Guidelines for Infrequent Travelers

Infrequent travelers are defined as University employees who travel occasionally for short-term purposes such as conferences.

Travelers should consider costs in all cases when making service choices while on travel for the University. Generally, the lowest cost option is encouraged unless it would cause inconvenience to the traveler. Typically, travel expenses must be necessary to the official business purpose of the trip to qualify for reimbursement. 

This article provides general information on expenses related to transportation, insurance, lodging, meals, and incidental costs. Refer to Business and Finance Bulletin G-28 for information on more specific topics and for official policy text. Business and Finance Bulletin G-28 also provides information on the following topics:

  • Approval and payment of travel expenses
  • Use of personal vehicles for travel
  • Other acceptable forms of transportation
  • Expenses for spouses accompanying UCLA travelers
 

General Travel Guidelines

All travelers should be aware of the following standard ways in which travel transactions are handled at UCLA:

  • You should use your corporate card to pay registration fees or process them directly through the BruinBuy system (except for the UCLA Medical Center)
  • Travelers should not pay for other travelers’ expenses
  • In general destination plays an important role in the determination of allowable reimbursements for lodging expenses.

For example, hotel bills are generally acceptable for cross-country trips, even for a short conference; the traveler would be expected to arrive the night prior to the event. However, if a conference is taking place relatively close to the University and the flight will be short (such as a one-hour flight to San Francisco), a hotel stay may not be considered necessary and may not be reimbursed.

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Safety Precautions

  • Immunization (includes foreign disease control)
  • Prescription Drug Travel Policy
  • Security Checkpoints
  • Travel Advisories
  • U.S. Consulates

The U.S. Department of State travel website provides useful travel safety guidelines, and the Travelers’ Health Information Yellow Book contains additional topics recommended by the U.S. government for traveler safety. 

Insurance Coverage

All University employees are automatically covered against accidental death and dismemberment while on University travel. Insurance coverage begins when the traveler leaves his or her residence or headquarters, whichever occurs last, and ends when the traveler returns to the residence or headquarters, whichever occurs first. Information on insurance for rented vehicles appears below.

Travel registration is required each time when traveling more than 100 miles. Travel registration is needed to identify and contact travelers in an emergency. 

 

If you booked your travel through the UC Travel CenterYour travel itinerary will automatically be registered with iJET/Worldcue.Check for a welcome email which includes your insurance card. Carry this card with you on your trip. Also be sure to complete your travel profile on iJET/Worldcue, including updating your emergency contact information. 
If  you did not book your travel through the UC Travel CenterRegister your travel through Away 

For more detailed information, please visit Insurance & Risk Management

 

Renting Vehicles While Traveling

University travelers may rent vehicles when doing so would be more cost-effective than other means of commercial transportation, including taxis. Travelers should make reservations as early as possible to obtain the lowest prices and request economy, compact or intermediate model cars. Use of upgrades at a higher cost will require special approval. Rental cars should be paid for with the traveler’s Travel and Entertainment Charge Card.

Note: University travelers are expected to use rental agencies with which the University has standing agreements. The University of California has negotiated contracts with three preferred vendors: Hertz, Enterprise, National, Dollar and Thrifty. These contracts include insurance costs through the rental company. Travelers must be aware that, if they select other rental car agencies or do not use the corporate ID number for our preferred vendors, they will not be reimbursed for the additional insurance costs unless contract rental car agencies are not available in the area. Also, charges for additional insurance are not allowable, including expenses for a collision damage waiver. 

For domestic car rental reservations, the agreements include insurance applicable for UC business related travel only. 

At time of rental, UC employees should decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and Supplemental Liability (SLI) when renting a car for business travel within the United States. Additional insurance purchase at time of is not reimbursable.

International car rental traveling on UC Business is subject to limited insurance and deductibles.

You should purchase additional CDW/LDW/SLI insurance when renting in foreign countries even when booked with UC Travel Center. The additional insurance cost will be reimbursable. We highly recommend speaking with a UC Travel Center agent for when reserving for international car rental. Contact your campus Risk Services for car insurance guidelines as each country has different requirements.  See Related Information for list of Campus Risk Services.

To ensure that your car rental reservation includes UC preferred rates with car insurance, please contact UC Travel Center.  

Three ways to book air travel with UC Travel Center.

  1. Call  to speak with a Travel Counselor at (800) 235-8252 or (310) 206-2639
  2. Email your travel request or inquiry at [email protected]. A UC Travel Counselor will reply to your request.
  3. Make travel reservations using  UC Travel Center online booking tool 24/7.  Log in to Connexxus with your credentials. Select Book Online Now.  Select UC Travel

 

Fees:  Agent assisted fee for car only reservation, $15  will apply

                       NO fee when car reservation is made online.

Travelers must pay the rental charges and then request reimbursement from the University, as the University does not accept direct billing, direct credit or guarantee payment rental agencies at this time. Itemized receipts must be submitted with your Express.

International car rental traveling on UC Business is subject to limited insurance and deductibles. You should purchase additional CDW/LDW/SLI insurance when renting in foreign countries even when booked with UC Travel Center. The additional insurance cost will be reimbursable.

See Policy G-28, Section VII.C.2.b for detailed information on insurance coverage for rental cars.

Vehicle Insurance Limitations

Vehicles rented for University travel and used for additional, personal travel are not covered by insurance on the personal travel days. Additionally, University travelers may not be reimbursed for damage that occurred to rented vehicles on personal travel days.

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Lodging, Meals and Other Expenses

The following rules apply to subsistence expenses for short-term travel. Policy G-28, Section IX provides details and examples of miscellaneous expenses. 

  • When the entire length of a trip is 24 hours or less, meals and incidental expenses do not qualify for reimbursement unless the travel includes an overnight stay or the meal is part of a business meeting such as a conference or a working meal served at a meeting site.
  • Reimbursement for travel within the continental U.S. is based on actual expenses, not the maximum daily amount.
  • Incidental expenses include tips and fees for services.
  • Subsistence-related expenses from venues within the vicinity of the traveler’s residence or headquarters are not eligible for reimbursement.  
  • For short-term foreign travel, reimbursed expenses are based on a daily allowance unless special circumstances are involved. See Section VIII.B.2 of Policy G-28 for examples of these cases.

Section VIII.B.2 of Policy G-28 also covers adjustment of the subsistence cap for multiple locations, partial days, group expenses, funding of non-University travelers (such as contractors and potential employees), and entertainment expenses while on travel. 

Note: When processing third-party payment requests related to travel or entertainment such as conference rooms, group hotel reservations, and food for a conference you are arranging in the BruinBuy system, use the class code T. In these cases, send all paperwork to the UCLA Travel Department.

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