Planning and Checklists
The planning necessary and recommended for your upcoming travel depends largely on your destination, experience traveling internationally, and what you are planning to do while abroad. That being said, there are some standard things that everyone should do in preparing for a safe and healthy time abroad.
- Research your destination. The 3 websites found here are excellent sources of country specific information. You’ll find everything from lists of nearby hospitals to what typical scams you might run into in your destination.
- Call your banks and credit card companies. Let them know you are traveling by putting a “travel notification” on your accounts. If you don’t, they will assume charges are fraudulent and freeze use of your card.
- Ensure your passport/visa is valid. There’s nothing worse than showing up at the airport to find out your passport is about to expire or arriving in a foreign country without the correct visa and being sent home.
- Consider your health needs. This Health Self-Assessment is a great guide for thinking about your health needs in relation to your travel plans and can facilitate a discussion with your physician.
- Pack appropriately. Weather patterns, cultural norms, even how often you’ll have access to washing facilities all impact how you pack. Don’t wait until the last minute to avoid stress and remember, if it’s really important you can likely buy it in your destination….but not always; refer to bullet #1.
- Learn a few words in the local language. This can go a long way in showing people you respect your role as a guest in their country. If you don’t speak the language, try learning “May I speak English?” and know the difference between “Excuse me.”, “Pardon me.”, and “I’m sorry.”
- Register your travel and seek ITART approval as necessary. Registry of Cornell-related travel is mandatory for the majority of Cornell travelers and approval to travel to elevated-risk destinations may require 6-8 weeks of review. For more information visit the Registration and Restricted Travel page.
- Reach out to IHS. Cornell’s International Health and Safety team is always ready to discuss your travel plans with you and point you towards valuable resources for your particular needs.
For more detailed checklists and information:
- Pre-Travel Checklist for Independent Travelers
- Short, online, and free course on Student Travel Health and Safety.
- U.S. Department of State information for students abroad
- General, in-person International Travel Health & Safety monthly workshops schedule can be found here
Off-campus Activity Leaders (OCAL)
- If you are leading students on a Cornell-sponsored trip, you can access Cornell’s Checklist for Trip Leaders to help you plan for health, safety, emergencies, team-building and understanding your destination.
- Taking Students Abroad: in-person monthly workshops schedule can be found here
- Know before you go: Responsibilities, Expectations, & Resources guide for taking students abroad
Faculty and Staff
- If you are traveling for research or other purposes Cornell’s Faculty and Staff Pre-Travel Checklist provides the essentials of what you need to consider while planning a trip.