Obtain passport and required visas. Due to potential processing delays, US passports should be applied for 4-6 months before departure, though in an emergency situation applications can be rushed at substantially higher costs. Many countries process visa applications in a matter of days, but for some countries it may take up to several weeks. Contact your destination country’s embassy or consulate for more information.
Ensure your GOCard and other identification are current and unexpired. In an emergency, a current GOCard may be the only thing that links you to Georgetown. Expired GOCards can be renewed free of charge at the GOCard Office in the Leavey Center Bookstore.
Ensure you will have an adequate supply of your medications. Order a supply of any prescription medications you will need while you are away, as well as a copy of any eyeglass prescriptions. International SOS (new window) country guides contain detailed information on the best way to minimize difficulties in bringing prescription drugs through customs.
If planning to drive, ensure you have the appropriate permit. Some countries will allow drivers to use their American license for short-term visits, while others may require an International Driving Permit (IDP.) Information on the IDP is available through AAA (new window).
Make and carry with you photocopies of important documents. It is particularly important to have copies of your airline reservation, trip itinerary, and the front page of your passport. Copies of credit cards and phone numbers of your financial institution are also important in the event that they are lost or stolen. In addition, photocopies of these documents should be given to a trusted emergency contact.
Be sure Georgetown has your current emergency contact information. This is particularly important for those traveling on University business. Emergency contact information can be updated through MyAccess (new window)(students) or GMS (new window) (faculty and staff.)
Ensure you will be able to obtain cash at your destination. It is often easy to obtain cash in a foreign country through an ATM; however, some banks require account holders to register before their ATM card will function abroad. Consult with your bank regarding its particular requirements. Regardless of one’s individual situation, it is advisable to obtain a small amount of spending money in the destination country’s currency before departure.
For US citizens, register travel with the local US embassy. Registration allows you to be easily located by embassy personnel in the event of an emergency and can be completed through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, ensure your US visa paperwork is in order for return to the US. Check the conditions of your US visa to ensure your travel will not conflict with your visa requirements. It is advisable to bring extra evidence of your visa status in case you are challenged at Immigration upon return. Georgetown students, faculty, and staff should contact International Student and Scholar Services (new window) in the Office of Global Services with visa-related questions.