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Purdue for Life Foundation

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Travel Frequently Asked Questions

Reserve your spot by calling the Purdue for Life Foundation travel office at 800-414-1541 or the tour company and booking your reservation using a credit card. If you wish to send a personal check, we can hold your reservation until payment is received.

A confirmation letter from the Purdue for Life Foundation will be mailed the day your reservation is received. A confirmation packet from the tour operator will arrive within two weeks of the date you made your reservation.

Our programs are designed and managed by the finest travel operators, most of whom specialize in providing trips for alumni associations. We select these travel operators based on our criteria of established reputations, dependable operations, and professional staff. All itinerary and flight details are handled by the travel operators. The foundation selects trips based on feedback we receive from our travelers as well as current trends in the industry.

The foundation adds the Purdue connection by supplying our travelers with travel insurance options, traveler biographical information, and international connections with alumni and students abroad when circumstances allow. Many trips include Purdue faculty or staff to accompany the group and serve as hosts for a private reception. In addition, all travelers receive a special gift as a memento of their trip. The foundation travel staff is also available to assist travelers in making arrangements for deviations from the standard trip and reconfirming travel arrangements. Our staff will interact with the travel companies on behalf of our travelers to obtain answers to questions or resolve problems. If you need any assistance please don’t hesitate to call the foundation travel office at 800-414-1541.

Most travel companies charge a nominal cancellation fee from the time of deposit to cover expenses incurred in processing a new reservation and mailing out preliminary trip information. As the departure date gets closer, the travel company has made more financial commitments to their suppliers (airlines, hotel, ground transportation) and accordingly, cancellation fees become more substantial. Cancellation penalties are structured to coincide with advance payments that our travel vendors must make to their suppliers and the penalties are strictly enforced due to these contractual commitments. Because our many travel providers have different policies regarding cancellations, we suggest that you discuss cancellation fees with them prior to making your trip deposit. We also strongly encourage purchasing trip cancellation insurance to minimize financial risks.

We strongly recommend that you be adequately insured against last minute trip cancellation and other travel related risks. For example, if you must cancel your trip due to a family emergency and can only recover 50% of your money based on the travel company’s cancellation policy, the insurance company will cover the remainder of the loss up to the level of coverage that you selected, provided you meet the criteria spelled out in the policy selected.

We have arrangements through Travel Insurance Services (TIS) to offer travel insurance in connection with the Purdue Alumni travel program. Once you register for a trip, you will receive travel insurance information from the Purdue Alumni Association. Please contact TIS at (800) 937-1387 or visit their website if you have questions regarding travel insurance coverage or costs. 

You can find more information about TIS travel insurance and COVID-19 here

You are free to make travel insurance arrangements with another insurance company of your choice.

Yes, we do request that one of every two members of each travel party be a Purdue Alumni Association member. The Purdue Alumni travel program welcomes all alumni and friends of Purdue, regardless of whether they are members of the Association, to travel with a member. Members receive special travel mailings.

We suggest making reservations as early as possible once the trip information becomes available. Some trips sell out very quickly, while others do not fill to capacity. It is impossible to predict how quickly a trip will sell out, so the longer you wait the greater the chances are that the trip will be filled by the time you send in your registration. You may call the Purdue for Life Foundation travel office at any time at 800-414-1541 to inquire about the status of a trip.

Trip prices are always based on two people sharing the cost of the hotel room or ship cabin. If you are traveling alone, there is no one else to share in the lodging expense. Therefore, a single traveler must cover this entire cost, instead of half. Please note that the single supplement for a cruise is generally much higher than a “land” trip since a substantial portion of the total trip cost is the ship cabin. There are no other extra fees charged to a single traveler other than the additional lodging cost. Most of our travel companies will try to honor requests for roommates, but there is no guarantee that a roommate will be available.

Occasionally, we do offer trips that are designed especially for families. However, most of the foundation’s trips are best suited for adults, especially trips on small expedition vessels or those with long side-trips that include lectures. Small children may be bored on many of our trips as well, since there would most likely be no activities or playtime facilities available for them. If you are interested in taking your children on one of our trips, please contact the foundation travel office at 800-414-1541 or the travel company to find out if a particular trip is appropriate for children.

While the foundation encourages people with disabilities to participate in its activities and programs, some of our expeditions cannot accommodate people with severe health problems or physical limitations. The foundation and our travel vendors cannot take responsibility for special arrangements or problems incurred by passengers unable to participate in the planned activities. Travelers requiring extraordinary assistance must be accompanied by someone who can and will provide all required assistance. Many countries do not offer the same level of access for persons with disabilities as the U.S. For this reason, we recommend that you call the travel vendor or the foundation travel team at 800-414-1541 prior to registering for a trip to inquire about the physical access provided and to obtain information regarding the trip best suited to any physical limitations that you may have.

The number of Purdue travelers on a trip can range from six to 45 but is typically somewhere in between. Most of our travel programs include groups from other colleges and universities in addition to our Boilermakers. The Purdue for Life Foundation generally provides a host when we have more than 15 Purdue travelers on a trip, and a private Purdue reception or gift when several university groups are traveling together.

Even when participation is very low, our trips generally do not cancel. However, in rare cases, our travel vendor is unable to meet minimum requirements to operate the trip and may be forced to combine departures or as a last resort, cancel the trip. In the event that a trip is canceled by the travel company, all funds paid to the travel company will be refunded.

It depends on the trip — all international travel requires a passport. Your passport should be valid for six months beyond your planned return date. Should you need to apply for a passport, please contact your local post office for an application. If you passport has expired and it was issued less than 12 years ago, you will just need a renewal form.

Generally, no. Most flights are on regular scheduled service with reputable international carriers. Occasionally, the travel company will charter a plane for a particular trip. Sometimes the cruise ships are chartered by the travel company as well.

Purdue for Life Foundation travel brochures are generally mailed to individuals who have made recent inquiries regarding our travel program, or who have taken a trip with us in the past. Travel brochures are also sent to alumni within specific graduation years based on selection criteria provided by our vendors. If you prefer not to receive our brochures or if you would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact us at or 800-414-1541.

No. Because our travelers come from all over the United States it is difficult for us to provide transportation to the group departure city. Our travel companies will be happy to assistant you in making flight arrangements to the gateway city, or you are free to make your own arrangements

Yes. Our travel companies will give you a discount if you prefer to make your own air arrangements to the destination city. If you are not flying with the group, you will be responsible for arranging your own ground transportation from the airport to the hotel when you arrive in the destination city. Many of our travel companies now offer trips both with and without airfare. This gives travelers greater flexibility when making air arrangements. Please refer to the individual trip brochures regarding what items are included in each type of travel package.

Most of our travel companies base their tour price on a group departure from a designated city or cities. The travel company obtains better airfares because of the group departure, and is better able to facilitate transfers upon arrival in the destination city. You may depart the U.S. from another city of your choice if you prefer. However, you may incur additional airfare, deviation fees, and you will be responsible for arranging your own ground transportation from the airport to the hotel when you arrive. If the Purdue gateway city is not a convenient airport for you, be sure to ask if there are any other gateway cities available for your particular trip.

Our direct phone number is 765-494-5175. We can also be reached at 800-414-1541. You can reach us by e-mail at and by fax at 765-494-9179.

Trip Interest Form