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Trip Planning Checklist

Trip Planning Checklist

Use this Trip Planning Checklist to take the stress out of international travel. This categorized list of essential items to consider before, during, and after your trip abroad, focusing on both travel health and travel safety and security. 

Travel Health

International Health Insurance
Country-Specific Health Information
Managing Health Conditions Abroad
  • Students with current (pre-existing) physical or mental health conditions should consider participating in GeoBlue's Pre-departure Program to work directly with a healthcare professional on managing your health and wellbeing abroad
  • Taking prescription medication abroad? Read advice on traveling with medications
Medical Emergencies
  1. In a medical emergency, go directly to the nearest treating facility
  2. As soon as possible, contact GeoBlue at (610) 254-8771 and notify your on-site contact, trip leader, or the NUPD at (847) 491-3456
Non-Emergency Health Needs Abroad
  • Use your GeoBlue app to schedule appointments with a healthcare provider in your travel destination; if you do not use a GeoBlue-networked physician, you will pay out-of-pocket, but can submit receipts for reimbursement
  • Alternatively, use Remote Care Services: Global TeleMD or Global Wellness Assist
  • It is not uncommon for students to experience emotional distress while abroad, perhaps even for the first time; visit Mental Health Abroad for advice 

Travel Safety & Security

International Travel Registry and Security Resources
  • All students on university-related travel abroad must register their trip in the Northwestern International Travel Registry (ITR) unless traveling through the Global Learning Office 
  • AlertTraveler (AT) provides destination-specific intelligence and safety / security alerts to students and trip leaders who register with the ITR; sign-up is voluntary
  • Review the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Traveler's website for travel safety resources, including country-specific Travel Advisories
  • Travelers that identify as LGBTQI+ can face unique challenges in some locations abroad; review information prepared by the U.S. DOS. Safety considerations are also available for persons of color and travelers identifying as female
  • The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free safety and security messaging service provided by the U.S. DOS to those who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country
  • Look up the 911 equivalent for your destination and save to your contacts
Sexual Misconduct Abroad
Alcohol Safety
  • Consider how alcohol is consumed in the local culture -- ask trusted local residents for advice and understand that certain drinking behaviors may identify you as an outsider, making you a target for crime; if you choose to drink while abroad, do so with a trusted “buddy”
Road, Water and Fire Safety
  • ASIRT provides information about road conditions to make safe transportation choices
  • Swim with care, choose safe beaches, plan for emergencies, and do not consume alcohol while swimming
  • Locate/test fire escapes, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers in your residence; purchase a portable smoke detector to take on your trip
International Students Traveling Outside the U.S.
  • Secure your travel signature and necessary documents to travel abroad and re-enter the States; otherwise, you may risk facing detention by Customs and Border Patrol; for additional advice, read about International Student & Scholar Services Travel
Crime and Threat Deterrence