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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

15.1.4 Determine Allowability of Travel Expenses

Policy Statement

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 8.1.1 Business Meals, Refreshments, and Alcohol
  • 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 of Illinois System-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 system business travel
  • Travel insurance (exceptions may be requested for foreign travel)
    Note: Travel insurance is not generally recommended as most travel insurance policies do not cover trip cancellations due to fear of a pandemic disease. However, for a temporary period of time, unit financial officers may determine if the purchase of travel insurance will be allowed.

    Prior to purchasing travel insurance, please perform a cost benefit analysis:
    • Compare the cost of refundable airfares vs non-refundable airfares + travel insurance
    • If the cost differential is less than $100, consider purchasing refundable airfare due to the changing travel advisories.
    • Carefully review all terms and conditions prior to purchase.
    • For international travel, review the travel assistance options available to system employees.
Lodging Expenses

Employee Housing as Lodging

The University’s policy regarding use of employee owned housing as lodging is governed by 80 IL Admin Code 2900.75.

Employees on travel status may stay in employee owned or controlled (rented, leased, etc.) property, including motor homes, and may be reimbursed, upon request, for the cost of lodging not exceeding any of the following three limitations:

Prior to receiving reimbursement, employee must complete and sign a Report of Employee Owned or Controlled Housing for filing with the Illinois Higher Education Travel Control Board (IHETCB). This form will be used to monitor expenses to ensure compliance with travel regulations, report to the IHETCB when maximum reimbursement are reached, and to provide quarterly reports to the IHETCB detailing fiscal year to-date expenses.

All Chrome River expense reports for reimbursement of employee owned or controlled housing while in travel status must include a copy of the signed  Report of Employee Owned or Controlled Housing form.

Use of employee owned or controlled housing while in travel status is only an option available if it is proven to be the least costly alternative.

Related Policies and Procedures

15.1.3 Make Travel Arrangements
15.4.4 Determine Approved Use of Department and Motor Pool Vehicles
8.2.1 Request Reimbursement for Domestic or International Employee Travel and Business Meals
8.1.1 Business Meals, Refreshments, and Alcohol
Domestic Travel

Additional Resources

Business Travel Guide
Business Travel
Lodging Allowance Rates
Meal Per Diem Reimbursement for Domestic Travel
U.S. Department of State Foreign Per Diem Rates

Last Updated: February 14, 2022 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: September 2012

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