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Before Travelling


Use the travel decision tree to help assess alternatives and ensure thoughtful use of air travel:

Travel Decision Tree


  • Question why you are attending the meeting or event?
  • Could you achieve your goals without being physically present?
  • Could you use alternative means of disseminating and networking?
  • Could you use video conferencing particularly for recurring meetings? UoM support for Video Conferencing and Microsoft Teams.


  • Could you reduce the frequency of meetings?
  • Consider delegating only one representative for group travel and perhaps rotating this as needed.
  • Could you combine or extend trips to get the most from them? 

Travel without flying

  • Rail should be our default for domestic travel and Northern European hubs (e.g. Paris and Brussels). Many other European destinations are also accessible by rail so consider this for onward connections to places such as Lyon, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Frankfurt.
  • Compare air, rail, ferry and car travel at This calculator  demonstrates the carbon footprint of taking a given journey by a range of transport modes, the possible carbon savings from switching to a different mode of travel, and illustrates the difference in journey length for different travel choices on a map.
  • When developing research proposals cost low-carbon travel options.

Fly when there are no alternatives

  • For some destinations inside and outside of Europe, flying may be the only practical option.
  • Use the Tyndall Centre Travel Strategy or Air Travel Justification Tool to help you determine the importance of attending the conference or event.
  • Travel economy class; first and business class air travel has up to 4 times the environmental impact of economy travel.
  • Choose non-stop, direct flights as landing and take-off are a high proportion of a flight’s carbon emissions.
  • Think about how to get the most from your trip.

Book all rail and air travel through Key Travel

We acknowledge that international travel is an integral part of working in academia and key to maintaining collaborations and enhancing global presence.  Our intention is not to eliminate flying but to actively reconsider our high carbon practices and habits to create a new, lower carbon, norm.  Our travel FAQs address concerns you may have when attempting to reduce your air travel.

To remain a world leading university we must deliver our world-class research and education in lower carbon ways.

Insurance and Risk

Wherever and whenever you travel there will be some form of risk involved. You are strongly advised that regardless of destination you complete a risk assessment. A new flowchart has been developed which simplifies the requirements around pre-travel risk assessments, both in the UK and overseas. It can be found via a new suitcase icon on the StaffNet home page, as well as on the Compliance and Risk webpages, where the content has also been streamlined and updated.

If you are planning to travel away from the University – whether it is on University business such as a conference or meeting, or for research fieldwork – your trip may require a risk assessment and pre-travel approval.

When you travel, your safety is paramount. It is therefore important that you use this flowchart prior to booking travel, to ensure all risks have been identified and you comply with the University’s Travel Policy and the University’s health and safety guidance on working off campus.

Please note that the associated generic Risk Assessment forms should be checked by a person who may be either the supervisor/manager of the traveller or the local safety advisor of the School/Department. For trips to high risk countries, the Risk Assessment form should again be checked by the supervisor/manager of the traveller or the local safety advisor before going to the Head of School (or their delegate for this purpose) to seek pre-travel approval.

The Insurance Office - Travel page provides a summary of the insurance coverage for University business travel and student travel. 

Do check the websites below for the latest travel advice and to check they have all necessary visas, documents and sufficient passport validity and blank pages for the countries they are visiting. If the traveller is not a UK passport holder, additional steps may be required before travel. Always check visa requirements with the embassies of the countries you’re visiting or passing through. 

Fitness to Travel

By booking or requesting a trip it is understood that you are fit to travel and that if you have any medical needs you have taken this fully into account. If your circumstances change between booking and the travel then you are expected to review your fitness to travel and take necessary actions. If in doubt please discuss your situation with Occupation Health: