Traveling With Duo

When traveling, most people can use the Duo Mobile app on a smartphone or tablet. Even if you don't have a cellular or WiFi connection, the app can generate a passcode. See these how-to videos:

Plan Ahead

Duo offers multiple options to meet your needs when traveling. You may be able to use your regular Duo two-factor option if you need to log in to a two-factor protected system while traveling. Or you may, however, need to use alternative options depending on your preferred option and your travel plans.

  • Plan options. Before your trip, plan which Duo options you will use and enroll in them if needed. See Handout: How to Travel With Duo Two-Factor Authentication for descriptions of the options that are best for different travel scenarios.
  • Enroll additional devices. If possible, enroll two devices in case your primary device is unavailable (lost, stolen, not available, dead battery, malfunctioning, etc.).
  • Hardware Token? If you plan to travel without a smartphone or tablet, consider taking a hardware token. Available at the Tech Shop.
  • International travel? Restrictions apply for some destinations. See Travel to Countries Subject to Export Control Regulations below.
  • Remember the Service Center. If you need to, you can phone the ITS Service Center for a temporary bypass passcode. Add the Service Center phone number (734-764-4357) to your contacts list.

Attention Michigan Medicine! Will you need to use the Michigan Medicine VPN with Duo while traveling? See Connect to Michigan Medicine VPN Using Two-Factor (Duo) for instructions.

Consider Using Passcodes

If you will not have a reliable cellular or WiFi connection, or even access to a phone while traveling, plan to use passcodes. There are four different ways to get an offline passcode:

  • Duo Mobile app. Use the Duo Mobile app to generate passcodes on a smartphone or tablet. The app can generate passcodes you can use to login when you do not have a cellular or WiFi connection. See Enroll a Smartphone or Tablet in Duo and Using Duo Two-Factor to Log In.
  • Text message. You will still need a cell phone connection, but a text message will often get through even when you have spotty data coverage. You will receive a set of 10 passcodes in a single text message. The passcodes are good when used within 30 days. See the Enter a Passcode section of Using Duo Two-Factor to Log In.
  • Hardware token. Hardware tokens and YubiKeys are available at no cost from the Tech Shop.
  • Temporary bypass code. If your destination restricts technology, such as the internet or hardware tokens, or if you won’t be able to charge a device, contact the ITS Service Center prior to traveling to request a temporary bypass code for your trip. A temporary bypass code can be used for up to 30 days.

Add a Device for Traveling

If you purchase a phone for use abroad or take a loaner, you can enroll that device in Duo and use it for two-factor authentication when traveling.

  • Enroll the device ahead of time. You'll need to authenticate using whatever Duo option you have enrolled in when you enroll the new device, so it is best to do that before your trip if at all possible.
  • Use what works. If you plan to travel with a basic, non-smart phone, you can authenticate using a phone call or passcodes sent via text message. Another alternative is that you can install the Duo Mobile app on a tablet without a phone number. See Handout: How to Travel With Duo Two-Factor Authentication.

Travel to Countries Subject to Export Control Regulations

The Duo Mobile app and hardware tokens are encryption items that are subject to export control regulations. The U-M Export Control Program has determined that the Duo app and hardware tokens themselves are controlled to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine. See the Export Control Program’s “Tools of Trade” License Exception for country-specific guidance.

For tips and resources to help you when traveling, see Safe Computing: Traveling with Technology.