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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

Determine Allowability of Travel Expenses

Before You Begin

Travel by the most economical mode of transportation available considering travel time, costs, and work requirements.


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To determine allowability of travel expenses:

Review the information below to determine the allowability of travel expenses. Click on a link to open or close it:

Allowable Miscellaneous Expenses

Examples of allowable miscellaneous expenses include:

  • Toll, parking, ferry, bridge, road, and tunnel fees
  • Baggage transfer and handling
  • Business telephone calls and a personal call home to announce "safe arrival"
  • Laundry and dry cleaning when on domestic travel status for at least 7 consecutive days
  • Passports and visas for employees only
  • Registration fees for conferences, seminars, workshops, etc.
  • Fees for the use of business center facilities, such as computer use, facsimile, and photocopying
  • Ground transportation such as shuttle service, taxis, rental cars (including gas), or mileage for personal vehicles
  • Reasonable tips
  • Airplane parking/tie-down, hangar rental, and landing fees
  • Collision damage waiver insurance for international motor vehicle rental
Non-Allowable Miscellaneous Expenses

Examples of non-allowable expenses are:

  • Alcoholic beverages--except under circumstances outlined in Determine the Allowability of Serving Alcohol at an Event
  • Coat check
  • Collision damage waiver insurance for domestic motor vehicle rental
  • Commuting expenses between an employee's residence and official headquarters
  • Personal entertainment charges such as movies, mini-bar charges, personal phone calls, spa/health clubs, sightseeing, tours, etc.
  • Locksmith charges
  • Late check-out and room guarantee charges
  • Living expenses at official headquarters
  • Non-University-related expenses
  • Parking tickets or other traffic fines
  • Personal automobile accident insurance
  • Spouse/family travel expense, unless specific prior approval is provided in a grant, contract, or in extraordinary circumstances where the spouse's presence is required
  • Tobacco products
  • Towing of a personal automobile that is being used for University business travel
  • Travel insurance (exceptions may be requested for foreign travel)
Lodging Expenses

The State of Illinois establishes maximum domestic (U.S.) lodging rates, not including tax. Consult Lodging Allowance Rates for current rates and Domestic Travel for locations considered domestic travel.

The State of Illinois has negotiated rates that are lower than the maximum lodging allowance with many hotels throughout Illinois. Consult Hotels for a list of those hotels. Try to obtain this lower rate before reserving a room at the maximum allowance.

Employee Housing as Lodging
Employees may be partially reimbursed for using housing that is owned or controlled by the employee when in travel status. The reimbursement is not to exceed the total actual costs incurred (rent or mortgage and utilities) and cannot be more than 75% of the applicable daily lodging allowance rate for the area. The employee is reimbursed for the smaller of these two amounts, subject to unit head or delegate approval.

Related Policies and Procedures

Make Travel Arrangements
Determine Approved Use of Department and Motor Pool Vehicles
Request Reimbursement for Domestic or International Employee Travel and Business Meals
Determine the Allowability of Serving Alcohol at an Event

Additional Resources

Business Travel
Lodging Allowance Rates
Domestic Travel
Meals/Per Diem on Travel Status
U.S. Department of State Foreign Per Diem Rates

Last Updated: June 16, 2016 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: September 2012

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