Astronomers travel a lot - we are no exception. All of us - Staff, Postdocs, Promovendi and Students - need permission (signed by the Scientific Director or his/her representative) before traveling outside the Netherlands in connection with their work - even if no costs are incurred because another organisation or university covers the expenses. For any travel in the Netherlands exceeding one day this permission is also required. Thus: do not apply for permission if you are away for work for only a single day (or part of a day). However, please tell the secretariat.
Thus, travel always starts by filling out a travel request form (web: http://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/local/, go to Organizational Databases and click on Travel Registration and handing this firstly to the Observatory Secretary/Treasurer (presently: Jan Lub). If he is not available go to the secretariat.
If you intend to claim expenses, please make the best possible use of the limited funds at our disposal: we have had to make people reconsider the arrangements they had already made prior to receiving financial permission! It is especially important that you take action to arrange funding and permission for any travel as soon as you know when you are going. For instance, early airline/train bookings often allow you to travel at considerably reduced rates. Funding of the trip must be arranged well in advance, either from the relevant funding agency (e.g. LKBF for congress-travel and work visits, the LSF for observing trips, or from the Sterrewacht) - see below. In all cases, financial authorisation must be obtained from the Observatory Secretary/Treasurer (Jan Lub). No financial obligations (e.g. ticket reservations) can be undertaken prior to this consent and no reimbursement will take place without prior financial authorisation! However if a favourable offer can be obtained only by reacting quickly you may use your good judgment, but submit the travel request immediately afterwards.
If you intend to travel to locations at high altitude, or to any other location that may involve a health risk, you are required to carefully read the information leaflet available from the University's medical service, and to follow its instructions and recommendations. This leaflet is available from the University Medical and Personnel Departments (www.arbodienst.leidenuniv.nl/content_docs/werkenbuitenland05.pdf; only in Dutch). The Medical Department can also assist you with any necessary medical check ups and vaccinations.
Note that insurance is not automatically provided, anyone travelling should take care of it themselves! The cost of travel insurance, if required, must be included in the initial travel request. It will either be covered by the funding agency (as is the case with ESO) or by the Sterrewacht. Finally, please also note that the Sterrewacht is not responsible if for one reason or another you are not carrying a valid travel document (e.g. passport) or any documents (such as a residence permit) which may be required for reentry into the Netherlands.