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Undergraduate Student Life

Domestic Travel Timeline

Domestic Travel Planning

Domestic Travel takes place within the U.S. (or territories).  Trips that take place outside of the U.S. are considered International Travel. These trips have different requirements and timelines.

We recommend that you approach your adviser at least a month in advance about your Domestic Travel in order to ensure your trip is designated as Columbia-Supported Travel. Many of the processes and travel payment options require several weeks to complete. The more time you give yourself to plan, the greater the options available to you. 

If you are considering a particularly complicated or long trip, you may want to consider giving yourself two months to plan and notify your adviser. 

One to two months before your trip

Meet with your adviser to discuss the following.  The adviser will help you develop an individual trip timeline to keep you on track.

  • Purpose of Trip - What’s the reason for the trip? Who is going and why? Does the trip fall within your group’s mission?
  • Travel Plans - Where will you be traveling and for how long? How will you get there? Where will you stay (if necessary)? Are there safety concerns?
  • Trip Finances - Will you be using university funding (that includes student-group funds)? Does your group have the funds to cover the travel? What is the tentative trip budget? Approximately how much, if any, will each traveler be expected to pay out-of-pocket? There are several options available to you to pay for travel. What methods make the most sense for your trip? What steps need to be taken to access those spending options?

Following the meeting, you will need to submit any financial paperwork related to your upcoming trip, such as FTFs, travel advance forms, request to use the departmenteal travel card, etc.

Between this meeting with your adviser and the next, you will purchase as much of your travel as possible. 

Two weeks before your trip

  • Purpose of Trip - You and your adviser will review the purpose of the trip and discuss any adjustments.  
  • Travel Plans - You and your adviser will review your individual trip timeline and confirm details such as transportation, lodging and other trip details. 
  • Trip Roster - You will finalize your trip roster with your adviser.
  • Trip Finances - You and your adviser will discuss the finances of the trip, including the trip budget and the chosen payment methods. Your adviser will review processes and deadlines that you need to be aware of.

One week before your trip

  • Travel Plans - You and your adviser will check in to see if there have been any changes to your travel plans and how best to manage the changes. 
  • Trip Roster - You will confirm your roster and instruct all your participants to fill out and submit their Domestic Travel Form online.  
  • Trip Finances - You and your adviser will discuss any last-minute issues with the payment methods and how to deal with them.  You can attempt to purchase last-minute travel at this time. 

48 hours before your trip

Check in with your adviser to address any last-minute issues.

Your adviser will confirm that all the students on your travel roster have correctly filled out and submitted the Domestic Travel Form online. Remember, only students who fill out the appropriate Travel Form can use the Columbia-supported travel designation.

48 hours after your trip’s completion

  • Debrief with your Adviser - Schedule time to meet with your adviser to debrief your trip.  
  • Trip Finances - You will submit any relevant financial paperwork.

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