Frequently Asked Questions - Travel

Travel Authorization

A Travel Authorization is required when a University of Arizona Employee, Student, or Volunteer will be on travel status (at least 35 miles outside of their duty post) and travels on behalf of University business, regardless of the funding source.
The original fully approved Travel Authorization must be on file in the Travel Office prior to the departure date of the traveler. This requirement is due to audit and insurance purposes. If the Travel is to a State Warning country, please forward to the Travel Office at least 30-days prior to departure to ensure approval by the Provost Office.
No. The Travel Authorization with original signatures is required in order to ensure the traveler is authorized to be away from their duty post.
Unfortunately, this functionality is currently not available; however, business units can request a copy to be emailed to them by sending a request to: fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu or by calling the Travel Office at 621-9097.
No. The business office or traveler can send an email to the Travel Office at fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu indicating the new departure and end date of travel. The Travel Office will update the original signed Travel Authorization and no additional paperwork is required.
The traveler's supervisor or principal investigator (sponsored project accounts) must review and approve/sign the travel authorization. If the travel is split funded the department approving the traveler's timesheet within UAccess Employee should hold the responsibility. Departments can negotiate exceptions as needed depending on the circumstances of the travel.
A copy of the conference flyer or website indicating the lodging information for the event.
Yes, Employees may be reimbursed for Travel expenses incurred while conducting University business, when accommodations such as Airbnb, VRBO or Home Away establishments are economical and a cost savings to the institution. Travelers utilizing these services qualify for lodging and meal reimbursement/per diem, not to exceed the published state limits. While there is no central administration requirement to provide a comparison or justification for these expenses, departmental business units are encouraged to consider requesting from the traveler, when/if appropriate.
Additional consideration should be placed on the safety of the employee with respect to well-lit facilities, surroundings, public activity, and in some cases hotel security when booking lodging.

Travel Advance

Travel Advances are issued up to seven days prior to the departure date of the trip, and will be directly deposited into the employee's primary bank account as indicated in UAccess Employee. A check can be issued if a note is placed in the Disbursement Voucher stating that the payee prefers a check disbursement.
The Travel Office has the ability to prepay hotel room/tax charges with a PCard restricted to Hotel expenses only via the PCard MCC Code. The business office can book the reservation, print the confirmation, and initiate a Disbursement Voucher (DV) directly to the hotel for the amount due. They can then send an email to the Travel Office at fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu with the DV number, supporting documentation and any special instructions. The Travel Office will contact the hotel directly and arrange to have room and taxes paid on the Travel Office PCard.

Meals and Per diem

Include a note on the Disbursement Voucher indicating the business purpose for the lodging decision (ex: conference hotel is sold out) and route for departmental approval for the overage amount.
The per diem times and allowances can be found in Policy 14.13 to determine meals provided on the first and last day of travel based on the traveler's departure time and return time. Please note: When traveling via airline, travelers should consider a two hour window of departure/return due to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements for airline security.
This information is necessary to determine the allowable meal per diem for reimbursement associated with the beginning and end of the trip. The business unit should determine the departure time and return time of the trip based on a discussion with the traveler.
If per diem rates are not available for the city you are traveling to/lodging in, then the corresponding county rates should apply. To locate the county, look up the city using the NACO guide. If the county is not listed in the lodging/meal per diem rate tables, the default rates should be utilized, which are the first entry on every page of the rate tables.
A traveler may be reimbursed for actual costs of meals, but the amount cannot exceed the per diem allowance rates for the day.
University policy requires employees to stay in a "commercial establishment" to claim State of Arizona per diem rates. If the traveler is staying with a friend/relative and incurs meal expenses, they can turn in original itemized receipts for reimbursement or provide justification for the meal per diem on the Travel Expense Report.
While University and State of Arizona policy mandate that the travelers select the most economical means of transportation, it is incumbent upon the traveler and travel arrangers to recognize these new restrictions and accommodate accordingly. Traveling on behalf of the University of Arizona must be reasonable in nature; however, we recognize that the restrictions imposed upon the most economical fares may ultimately result in higher travel costs.
Travelers and those arranging University travel are encouraged to review costs associated with the Basic Economy fare to determine whether this option will truly provide the most economical means of transportation for the traveler.
Yes. Mileage to and from the airport may be reimbursed at the current state mileage rate based on the departure time of the traveler. Travel to the Tucson International Airport during normal business hours may be reimbursed based upon 20 miles round trip with no supporting documentation required. If departure time occurs outside of normal business hours, including holidays and weekends, a traveler will be reimbursed for mileage to and from their residence. Supporting documentation should include odometer readings or an internet based map such as MapQuest or Google maps.
Mileage to and from the Phoenix International Airport may be reimbursed with supporting documentation to include odometer readings or an internet based map such as MapQuest or Google map.

Miscellaneous

No. If the employee is on travel status (away from their duty post) and unable to physically sign the TER, the business office can email a copy of the TER to the employee's UA email address for review. The traveler may then reply (from their UA email address) with approval or disapproval, indicating necessary changes, and the email can be printed and attached to the supporting documentation as the electronic approval.