of the countries you plan to visit.
[ ] Photocopy your passport, visa(s), insurance card, credit card(s), tickets, and other personal documents, and give copies to someone you trust at home. Keep a copy for yourself, separate from the originals.
[ ] Scan important documents and email them to yourself.
[ ] Book flights and hotels through your department's preferred vendor (Concur, Stovroff & Taylor Travel, and AAA offer direct billing for Cornell business). Check the airline for any baggage restrictions. If travel is funded by a grant or a specially designated account, review the Fly America Act and confirm flight options with the department financial administrator or financial transaction or business service center before purchasing tickets.
[ ] Ensure a family member and someone in your office has a copy of your travel itinerary and schedule. Advise them on how to best reach you while you're away.
Notifications and Registrations
[ ] Let your bank and credit card issuers know your travel plans. Ask whether your cards will work in your destination. Inquire about fees and partner banks.
[ ] Register with your country's embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens should register with the U.S. Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that allows the Department of State to better assist you in an emergency. Travelers will also receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
[ ] Visit the Cornell Health's Travel Clinic (fee applies) to ensure that:
- You have received all necessary vaccinations.
- You have packed prescription medications to last your entire trip as well as extra dosages for any travel delays.
- All of your medications are legal in the country/countries where you are traveling.
[ ] Make sure you understand how your health insurance coverage works abroad.
[ ] Review Cornell's Risk Management for International Travel policy.
[ ] Learn the local 911 equivalent number for emergencies.
[ ] Print the Emergency Protocol and Procedure form and develop a personal emergency plan (see attached).
Mobile devices and technology
[ ] Check to see if your cell phone and subscribed service will work abroad. Verizon and AT&T resources are available. If you plan on bringing your cell phone along, download the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler App.
[ ] Learn the international access codes for calls to and from the U.S.
[ ] Program important numbers into your phone before departure and keep a printed list handy.
[ ] Review Cornell IT's Travel Internationally with Technology information before traveling.
[ ] Check out the Navigate section on Technology and Photography.
General Country-Specific Education and Awareness
[ ] Review the current country report, travel advisories, political summary, and medical and security alerts from the U.S. Government, Centers for Disease Control, and/or other reliable sources for your destination locations. Take appropriate actions, as recommended in country reports and travel advisories.
[ ] Ensure that you are aware of any key dates, holidays, or events that may occur during your visit.
[ ] Educate yourself about local culture and customs.
[ ] Be sure you know the location of the nearest hospital or medical facility in the country/countries where you are traveling.
Stay connected with Cornell Library Services
[ ] Library cultures and access policies differ greatly around the world. Many libraries, including many of the major libraries of Europe, are closed stack (that is, you won't be able to browse the books on the shelves). They may also have very limited hours of operation and may charge access fees. Count on needing to plan ahead, and plan your research time carefully. Some libraries require a letter of introduction from a librarian just to use the facility. Cornell Library is happy to provide these letters; just let them know when and where you're going. You may also ask us to help identify libraries useful for your particular research. You may also find a list of national libraries online.
[ ] Learn about Cornell Library support for while you're away from campus
Important documents and items to pack in your hand luggage (not in checked luggage)
[ ] Valid passport and travel visa.
[ ] All cash, credit cards, and other forms of payment.
[ ] Any invitation letters from host organizations or institutions.
[ ] Copy of the International SOS membership card.
[ ] An extra photo ID, if available.
[ ] Health insurance card.
[ ] Sufficient cash for out-of-pocket expenses that cannot be charged with a credit card. Keep in mind that credit cards are not always accepted in all locations.
[ ] Copies of air travel, car rental, and hotel reservations.
[ ] Phone number(s) and address(es) of the U.S. embassy and consular offices for the country(ies) you will visit. Non-U.S. citizens should carry the corresponding information for the country that issued their passport.
[ ] Relevant contact details in case your itinerary changes.
[ ] Sufficient quantities of your prescription medications, including extra for any travel delays that may arise. Keep in original containers with corresponding prescriptions.
[ ] If you don't speak the local language, it can be helpful to bring printed copies of your hotel map and address written in the local language (for all hotels during your stay) to show taxi drivers. Hotels that cater to westerners often provide an "address card" in the room or at the concierge desk for this very purpose. A version of these cards can usually be downloaded on the hotel's website prior to travel.