Business Travel Guide

This guide serves as an overview of travel policies and procedures.

In This Guide:

Things to Know

The Travel Authorization process will be changing on May 13, 2024. Updated learning resources, web content, and other details will be available closer to launch date.

Coordinate all travel with your department business unit.

Travel Status: A person is in Travel Status whenever any travel takes you more than 35 miles away from your duty post.?

Travel Authorization: Travel Authorization is required prior to travel when the Travel Status definition is met for each Employee, Student, and Designated Campus Colleagues (DCC) traveling on behalf of the University of Arizona, regardless of any expenses charged to the University.

International Travel: Registry is required prior to travel for all international travel including U.S. Territories. Registry must be in an affirmed status to ensure traveler's safety and eligibility for expense reimbursement. See International Travel for more information. Additional information may be found in International Travel Safety and Compliance Policy.

IRS (Internal Revenue Service) Accountable Plan: All reimbursement requests must comply with the University Accountable Plan to qualify as non-taxable income. Specifically:

  • Original, itemized receipts
  • Reimbursements must be submitted to your department business office within 60 days of the end of the trip and to Financial Services within 90 days of the end date of travel.
  • Refer to Financial Services Manual Policy 14.12 Accountable Plan

Funding University Travel

Recommended options to pay for business travel:

  • Department PCard: Hotel/lodging (with Hotel Enhancement), airfare (with Travel Enhancement), conference registrations
  • Requisition: Travel agencies
  • Single Use Account Credit Card: Prepayment for hotel/lodging, airline tickets, and conference registrations to avoid out of pocket expenses
  • Travel Advance: A minimum of $250 may be issued by direct deposit up to 7 days prior to travel and must be repaid or settled within 10 days after the trip ends.

Allowable Expenses

Tipping: Tipping is limited to the 20% industry standard.


  • Lodging rates are established by the state of Arizona.
  • Travel must be a minimum of 35 miles from duty post to qualify for lodging reimbursement unless there is a University business purpose.
  • Reimbursement for non-designated lodging is based upon the least expensive single room rate plus tax. Room rates exceeding the State lodging rate(s) will require a University business purpose.
  • When personal travel is included, lodging will only be reimbursed based on the lease expensive single room under Unallowable Expenses rate plus tax.
  • Resort fees required as part of the lodging are reimbursable.
  • Reimbursement for lodging that is specifically designated by a conference or meeting is based upon rate established for that conference or meeting. Designated lodging rates are reimbursed at actual costs which may be higher than the State rate. Additional costs for room upgrades at designated lodging are unallowable.

Meal and Incidental Reimbursements (M&IE):

  • Meal reimbursement rates are established by the state of Arizona and are determined by lodging address.
  • M&IE is not allowable for meals provided during transit, by the lodging establishment, or by the meeting/conference organizer.
  • Discretionary incidental expenses included in the M&IE rate are dry cleaning, laundry, tips for personal services (such as concierge, bellhop, housekeeper, and doorman), curbside baggage check-in, newspapers and magazines, etc.
  • Room service is allowable, but must be deducted from the lodging folio and include the meal reimbursement rate for reimbursement.


  • Transportation reimbursement is based upon the cost of the most direct and/or economical means available.
  • Mileage is reimbursable at the current state rate of 65.5 cents for privately owned vehicles.
  • Mileage to/from the airport is reimbursed at 65.5 cents and is calculated from campus during business hours and with map applications (MapQuest, Google Maps, etc.) from the traveler's residence after hours, on holidays or weekends.
  • EITHER mileage OR gas is reimbursable, not both.
  • Car rentals are reimbursed based on the most economical compact car rate. See University vehicle rental vendors.
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) insurance are not allowable or reimbursable without a University business purpose. Utilizing existing UA rental company contracts, which include full insurance, is strongly encouraged.
  • Airline and other transportation tickets are reimbursed at the economical rate based on the most direct route to the business destination.
  • Public/mass transit (bus, subway, etc.) do not require receipts when a set rate is established for transportation.
  • Baggage fee for first checked bag is allowable. Fees for additional checked baggage are not reimbursable without a University business purpose.
  • Airport parking will be reimbursed for the most economical daily/weekly rate for reasonable parking expenses incurred by the traveler. Recommended State of Arizona airport parking facilities: see Policy 14.15 Transportation, policy section, paragraph 9.

Unallowable Expenses

Personal Travel: Expenses incurred as a result of extending a business trip for personal time or costs associated with the personal travel. Please note that the PCard may not be used when personal travel is included in the trip.

Family Members: Expenses incurred by a family member unless there is a University business purpose in which the University benefited from the expense.


  • Personal accident insurance
  • Personal medical insurance unless recommended or advised in advance by the Risk Management International Travel Insurance Program
  • Travel insurance unless there is a University business purpose (ex: international flights)
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance and excess liability insurance must be declined, unless the traveler is on foreign travel status

Alcohol: Alcohol is not permitted with University funds.

Other Personal Expenses:

  • Personal phone calls, movies, or snacks from a hotel
  • Grooming – hair dressers, barbers, masseurs, manicurists, lavatory attendants, etc.
  • Toiletries – deodorants, toothpaste, soap, toothbrushes, combs, etc.
  • Health club, spa, gym, swimming pool fees, green fees, etc.
  • Passport fees
  • Airline and other travel clubs or TSA Pre-check
  • Traffic citations or parking tickets
  • Child care, babysitting, pet sitting, and kennel charges
  • Specialty seating assignments or other special accommodations (upgrades) on common carriers unless a medical or physical necessity

Requesting Reimbursement

Please be sure to include the following with your reimbursement request:

  • Travel Expense Report (signed or routed for approval in UAccess Financials): Refer to the Travel Expense Report Guide for further assistance
  • Digital itemized receipts
  • Conference documentation to support designated lodging and allowable meal reimbursements

Including personal time on your trip? Include two economy class flight comparisons that show the cost of round-trip airfare from your duty post to the business destination that correspond to business dates of trip. Reimbursement will be based on the lower of the two costs.

Prefer to drive? Include two economy class flight comparisons, as your reimbursement will be the lower of the cost between driving and flying.

Taking a driving detour for personal reasons? Include an internet-based map of the most economical direct route from your duty post to the business destination, as your reimbursement will be limited to the most direct route.

Using an airline credit from previously canceled flight? Include all receipts associated with any canceled flights to show proof of payment.

Need Additional Help?

Contact the Travel team at 520-621-9097 or

More information: See all Travel Services