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In the midst of your excitement, it can be easy to forget an important piece of information before your trip abroad. We've created checklists to help you remember key components.
Confirm that you have a passport that will be valid for at least 6 months after your intended return to the U.S. If you need a new passport, information is available here.
Check to see if a visa is required for entry into your destination country(ies). Acquire any necessary visas. Information on entry requirements is available here.
Check the U.S. Department of State website for country specific information sheets, travel alerts, and travel warnings for the country(ies) to which you will be traveling.
Make copies of the I.D. page of your passport and relevant visa pages. Leave a copy with a family member or friend in the U.S. and take a copy with you, separate from your passport.
Register your travel plans with the U.S. Embassy. You will be directed to do this in iAbroad. If you aren’t participating in an NWACC study abroad program, you can register your travel through this website.
Check the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for travel to your destination(s).
If there are recommended vaccinations or medications for your destination(s), visit a travel clinic to explore vaccination options.
Manage any prescription medications you may need while abroad. Get a letter from your doctor listing your medications and explaining why you need them. Carry instructions for treating any allergies or other unique medical conditions you might have. Find out whether your prescriptions are considered illegal in the country(ies) you will be traveling.
Have a health and dental checkup before you travel.
- Medical Care – This covers routine, urgent, and emergency care that you might need abroad and is generally what we consider as medical insurance.
- Medical Evacuation – This insurance will cover expenses related to transferring you to a facility for medical care should you become sick or injured. If you need to purchase medical evacuation coverage for this travel and are not getting the ISI group plan, then there are many more options. A couple such plans are IMG Patriot Travel Insurance and STA Travel.
- Repatriation – This insurance will cover expenses related to returning your remains to your home country should you die while abroad.
You may also want to consider additional insurance for other types of issues you may face abroad:
- Trip Interruption or Cancellation Insurance – This insurance will cover expenses related to changes in your travel plans.
- Extreme Sport Insurance – If you plan to participate in sporting activities such as bungee jumping, scuba diving, zip lining, high altitude hiking, etc., it would be wise for you to purchase an additional plan to cover injuries that may occur while participating in these activities. USA Today provides some tips on finding such insurance.
Make sure that you will have access to funds in case you should need to make unexpected purchases (ex. cancelled flights, extra meals, etc.).
Arrange for your bills to be paid while you are traveling.
Investigate the local conditions, laws, legal system, political landscape, weather, and culture of the country you’re visiting.
Make sure your covered luggage tags are labeled with your information. Also, place your contact information inside each piece of luggage.
Familiarize yourself with the current TSA luggage guidelines for air travel and find out how much luggage your airline will allow.
Confirm your flights with your airline and reserve seats.
Consider setting up a Power of Attorney with someone you know well to assist in your affairs while you are traveling.
Make arrangements for your mail delivery during your absence.