Travel Checklist

Suzanne Ou.jpg
Undergraduates studying in South Africa visit West Coast National Park. By Suzanne Ou.

International travel requires careful planning. Before you leave, review the checklist below. We’ll help you with the logistics so you can focus on remembering to pack your phone charger.

Check your passport

Check your passport's expiration date. Most of the time, your passport should be valid for 6 months after you leave your destination country. It should also have a few blank pages.

If you don’t have a passport, or if you need to renew, you can apply at any local passport facility.

Get a visa

If you are traveling with a Duke program, check with your program staff to see if you need a visa. If so, they can tell you what kind you need and how to get it.

For independent travel, check the U.S. State Department website and the embassy website of the country you are visiting.

The process can take a while, so it's best to apply early.

Visit the travel clinic

The international travel clinic at Student Health provides prescriptions, vaccines, mental health resources and safety tips. Please schedule your appointment 2-3 months before you leave the United States.

Some countries require vaccines for entry, so check the State Department website to see what your destination requires.

Register your trip

Both undergraduate and graduate students are required to enter their travel information in the Duke Travel Registry. The registry helps Duke find and assist you in case of emergency.

Print your travel assistance card

If your travel is sponsored by, funded by, or organized by Duke, you are covered by International SOS. All you have to do is print an I-SOS card and carry it with you. In case of emergency, call the number on the card for help.

Review the global IT checklist 

The global IT checklist will help you make sure that your chargers will work and that you’ll have internet access while abroad. May your data be secure and your wifi connection strong.

Notify your bank and credit card companies

If you will be using a credit or debit card abroad, call your bank and/or credit card company and let them know you’ll be traveling. Otherwise, your card might be declined by mistake.

Note that many companies will charge a foreign transaction fee each time you use your card outside the United States.