Travel Arrangements

Whether you are working with a non-profit in Ypsilanti, volunteering every week in Detroit, or heading to Camp Davis for the summer, it is important to plan for safe travel to and from your engagement site. When planning and making travel arrangements prior to engaging off-campus, you might consider:

  • Who needs to know about your off-campus engagement plans?
  • How will you get to the engagement site?
  • How far from campus do you need to travel?
  • Will you be staying overnight, several nights, or several weeks?
  • What technology is appropriate to bring with you, and how can you secure it?

Notifications, Approvals, and Registering Travel

Faculty and staff planning University-related off-campus engagement opportunities are strongly encouraged to make their Dean’s Office, Department Chair, or Key Administrator aware of their work.

Some schools and colleges require students and student organizations to notify them of off-campus engagement and travel plans. Students are encouraged to consult with their school or college well in advance of their departure to ensure all requirements are met.

Sponsored student organizations planning off-campus engagement should consult with their advisor. Voluntary student organizations can reach out to the Center for Campus Involvement.

The University provides an online system for recording travel plans and contact information. The registry is a convenient, one-stop service that provides additional travel resources and information. The University strongly encourages faculty, staff, and students engaging in off-campus, University-related activities within the United States to register their travel. (Please note: registration is required for international travel.)


How you and other participants get from campus to your engagement site depends on a wide range of factors, including routes, distance, duration of stay, access to a motor vehicle, and availability of public transportation.

Below are some resources that — depending on your particular circumstances — may be helpful as you coordinate travel to and from your engagement site. Your department, school or college, or sponsoring office may provide additional transportation options, in addition to those below, and you should check with them before selecting mode(s) of transportation.

Risk Management provides additional resources on auto insurance coverage, rental vehicles, and what to do in the event of an auto-related accident.

Not all resources below represent University-recommended modes of transportation. Discretion is advised when using non-University vehicles and services.

Recommended modes of transportation for local and regional travel:

Other transportation options (using U-M vehicles and services is recommended, whenever possible):

  • Rental Cars
    • If a U-M vehicle is not available and a rental car is used instead, U-M departments, staff, and faculty are encouraged to rent vehicles through National Car Rental or Enterprise Rent-A-Car under the B1G contract. Some insurance is included, and Michigan sales tax is waived.
    • If you decide to rent a vehicle through another vendor, keep in mind that University of Michigan insurance will not apply.
  • Using Your Personal Vehicle
    • Vehicle safety
    • If a U-M vehicle is not available and you decide to drive your personal vehicle for university business, your personal auto insurance policy will be your primary form of coverage.
    • Students may choose to the use their personal vehicles and drive fellow students, and by doing so, they assume responsibility in the event of an accident. Insurance coverage is not provided by the University.
    • Have your car registration, proof of insurance, and driver’s license with you at all times. Also add phone numbers for your insurance company and roadside assistance, if applicable, to the contacts in your cell phone. You may also consider carrying an auto emergency kit with you.
  • Public Transportation
    • TheRide — If your engagement site is in the Ann Arbor area, students, staff, and faculty can ride for free on all of TheRide’s fixed-route buses by swiping your valid Mcard when you board the bus.
    • D2A2 – If your engagement site is in Detroit, this bus service offers a fixed-route about every hour between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
  • Bikes and Bike-Sharing
  • Ride-Sharing
    • U-M Logistics, Transportation, and Parking partners with Zipcar to provide special membership plans and rates for students on short-term use of shared cars.
    • Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are available in hundreds of cities around the United States. As a safety precaution, use a reputable service that thoroughly screens its drivers and confirm that the driver is the person you hailed before entering the vehicle.
    • Spin is an electric scooter rental service available in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and other cities around the U.S. Spin charges $1 to begin your ride, and an additional 15 cents per minute of use.
  • Trains and Buses
    • Amtrak and Greyhound offer train and bus rides, respectively, to thousands of locations all over the United States. Most of their trains and buses have wi-fi. The stations are co-located about a mile north of central campus at 325 Depot Street.
    • Megabus — Megabus offers low-fare rides with free wi-fi around the eastern half of the United States and in California and Nevada. The Megabus stop in Ann Arbor is located at the Briarwood Mall, 900 Briarwood Circle, near the Sears Auto Center.
  • Air Travel


Depending on your destination and the kinds of activities you will be engaging in, you may need to modify your technology usage, including using laptops and mobile devices. Additionally, certain apps and other technology may make travel and engagement at the site easier or more effective.