Travel Planning Timeline
Premliminary Planning: At Least Three Months Before Trip
Trip leader(s) meet with your group adviser to discuss the following:
- Business Purpose of Trip - How does this align with the group’s mission? What are you trying to accomplish?
- Travel Policies
- International Travel Information form
- Travel Plans
- Destination Country & City
- Dates of Trip
- Estimated Number of Travelers (Students & Non-Students)
If there are any travel alerts or warnings for the destination, special considerations will need to be researched and discussed:
- Assess political climate in country & determine safety of student delegation. Collaborative decisions between SACBO, Community Development and the Dean’s Office (if warranted) to allow travel to cities with travel warnings or alerts are made on a case by case basis, depending on the detailed information in the warning/alert.
- Complete Addendum to the Travel Waiver.
Financial Planning: At Least Two Months Before Trip
Trip leader(s) meet with financial advisor to discuss the following:
- Account Balance & Spending Options
- What percentage of your allocation will you be using?
- Are you applying for internal Columbia grants and sponsorship opportunities?
- Will your group be fundraising? If yes, then a fundraising proposal should be submitted.
- Will there be student contributions? What is the deadline for receiving these?
Making Arrangements and Facilitating Expenses
- Outline the categories of expenses and identify vendors
- Submit Financial Transaction Forms (FTFs) for approval by group adviser
- When applicable, submit W-9 form or W-8BEN to add vendors to ARC system. Paying international vendors is a complex process – get started early. Note: Adding a new vendor to the system can take up to 2 weeks, then an additional 2-3 weeks to process the payment. Please be proactive in submitting appropriate information to help expediate this process.
- Submit invoices for expenses that can be pre-paid (i.e. hotel, if check accepted)
- Request Cash/Travel Advance, if applicable, and identify designated students who will incur expenses on behalf of the group, if applicable
- Purchase airline tickets, if applicable, through these means:
- Make reservations with STA Travel, our approved travel agent, and your financial adviser will then approve the purchase with STA Travel.
- OR Speak with your financial adviser to use the Student Affairs Divisional Travel Card, if making your purchase at least 3 weeks prior to your trip.
- OR Use your personal credit card and then seek reimbursement, particularly for last-minute purchases
- Verify lodging arrangements and receive reservation details in writing
At Least One Month Before Trip
Trip leader(s) must:
- Update group and financial advisers of any travel changes/situations that require attention
- Submit a roster of trip participants to group adviser
- Ensure all trip participants complete the online Student Travel Registration Form prior to set deadline
- Register your trip details online using the International SOS Personal Travel Locator
Two Weeks Before the Trip
Trip leader(s) meet with group and financial advisers to discuss the following:
- Review all aspects of the itinerary and confirm arrangements
- A pre-travel meeting with participants to discuss the trip itinerary, risks involved and travel policies
- Expectations of the group while traveling and representing the University
- How to track receipts and document expenditures while traveling
- Currency conversion
- Safeguards while traveling
- Students must register with the Embassy of the country they are citizens of, in the country they are traveling to
- Students confirm flights departure time with airline and hotel reservations
- Students confirm that the emergency contact information is still accurate
- ENJOY AND BE SAFE!
After the Trip – No Later than One Business Week
- Meet with your group adviser to discuss the trip and any unusual situations that arose
- Submit Travel & Business Expense Report Forms and receipts for reimbursement to your financial adviser, if applicable
- Reconcile Cash/Travel Advances, which must be completed within 5 business days of trip return date
- In the case where travel is to attend a conference, the organization must submit an itinerary or program, to confirm that students attended the conference
- In the event of hotel stay, please provide your financial adviser with hotel folio(s)/receipt(s)