Students in the dessert, by Katie McMahon '13

Faculty Independent Travel

Faculty College-Sponsored Travel

Information for Faculty College-Sponsored Travel

As faculty members plan travel for their teaching and research, the information and questions below will help with planning for a safe and successful trip:

  • Know the COVID and other health risks from the CDC and recommendations for travel in light of these risks.
  • Know travel restrictions and entry and exit requirements by reviewing COVID information from U.S. embassies abroad. Be sure you have the proper travel documents, e.g., valid passport, visa if necessary, from the U.S. State Department country profiles
  • Faculty who are U.S. citizens should register their trip with the U.S. Embassy Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at Faculty from other countries should consult with their home country embassy for a similar program.
  • Consider where you will be conducting your work or attending your conference. Are the facilities open? Have operating hours changed? What health and safety measures are being taken? What cleaning measures are in place? 
  • Develop contingency plans. What happens if the facility where you intend to work is no longer open, has reduced capacity, etc.? What if you test positive prior to departure, what is your isolation and quarantine plan and how will you access health care? What if you have to stay for an extended period? Can you stay in your accommodations or will you need to book new ones? 
  • Confirm your health insurance covers you in your destination and learn how you have any medical bills paid. If you are required to pay out of pocket and seek reimbursement from your health insurance provider, do you have funds you can access to cover medical expenses?
  • Research various modes of transportation at your local destination including to/from the airport and local travel. What safety precautions (e.g., masks, social distancing) are being followed? Reconfirm flights as airlines have made adjustments to scheduled flights in recent months.
  • Understand your accommodations and what health and safety measures are in place. Are your accommodations shared or private? Will you be able to isolate or quarantine in these accommodations if necessary?
  • Consider whether you want to purchase trip insurance and, if so, what kind. Learn about different options, costs, and policies at
  • Develop a communications plan, one that does not rely exclusively on one mode of communication such as WiFi. 
  • Members of the Amherst community traveling on college-sponsored travel automatically have access to AIG Travel Guard, an emergency medical assist benefit, when traveling more than 100 miles from home. Most health insurance policies do not include coverage for emergency medical evacuation or repatriation of remains, both of which are costly. The benefit covers the Amherst College employee only; coverage for dependents and spouses can be purchased through AIG Travel Guard by the employee. While there are pandemic exclusions, there are services provided that could be beneficial to travelers. See the policy and how to contact AIG online

Independent Faculty College-Sponsored Travel FAQs