Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Before You Travel

Step 1 - Discuss travel plans with line manager

Before taking any further steps in planning your trip you should discuss your travel plans with your line manager. Please consider if travel is actually necessary and refer to the University Travel Plan for alternative options e.g. video-conference: see Sustainable Travel 


Step 2 - Research your travel destination and undertake a risk assessment

It is important to research your travel destination. Visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website in the first instance. The FCO provides travel advice by country and is a good source of up to date and relevant information about your travel destination. The FCO will categorise travel risk as follows:

  • No restrictions to travel
  • Avoid all but essential travel to part(s) of country
  • Avoid all but essential travel to whole country
  • Avoid all travel to part(s) of country
  • Avoid all travel to whole country

The FCO also provides the LOCATE tracking service with which we strongly recommend you register.

We also recommend that you use the Red24 service, supported by the University Insurance Provider, to research your travel destination.

Red24 provides a comprehensive range of travel and security advice (by country and by city) and is a particularly useful resource researching your travel destination. The service may be accessed here: Red24

You will need to enter code 8888 to access the relevant ‘Travel Security’ section of the website.


Risk Assessment:
The risks of the country being visited should be considered for all trips and the simple risk assessment form completed. We strongly recommend that you use the Red24 service, supported by the University Insurance Provider, in conjunction with the FCO travel advice, for this purpose.

Once completed, the Risk Assessment Form should be sent to your line manager for authorisation. 
Also see: Risk Assessment Guidance Notes

Low Risk & Repeat Destinations
For countries deemed as low risk only a minimal risk assessment is required. When regular visits to a country are made old risk assessments may be used as long as there has been no change to the destinations circumstances.  


Step 3 - Check passport and visa requirements

Remember to check your passport and ensure that there is sufficient time left on your passport to enter the country to which you are travelling. The required minimum time left is usually 6 months however this can vary from country to country. Further information on applying for British passports can be found at

Information on visas required for various countries can be found at the Foreign and Commonwealth website, As well as providing information on entry requirements this website also provides useful information on local laws and customs, health and safety, up to date travel warnings as well as details of embassy and consulate assistance.

Comprehensive advice on obtaining a visa can be found on the CIBT website.

You will also need to ensure that you have sufficient time to apply for any visas that are required for the country that you are visiting. In particular, if you not a British citizen, you may find that it will take additional time for you to obtain the correct authorisation for international travel. If you are a non EU national and you require a letter confirming your employment with Cardiff University for presentation at UK Border control, please contact HR on 029 208 74897.


Step 4 - Read the Occupational Health information for overseas travellers

You are required to read the Occupational Health Information that is provided by the Cardiff University Occupational Health Service . The information provided on this website is updated regularly and subject to change and therefore this document should be referred to for each overseas trip. If you have any questions relating to health matters and international travel, please contact the health service at or telephone 029 2087 4810.


Step 5 - Gain formal approval of line manager

Without exception, every member of staff wishing to travel overseas must have their trip formally approved by their line manager. You must complete the Overseas Travel Request Form which should be signed off by your line manager. 


Step 6 - Arrange travel advance and insurance

Submit your Overseas Travel Advance (EXP 4) form. This form should be completed in all cases, whether or not an advance is required, as a certificate of insurance relating to the University’s policy is issued automatically where an Overseas Travel Advance application (EXS 4) is submitted to Finance, Accounts payable.

The University’s Travel Insurance Policy is provided by Zurich. Please be advised that the University’s Insurance excludes travel to certain countries, including: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and Israeli occupied Territories. If you wish to travel to these countries please contact Mr Steve Blake for further information.

For further information, please contact the University’s Insurance Officer:

Mr Steve Blake
Estates Finance, Insurance Officer
Telephone: 029 208 79071

Kidnap Cover
The University has put in place kidnap cover for staff, students, volunteers and alumni travelling with an insured person on University authorised business.   The cover is worldwide except for 4 countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia) where insurance cover will have to be bought separately if available.  This kidnap cover is for 24 hours per day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

The insurer is Special Contingency Risks and staff should continue to complete form EXP4 and forward to Steve Blake prior to travelling.

In the unlikely event of an occurrence which may lead to a claim you should call Special Contingency Risks on the following numbers immediately.

Office Hours (GMT): +44 20 7088 9111
Outside office hours:  +44 769 939 1710 (24 hour emergency line)

Step 7 - Book your travel and your accommodation:

The University has five approved travel agents who should be used wherever possible when booking air travel, rail tickets and hotel accommodation. 

Further details relating to these approved travel agents can be found using the following link -

Section D10 of the Financial Procedures provide details of the University's travel and subsistence processes which can be found on the FINCE website -

Step 8 - Write an itinerary for your trip

Make your itinerary as comprehensive as possible. A copy of your itinerary, along with other essential documentation (passport, insurance documents, and emergency contact details) should be left with your line manager.

Your itinerary should include:

  • Detail of day to day activity (including locations and contact numbers)
  • Flight details
  • Accommodation details (including contact numbers)
  • Mobile phone number
  • Emergency contact details
    - Local contacts
    - Embassies
    - Travel agent
    - University contact

Copies or your itinerary and other essential documentation should be carried for the duration of your trip. It is a good idea to scan identification documents and other necessary information and send the details to an email account that you will be able to access while you are away.

See: Sample Itinerary