International Travel Toolkit: Faculty, Staff & Post-docs
Things to Do Before You Travel Abroad
Click on each item for more information
Before making travel arrangements, use these resources to determine if it’s safe to travel to your destination
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How safe is my destination?
- Is it OK to travel to a country with a threat rating of “4”?
- Is the safety/security environment of the country in flux?
- Would it make sense to visit a different, safer country instead?
- If I go, what resources will I use to monitor changes in the security situation or respond in an emergency?
Visit the “Safety & Security” section of this toolkit to learn about the steps you can take to travel more safely.
- It can take several months to get a passport; apply now if you don’t have one
- Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after you return from travel
Determine if you’ll need a visa
Visit CIBT’s website (Yale’s preferred vendor for visas)
Questions to ask:
- What type of visa do I need (tourist, student)?
- How long will it take for my visa to arrive?
- Will I need a transit visa (for a layover or travel through another country on the way to my destination)?
Register with Yale through the Office of International Affairs (requires a NetID)
- Help Yale locate and contact you in a major emergency
- You can start your registration as soon as you know your destination and approximate dates of travel, then return to the registry as often as needed to add or update information about your flights, where you’ll be staying, local contact information and more, as those details become available
- IMPORTANT: You will need to login to the registry using your NetID and must use a Yale networked computer or a Yale VPN connection
Register with the U.S. State Department through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (if you are a U.S. citizen)
- Help the State Department assist you in an emergency
If you are a citizen of another country, contact your country’s embassy in your destination to let them know your travel plans.
Schedule a consultation
- traveling with medication
- other health concerns in the destination
Schedule your appointment early; many immunizations are given in a series over time.
For more information
For additional info on vaccines and other health concerns, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travelers’ website and use the drop-down menu for destinations.
Note that effective January 1, 2019, Yale’s travel assistance program moved from UHC Global to International SOS (ISOS). For more information about ISOS, including guidance on travel while we transition to ISOS, visit https://ogc.yale.edu/erm/ISOS.
- Keep it with you in your wallet or purse
- Email it to yourself in case your wallet or purse is lost or stolen
- Program the numbers into your cell phone
Emergency travel assistance
As a Yale traveler, you are automatically covered
Yale’s travel assistance program provides medical, security, and general travel assistance to travelers
- medical and security evacuations
- lost or stolen passports
- legal referrals
- emergency transfer of funds
Assistance is available 24/7/365, anywhere in the world (even in the U.S. more than 100 miles from Yale)
Check your health insurance coverage
1. Determine if your current health insurance plan covers you while abroad, including for chronic medical conditions (see Yale Health coverage information below).
2. If you’re not covered abroad, or have incomplete coverage for your needs, consider purchasing an international travel health insurance policy for the duration of your travel.
- Insure My Trip is an online tool for helping travelers compare and identify appropriate international travel health insurance coverage. The International Operations & Compliance Committee has not reviewed the information on that website to verify its thoroughness or accuracy and therefore travelers are advised to do their own due diligence before using this site and purchasing insurance.
Yale Health Plan Coverage
If you’re enrolled in the Yale Health Hospitalization/ Specialty Care Coverage, you are covered for urgent or emergency health care anywhere in the world.
- Call Yale Health Member Services at 203-432-0246
Very important – Take your Yale Health (or other) insurance card with you.
Plan to bring a combination of cash (though never carry too much at once), debit or ATM cards, credit cards, and traveler’s checks, if viable for your destination:
Tell your bank and credit card companies that you’ll be traveling
- Ask if they charge foreign transaction fees
- Ask if you’ll need a PIN to make purchases abroad
Clean out your wallet or purse
- Take only the credit cards and ID you will need
Exchange some cash to your destination’s local currency to last the first couple of days
- Exchange money at a bank before you leave the U.S. or get similar rates of exchange in the airport when you arrive
Find out about Arrival and Departure Taxes and Currency Restrictions
- Be aware of any applicable arrival or departure taxes that you may encounter
- Likewise learn about any restrictions your destination may have on how much currency you can enter and exit with
- The Countries section of this website
- Country-specific information section of the U.S. State Department website
- CIA World Factbook
- The website of a popular media outlet in your destination
- International SOS country reports
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- ASIRT road reports (requires a NetID)
- U.S. State Department directory of U.S. embassies
Take a copy of each, leave a copy at home, or scan & email to yourself and others
- Passport identification page and visa
- Driver’s license
- Insurance cards
- Credit cards (front and back)
- Flight and other travel itineraries
- Immunizations and prescriptions
- Significant medical history (e.g., surgeries, severe allergies, major illnesses)
Ways to get a cell phone for your travel:
- Ask your current cell phone service provider to unlock your U.S. cell phone
- Buy an international cell phone before you leave
- Buy a phone when you reach your destination then purchase a SIM card that can be recharged on a pay-as-you-go basis
Receiving calls from home
Making international calls from your cell phone can be expensive, but incoming calls may be free
Learn how to make collect calls from your destination
Emergency cell phone use
If you are using your cell phone during an emergency that could last hours or even days, try texting instead of calling to save battery life on your phone
Protect your property
Consider personal property insurance for electronics or other expensive personal items
- See if your belongings are covered abroad by your homeowner’s policy
- Try the personal property insurance program made available by Yale
Many Yale applications are restricted to campus computers
- File shares from computers on the Yale Network
- Library journals and databases
- Oracle applications
To access these resources from abroad, download the Yale VPN Client before you travel
Secure wireless connection
Create secure and private connections to Yale while traveling
- Set up your laptop, smartphone, and other electronic devices for secure connections to Yale
- Use Yale’s account with Eduroam to access wifi networks in 65 countries worldwide: learn more about this resource by visiting Yale ITS.