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Travel Guidelines

NOTE: Further information is available on the UCB Travel Website and the UCOP Travel Policy. Documentation must be submitted within 45 days of the last day of travel.

Required Documentation and Justifications

  • Completed and signed reimbursement form (Domestic or International) or request reimbursement directly via the UCB Travel Reimbursement System
  • Receipts for airfare, rental cars, entertainment meals, and other expenses over $75
  • Receipt for lodging showing balance paid in full ("zero-balance"). Taxes must be itemized separately from the base lodging rate
  • Flyer or agenda for conferences and details for informal meetings to establish Business Purpose
  • Description of all deviations (extensions, changes, layovers, cancellations, personal time, etc.)
  • Travelers are allotted one day before and after meetings/conference/event if same-day travel is unreasonable
  • If traveler is not a US citizen, the following are also required:  UC W-8BEN form, Certification of Academic Activity, photocopy of passport, and I-94
  • Note: Credit card statements cannot be substituted for receipts

Airfare

  • Use Connexxus whenever possible for reservations. Contact connexxus@berkeley.edu if you are unable to login.
  • Reimbursement only up to economy or coach class without written authorization of exceptional need
  • Reimbursement of change fees is allowed if ticketing rules are followed, provide justification with reimbursement request
  • Ticket must show payment method. If a ticket was exchanged for the travel purchase, include the original ticket purchase documentation as well
  • If taking an indirect route, personal days, or upgrades, obtain a comparison airfare quote at the time of booking (at least 14 days in advance of trip) for the equivalent strictly business travel. The lesser of the actual costs and comparison flight will be reimbursed.
  • If traveling using federal (such as NIH) funding, the Fly America Act requires that only U.S.-flag carriers be used unless using a U.S.-flag carrier would increase travel time by 24 hours or if there is no direct route offered by a U.S.-flag carrier

Direct Billing

  • If traveling only for business, you may contact your Fund Manager for a Direct Bill ID to charge airfare to the University, a Direct Bill ID may only be used in connection with one airfare purchase
  • Even if only claiming airfare, a Domestic or International Travel Reimbursement Form must be completed and returned or reimbursement requested directly via the UCB Travel Reimbursement System after conclusion of the trip.
  • Please provide the following information when requesting a DBID: Traveler Name, Business Purpose, Approximate Dates of Travel, Destination, Chartstring

Travel Insurance

  • Travel insurance is offered free of charge to all UC employees and students on official UC business
  • Insurance is registered automatically when booking through Connexxus' BCD Travel or UC Travel Center. Otherwise you can register for insurance yourself at no cost
  • Additional insurance costs are not reimbursable

Bundled Meals, Lodging, and/or Airfare (Internet Packages)

  • Reimbursement is not allowed for bundled packages for meals, lodging and/or airfare
  • Expenses must be itemized, including a breakdown of taxes paid, in order to be reimbursed

Private Car Mileage

  • Travelers may use their own car and receive reimbursement based on mileage ($0.535 cents/mile effective October 15, 2017)
  • Gasoline expenses may not be reimbursed in addition to the mileage rate
  • The mileage rate associated with moving expenses is $0.17 cents/mile (effective October 15, 2017)
  • If airfare would be a less expensive cost than private car mileage, the lesser of the two will be the amount reimbursed
  • Multiple routine trips (such as field placement visits) must be requested monthly or more often by using the Domestic Travel Form and the Supplemental Mileage Form or requested directly via the UCB Travel Reimbursement System 
  • If an employee is driven to or picked up from an airport, private car mileage for each round-trip drive may be reimbursed

Car Rentals

Agency UCB ID Number
Enterprise  XZ23A01
Hertz  71864
National  5007818
  • Make sure the UCB Corporate ID# is printed on the rental agreement. If you don't see it, ask the rental counter
  • The University has negotiated contracts with these rental car agencies which include the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) at no additional cost when the UCB Identification Number is used when reserving and picking up a rental car. Drivers on University business must use these contracts whenever possible
  • Compact or economy car size is allowed unless a no-cost upgrade is provided, or if there are extenuating circumstances such as traveling with colleagues to save cost
  • Internet packages (combined air, hotel and/or car rates) are not reimbursable by the University unless an itemized breakdown showing tax and service detail is provided
  • Some agencies may offer special rental rates that are less expensive than those available through the University agreement. Those special rates typically DO NOT include insurance coverage and should be avoided
  • Note: Additional rental insurance is not reimbursable for domestic travel. The University recommends purchasing supplemental insurance when renting cars internationally.

Lodging

Domestic

  • Book through Connexxus, if possible
  • Lodging rates should be reasonable and supported by an itemized receipt with a "zero-balance" showing payment method and that the bill was paid in full
  • To avoid reimbursement problems when booking outside of Connexxus, confirmations must show and separate the room, tax, service, and any other charges
  • Daily lodging limits for domestic trips under 30 days will be set at a $275 room rate, excluding taxes and fees. When the traveler is unable to secure lodging at $275 per night or less, the traveler must submit acceptable justification that supports the higher lodging rate.

International

  • Lodging receipts must be itemized with a "zero-balance" showing payment method and that the bill was paid in full
  • Travel itinerary with dates and time of travel is required for calculating per diems
  • Exceptional justification (e.g. conference hotel, all other reasonable options are booked, etc.) is required for reimbursement at higher rates than the per diem for the location

Local Lodging

Local lodging within a 40 mile radius of UC Berkeley Campus is not allowable except under the following circumstances:

To provide administrative support at a conference/business meeting where the employee is required by the University to stay late and be present early in the morning for a bona fide business function.  (Note: Local lodging is not allowable for attending a local conference as a paid registrant). 

Examples of allowable conditions:

  • The employee is required by the University to perform administrative duties on-site allowing less than 8 hours of free time overnight between scheduled duties, e.g. be present until 11pm and be back at 6am for set-up
  • The employee is required by the University to be “on duty” each night due to high risk situations, e.g. chaperone a youth group staying at the property
  • Lodging must be for less than five calendar days

Required back-up documentation:

  • Pre-approval from employee’s manager PRIOR to incurring expenses
  • Pre-approval must include the manager’s business justification and reason for requiring the employee to stay overnight.  Details of the employee’s responsibilities during the late/early hours must also be included.
  • Requirement for overnight stay must apply to all employees on duty at the function (not selective to certain employees).  List of all employees staying overnight should be included in the pre-approval documentation. Employee’s place of residence outside the 40-mile radius of Campus, in itself, is not an allowable justification for lodging.
  • Agenda of conference or business function 

Meals and Incidentals

Domestic

  • Meals and incidentals may not exceed $62 total per day (effective October 15, 2017)
  • This limit is not a per diem; only actual expenses may be reimbursed

International

  • Per diem is based on country and time spent in each location. See the US Department of State's Foreign Per Diem Rates by Location for per diem rates
  • Include travel itinerary with dates and times of travel for calculating per diems
  • Conference meals are deducted from foreign per diem allowance

Paying for Others

  • Travelers are not allowed to be reimbursed for the expenses of other travelers, except in the case of co-travelers sharing a lodging room
  • In the case of supervised group trips, pre-approval must be obtained for payment of group expenses

Entertainment (while on travel status)

Follow standard meal limits, regardless of location

  • Itemized receipts, a list of attendees, and business purpose must be provided for all entertainment meals
  • Breakfast: $27/person
  • Lunch: $47/person
  • Dinner: $81/person
  • Light refreshments: $19/person

Corporate Travel Card

An option is available for faculty and staff to obtain a corporate charge card for their business-related travel and entertainment expenditures. The card balance must be paid within 30 days of the statement date.

If the corporate card is not sufficient, in limited circumstances a Cash Advance may be allowed for travel. Contact Social Welfare front desk staff for more information.


Related Tools & Resources

UCB Travel Website

Currency Converter

Foreign Per Diem Rates (US Department of State)

Free Travel Insurance for UC Business Travelers