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Chicago Metropolitan Area Travel

Planning on traveling in the Chicago Metropolitan Area?

Same day travel (leave and return on the same day)

We encourage your group to explore the following options:

Overnight Travel

Driving a vehicle?

All Registered Student Organization Travel must align with the University Travel Policies outlined by the Office of Risk Management.

Student organizations can use Northwestern's relationship with Enterprise to rent a vehicle for pickup in Evanston or Chicago and bill directly to the group's chart string. A faculty/staff advisor is authorized to complete this on behalf of the org. More information is available here on the Procurement and Payment Services site.  Student organizations who need a vehicle locally will select the 'Registered Student Organizations' local pickup option. Student organizations who wish to reserve a vehicle away from Evanston will select 'Business Use - Travel Outside of Chicagoland.' Note that Enterprise may require drivers to be 21 years of age or older. Additionally, students may rent their own vehicles and seek reimbursement through their SOFO account/chart string for the purchase as long as it is within the guidelines for using their SOFO funds.

Risk management at Northwestern manages the certified driver program. More information available for students to become certified here:

  • Destination
  • Number of Miles
  • Time they are leaving campus
  • Time the plan to arrive at destination
  • Time they plan to return to campus
  • Time they plan to arrive on campus

Using a bus?

(Note, students may not drive any vehicle larger than a 7 person van)

Contact University Services for information on bus services including 14 passenger vans.

Schedule your advisor meeting

Schedule a meeting with your advisor at least 4 weeks prior to travel for overnight travel. Bring to meeting the following:

  • Purpose
  • Tentative travel plan including:
    • Where you want to go
    • What organization or vendor you'd like to work with and/or conference or retreat you'd like to attend

NOTE: Vendors/Organizations must be able to provide contract in order to be considered valid options. SOA advisors are happy to assist in this process

If trip is approved then you will have to complete Student Organization Travel Planning Form. Please note you will have to complete any required supplementary forms including, but not limited to:

If you are partnering with vendor and/or organization begin contract process.

NOTE: All contracts must be reviewed by advisor and then submitted by advisor to Tracey Gibson-Jackson,, at least two weeks prior to proposed travel.

NOTE: All supplemental forms and/or waivers need to be submitted to advisor prior to scheduled departure date. Travel subject to cancellation by the University if all participant forms are not received at least one week prior to proposed departure.