Domestic and International Travel

Student Groups Trip Leader Handbook (PDF)

The University recognizes the desire for undergraduate organizations to occasionally travel in furtherance of the mission of the organization. It is important that the undergraduate organizations are properly prepared and take the proper steps to protect the travelers and the University. Undergraduate organizations are responsible for appointing an officer of the organization to act as the trip leader.

Domestic Travel

Officers or trip leaders for undergraduate organizations intending to travel away from New Haven, but within the United States, even for short periods, must provide an itinerary to the Office of Student Affairs during the trip planning process, but no less than two (2) weeks prior to their departure. The itinerary should include details of travel arrangements (e.g., flight numbers and times), at least one daily contact telephone number, overnight destinations (including contact information), a list of all planned activities and a list of all travelers. Itineraries should be delivered to 102 SSS, faxed to 432-7369, or sent by email to silvia.decastro@yale.edu. Depending upon the specifics of the trip, the Office of Student Affairs may want to meet with the trip leaders.

Designated driver(s) of vehicle(s) must have a driver’s license that is valid for driving in the United States and a clean motor vehicle record

All privately owned vehicles must be properly maintained, registered and carry adequate insurance. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner must give permission for its use. If a vehicle is rented from an outside agency, it is essential that the terms and conditions of the rental contracts are followed, particularly with regard to age restrictions and licensing of the drivers. If possible, Yale’spreferred rental agencies should be utilized. Insurance comes with the rental if the corporate code is used at the time of booking.

Student drivers should be well rested. On long trips, drivers should rotate every two hours. Another student should be awake and alert in the front seat. Driving through the night should be avoided. All students planning to drive must take the Driver Safety Awareness Class offered by the Office of Risk Management, even if they are driving their own vehicles. Students should be aware of hazardous weather conditions and predictions and be willing to change or cancel their travel plans accordingly.

Use of 12 and 15 passenger van use is prohibited. According to a Federal Government safety advisory, these vehicles are more likely to be involved in rollover accidents than smaller vans and cars.

Further details on Use of Automobiles can be found in on the Office of Risk Management website. Students are expected to comply with the law concerning the use and possession of alcohol or drugs. There must be no consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs while traveling, by drivers or passengers.

All accidents should be reported to Yale’s Office of Risk Management, 2 Whitney Grove Square, 432-0140. If a police accident report is available, a copy should be submitted. If not, a member of the group should submit a report including the date of the accident, time, place, type of vehicles involved, any injuries, names of drivers and occupants, and a report of how the accident occurred. The University will assume no responsibility for any claims of physical damage to privately owned vehicles, i.e., for loss from fire, theft, collision, etc.

International Travel

Officers or trip leaders for undergraduate organizations intending to travel abroad must also provide the same detailed itinerary as described above to the Office of Student Affairs. It is strongly recommended that this information be sent early in the trip planning process, as the Office of Student Affairs may make some recommendations regarding the itinerary. In no circumstances shall this information be sent less than three (3) weeks prior to their departure. Depending upon the specifics of the trip, the Office of Student Affairs may want to meet with the trip leaders.

Undergraduate organizations are also expected to follow the guidelines posted on the following Web sites.

Center for International Experience Health & Safety Abroad

State Department Travel Warnings

Safety, Security and Planning for Emergencies

The Yale and the World International Toolkit contains information on how to be an educated traveler, including information on pretrip planning, logistics, emergency planning and travel safety. It also includes a section on Leading/Sponsoring Group Travel. All trip leaders should review the information on this website, understand their responsibilities and be prepared for emergencies or other unexpected situations. 

Use of Outside Vendors

Assistance with travel planning, tour providers, transportation providers and lodging are some of the services that undergraduate organizations may procure before or during travel. It is important that these service providers are properly vetted, they carry appropriate insurance and the terms and conditions of these services are clear and in writing. Any questions regarding the use of vendors should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs.

Waivers and Releases

All students wishing to travel as part of an undergraduate student organization trip must sign the appropriate waiver. Trip leaders must ensure these waivers are on hand prior to the commencement of travel.