Prep for Travel

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Prep for Travel



Taking Health Precautions Before Travel

Make your health a priority while traveling abroad. Schedule a health check-up with ASU Health Services or your doctor 4-6 weeks before your travel. To find out if you need vaccinations and/or malaria medicine, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Destinations List, and navigate to your destination country. Pay close attention to vaccinations that are required before you can enter or exit a country. You may need to obtain proof that you received these vaccinations in the form of an International Certification of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP), which your doctor can provide. 

Travel-related health problems have been reported in as many as 22%–64% of travelers to developing countries.

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 


Taking Health Precautions During and After Travel

The CDC has many great resources for avoiding illness and injury while overseas. Check out their extensive library of travel and international-related vidoes. Below are two videos especially designed with the international traveler in mind. 

Way to Go: Passport to Health

Running Time: (4:17)

Release Date: 02/08/2010

Each year more Americans are travelling overseas. Health experts suggest that you take several key steps to be proactive, prepared, and protected against injury or illness while outside of the United States, especially in developing nations. This includes packing a health kit, bringing necessary medications, and getting the right immunizations for safe and healthy travel.

Way to Go: Many Healthy Returns

Running Time: (4:00)

Release Date: 2/08/2010

International travel is usually very safe but there are things you should do to stay safe and healthy. Experts show you how to avoid problems when traveling in developing nations. This includes being cautious about the food you eat, the water you drink, and to be aware of vehicles and road conditions to prevent problems.

If there is a major health risk for your destination, such as Zika or Ebola, know the symptoms and incubation period of the disease, and monitor your health for the appropriate number of weeks or months following your travel. If you have any symptoms, schedule an appointment with ASU Health Services or your doctor immediately. 



Understanding Your Insurance Coverage

It is important to review and understand your insurance coverage prior to travel. Knowing what is and is not covered will help you make smarter decisions during travel. As an ASU employee, you have four types of insurance coverage when traveling internationally on authorized business.


1. Worker's Compensation Insurance

Your primary medical insurance coverage while abroad is the State of Arizona's workers' compensation policy. The trigger for this insurance coverage is a work-related injury or illness. This policy does not cover routine or ongoing medical care or medications for pre-existing conditions. For additional information, see Risk Management's page on foreign travel.


2. ASU-sponsored Health Insurance

Depending on your health care plan, you may have additional emergency and urgent care insurance coverage:

See the Office of Human Resource's health benefits guide


3. Emergency Travel Assistance

You have access to the State of Arizona's emergency travel assistance program through ACE while abroad. To review the list of services and print a copy of the insurance card, see Risk Management's page on foreign travel. ACE also has a travel app that you can use on your desktop or mobile device to access key information and alerts during travel. Register using your ASU email address and policy number ADDN06564422.


4. Liability Insurance

The State of Arizona's liability insurance covers you while abroad. To review the scope of coverage, see the Office of General Counsel's page on insurance coverage by the state


Purchasing Supplemental Insurance Coverage

ASU's insurance coverage is sufficient for most travelers. However, there are some cases where you may wish to purchase supplemental coverage. These include if you are traveling for an extended period of time, are in poor health, are including personal travel in your trip, or are traveling with family members. See the Department of State's list of travel insurance companies. Risk Management recommends Travel Guard.


Non-Employee Travel Insurance

The university provides limited accidental medical expense coverage in excess of any other collectable medical insurance for non-employees authorized to travel on university business. 



Complying with Export Control Regulations

If you are traveling abroad, shipping items abroad, or working with foreign individuals or organizations, you should become familiar with U.S. export control regulations. The purpose of these regulations is to keep technology with a potential military application out of the wrong hands, and the U.S. government is aggressively enforcing these regulations. To learn more about export control regulations and preventing violations, see the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance's (ORIA) Exports and Security page or contact ORIA directly.


Using a Mobile Device Abroad

It is easier than ever to use a mobile device abroad, and there are many options for doing so. Taking the time to review the options and pick the one that is right for you will save you time and money. To determine which option is best for you, consider a few things:

  • Talk, text and data usage
  • Frequency of trips abroad
  • Length of trips abroad
  • Number of countries visited

There are three general options for using a mobile device abroad:


1. U.S. Service Provider

While using your current U.S. service provider is convenient, it can get expensive quickly. Select this option if your trips are short and infrequent or if you anticipate limited use of your mobile device. Increasingly, U.S. service providers are including some degree of free international talk, text, and data in their basic plans. Check to see what is included in your basic plan, and consider purchasing an international plan if necessary. Most U.S. service providers offer short and long-term international plans as well as special packages for specific countries and regions. Estimate your talk, text and data requirements and compare them to available plans: AT&T, Google's Project Fi, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular or Verizon


2. Foreign Service Provider 

While using a foreign service provider can be inexpensive, you will have to purchase a new device that you likely will not be able to use outside the country or region. For example, a foreign service provider will probably charge you extra for calls to the U.S. Select this option if you make long or frequent trips to a country or region covered by your plan. To find a foreign service provider, review the list of service providers worldwide to identify the providers operating in your destination country. You may be able to purchase your device and plan online in advance of your travel or upon reaching your destination. Plan for language barriers as necessary.

Resources for Staying Connected


  • Skype Internet-based video and voice calls for most devices (and any computer it's installed on)
  • Google+ Hangouts Internet-based video, voice and messaging for Android and iOS devices (and through any computer's browser)
  • FaceTime Internet-based video and voice calls between iOS devices
  • Viber Video, voice and messaging for mobile devices (and any computer it's installed on)
  • iMessage Internet-based messaging between iOS devices (and Macs)
  • WhatsApp Internet-based messaging between phones


3. Unlocked Phone and Sim Card

While an unlocked phone and a sim card may require some initial legwork, it can be an inexpensive and flexible option. This is typically the preferred option for international travel.


Phone Requirements

Before purchasing a sim card, make sure you have a phone that meets two basic requirements. First, your phone must have a sim card. Newer phones are more likely to have sim cards whereas older phones, especially if purchased through Verizon or Sprint, are less likely to have them. 

Second, your phone must be unlocked from your service provider to allow you to use other networks. Thanks to a new Consumer Code for Wireless Services that took effect in 2015, all nationwide service providers and many regional service providers will now unlock your phone after you have fulfilled a few requirements.  Also, see the Federal Communications Commission's Cell Phone Unlocking FAQs page.

If your phone does not meet the above requirements, consider purchasing a cheap phone specifically for foreign travel. You can buy an unlocked GSM phone online in advance of your travel.


Sim Card Purchase

Once you have a phone that meets the above requirements, you will need to purchase a sim card. If you are traveling to several countries, consider purchasing an international sim card from an online vendor such as OneSimCard, Cellhire, or Telestial. If your travel is limited to one or two countries, consider purchasing a local sim card from an in-country vendor such as Vodafone or Airtel. Research your destination beforehand to see if there are any requirements to get a sim card. Some countries, like India and Japan, have regulations that limit who can buy sim cards and require documentation to buy sim cards. Be aware that each sim card has its own phone number, and temporarily changing your sim card will temporarily change your phone number as well. Also, be aware that sim cards and their balances have expiration dates that can range from a few weeks to a few years.


Using a Satellite Phone Abroad

If you require the use of a satellite phone while abroad, contact Global Operations. We can put you in touch with a vendor who can rent you one for your trip.