Prepare for Travel

Whether you’ll be traveling on your own, working with a team of international collaborators, or leading students abroad, you must get yourself and your group ready to go. There are items you should consider:

Health Insurance and Emergency Travel Assistance

Understand or obtain proper insurance coverage for illness, injury, evacuation, and other travel issues. It is an absolute necessity for any international activity.

Travel Health and Medicine

Find information on health conditions and precautions, including required and recommended vaccinations.

Itinerary and Contact Information

Verify that your emergency management plan contains accurate travel itineraries and emergency and on-site contact information for yourself and all participants, and make sure copies are left with your unit contacts at BU.

STEP Program Enrollment

Enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) if you are a US citizen. STEP allows registered travelers to receive updates and alerts from the US government, and allows travelers to be contacted more easily in case of emergency. A free iPhone app is also available. Citizens of other countries should check with their embassy or consulate to see if a similar program is available to them.

Waivers and Other Forms

Consult with Global Programs on forms your activity may require, including participant agreements and waivers.

Training and Orientations

Work with Global Programs to develop training and orientation materials for all participants in an international activity. All participants should be well-versed in an activity’s potential risks and its safety planning, and be prepared to execute the activity’s emergency procedures.

    Training for participants in group activities is best carried out both before travel, in the form of a pre-departure orientation or informational meeting, and also on-site as soon as possible after arrival in the host country. Here is a basic guide to pre-departure orientations.

    Also, as a basic guide to help you organize your preparation, use our pre-departure checklist for international travelers.

    Now that you’ve thoroughly prepared for your trip, the next section will advise you on how to successfully respond to an emergency situation, should it occur.