International Travel for U.S. Nationals

Planning on traveling? Here is a step-by-step checklist for SANREM members to ensure everything is complete and ready for travel.

Step 1: To have your travel expenses approved…

  • You must account for this trip in your annual work plan (Form 23 due August 15) and have it approved by the ME and USAID BEFORE THE TRIP.
    • If it is not in your annual work plan “Any additional international travel must be approved by the ME and USAID on a case-by-case basis.”
  • Budget and individual trips to each country visited must be submitted to the ME on the International Travel Authorization Table (Form 12)

After Form 12 is completed (before travel):

  • The ME will submit a request for travel authorization and the annual activity budget to USAID for approval.
  • Once USAID has approved the travel, the ME will issue International Travel Authorization Numbers to each Sub-award Lead-PI or Research Activity Leader.

Step 2: Assign Authorization Numbers

  • Sub-award Lead-PIs and Research Activity Leaders need to assign these individual/trip authorizations among Co-PIs.
    • Important notes about authorization numbers:
      • Authorizations are assigned by country visited, not number of round trips.
      • For example, if a Co-PI travels to Ecuador and Peru on the same round trip, there will be two authorization numbers associated with the travel.
      • The authorized destination country is not adjustable.
      • However, the PI has some flexibility in adjusting who actually travels for the assigned tasks and on what dates the trip(s) is taken.

Keep track of these International Travel Authorization Numbers!

  • You will need to submit them with the documentation accompanying invoices for the associated travel. International travel will not be reimbursed without these authorization numbers.

Step 3: Choose an Air Carrier

  • Basically, to comply by USAID specific guidelines you must fly on U.S. flag air carriers whenever possible and reasonable.
    • However, if having to choose one of these airlines very much inconveniences your trip, and you have good reasons to choose a different air carrier, read the Fly America Act at‌resources/‌FlyAct.html so you can justify your flight choice.
  • For detailed guidelines, view the POP Manual.
  • When choosing an airline, choose one of the following below:

US Flag Air Carriers

In order for a flight to be in compliance with the Fly America Act, the code of a U.S. flag air carrier must be noted as part of the flight number on the airline ticket, flight coupon (boarding pass), or passenger receipt. Each airline has a two letter alpha code. For example, United Airlines has a code of “UA”. On an airline ticket, boarding pass or passenger receipt, this two digit code is designated just to the left of the flight number. From this list, you will be able to compare airline codes on the ticket with those on the list and thereby be able to ascertain whether or not the flight is on a US Flag air carrier.

A detailed list of U.S. flag air carriers is set forth below:

  • Airtran Airways (FL)
  • Alaska Airlines (AS)
  • America West Airlines (HP)
  • American Airlines (AA)
  • American Trans Air (TZ)
  • Continental Airlines (CO)
  • Delta Airlines (DL)
  • Frontier Airlines (F9)
  • Hawaiian Airlines (HA)
  • Midwest Express (YX)
  • Northwest Airlines (NW)
  • Southwest Airlines (WN)
  • Spirit Airlines (NK)
  • United Airlines (UA)
  • US Airways (US)

Step 4: You are all set for your trip!

To recap and double check, you have:

  • Accounted for this trip in your annual work plan, submitted Form 12, and had it approved by the ME and USAID
  • Assigned the individual/trip authorizations among Co-PIs and are keeping track of these International Travel Authorization Numbers
  • Chosen a U.S. Flag Air Carrier, or gotten another one approved if very inconvenient
  • Completed the “SANREM Equipment Authorization and Request to Purchase” form [If you plan on purchasing equipment]
  • Completed the Justification for Waiver if the equipment you plan on purchasing is not of U.S. source and/or origin [If you plan on purchasing non-U.S. equipment]

Remember to:

  • Take notes on what you did on the trip so you can write about it in your trip report later.
  • Keep all of your receipts, ticket stubs, invoices, important numbers and stay healthy!

Step 5: When you return…

Trip Reports!

Within 15 days following the completion of each international trip, the traveler must complete a trip report summarizing the accomplishments of the trip.


Follow Form 13 — this is the template for your trip report.

  • Follow this template and the end result should look similar to the examples found here.
  • If several individuals are traveling together to one site, a single report representing the group will suffice.
  • The report shall include the purpose of the trip, participants, activities, technical observations, progress in meeting purpose of the trip, suggestions and recommendations for follow-up, if appropriate, and a list of contact persons with their title and organization affiliation.

Then, submit your trip report to the ME,, who will post it on the SANREM web site.