Traveler's Reference Guide

Updated 07/01/2013 · Download PDF Version



This page is intended to provide a quick reference guide for UW-L faculty and staff who travel on University-related business. It addresses many of the common concerns of those in travel status as they relate to reimbursable and non- reimbursable expenses. Please note that this guide follows the outline of the Travel Expense Report form (TER), which along with required documentation and receipts, is the main document required to report and receive reimbursement for expenses incurred while in travel status. The TER form and more details on travel regulations may be accessed on the UW-L travel information webpage at

For information on Group Travel (Click here) or Athletic Team Travel (Click Here)

Personal Vehicle Mileage

Refer to the Personal Vehicle Mileage Reimbursement Schedule for travel to all UW Campuses, Wisconsin Dells, Rochester, and Minneapolis. All other destinations please use the travel calculator to determine the allowable amount. For the schedule and the calculator visit the travel webpage for Mileage Reimbursement Rates.


Reservations must be booked through UW TravelWIse if the travel is individual domestic or non-complex international airfare.  For large group and complex international airfares, contact Travel Leaders. 

For travelers that have previously registered please visit:

For new travelers or unregistered travelers please create a travel profile at this link: and click on "first time user" after login.

• Traveler’s name
• Destination
• Departure/return dates
• Amount of fare
• Class of Travel

Rental Vehicles

Rental vehicles may be used when the efficient conduct of UW business precludes the use of other means of transportation or is the most economical mode of transportation.

The State of Wisconsin and The Big 10 have ongoing contracts with car rental companies. The Contract Booking Codes must be used to receive the contract rate and terms. For Booking Codes and Contact Information please see the link below. Only those with a UW IP address or UW VPN connection may view the following page.

Login to UW TraveWise for reservations, rates, and additional information

*DOA Fleet management policies and procedures apply.
** The Big 10 Contract should be used for business trips that include more than incidental personal mileage and/or when there is an accompanying non-employee who is not traveling on UW business. More detailed information including daily and weekly rates may be found on the Travel web page.

Use of the above vendors is mandatory. If vehicles are not available from any of these vendors, the employee must use his/her best judgment in renting an appropriate vehicle from a different vendor. Use of non-contract vendors or rental of other than midsize vehicles requires documentation for reimbursement to be considered.

Collision insurance should be purchased in those situations where it is necessary to rent from a non-contract vendor or where a contract vendor’s contract does not include the required coverage.

Taxi and Limousine

Receipts must be provided if one-way fare exceeds $15 or round-trip fare exceeds $25. Tips for the driver are limited to 15%.

Registration Fees

Registration documentation should include:

  • Actual dates/times
  • Location
  • Title of the conference
  • Amount of fee
  • Breakdown of specific costs

The Registration Fee Request form may be found on the UW-L Travel webpage. The conference agenda should be attached to the TER.


The maximum amount reimbursable per day for in-state lodging is $70, with the exception of Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties where the lodging maximum is $80, excluding tax. State sales tax for lodging within WI is not reimbursable due to the tax exempt status.

The maximum amount reimbursable per day for out-of-state lodging shall be the greater of $70 or the rate for specific high cost localities referenced in the UW-L Travel webpage under “Per Diem Rates.”


Reimbursement for meals will be allowed only on the
following conditions:

  • Breakfast – Departure must be before 6:00 a.m.
  • Lunch – Departure must be before 10:30 a.m., and return after 2:30 p.m.
  • Dinner – Must return from travel status after 7:00 p.m., or depart his/her headquarters for overnight travel before 6:00 p.m.

Maximum amounts permitted, including tax and tip (limited to 15%), are as follows:

  Breakfast Lunch Dinner Total
In-State $8.00 $10.00 $20.00 $38.00
Out-of-State $10.00 $15.00 $25.00 $50.00

Miscellaneous Expenses

Parking charges, tolls, etc., incurred while on authorized official business are reimbursable. A complete description must be included on the TER. Receipts are required for claims in excess of $25.

Employees must provide an explanation of official business for long distance phone and fax charges and a receipt.

Tips for porters (skycaps) are reimbursable at $1 per piece of luggage.

Tips for hotel cleaning staff are reimbursable at $2 per night.

Per Diem of $10 per day for personal calls while on international travel.

Expenses Not Reimbursable

  • Expenses which are not UW-business related
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Spouse or family member’s travel costs
  • Extra costs for additional person(s) in the room
  • Lost/stolen cash or personal property
  • Personal items and services, e.g., toiletries, luggage, clothes, haircuts, shoe-shines, etc.
  • Laundry, cleaning, pressing costs for trips of three days or less
  • Avoidable expenses for non-business-related activities, e.g., sightseeing tours, etc.
  • Traffic citations, parking tickets and other fines
  • Additional charges incurred for personal reasons involving vehicle rentals
  • Locksmith charges on either fleet, rental or personal vehicle, except when fleet or rental vehicles experience mechanical problems
  • Excess cost of circuitous or side trips for personal reasons
  • Parking costs at the assigned workplace
  • Repairs, towing service, lubrication, etc., for personal vehicles
  • Meals included in the cost of airfare, registration fees, lodging, etc.
  • Pay for view movies in hotel/motel room
  • Personal entertainment
  • Non-business related telephone calls (Exception is $10 per day while on international travel)
  • Charges for late checkout or un-cancelled guaranteed reservations(unless justified)
  • Lodging at unlicensed facilities unless there is a substantial cost benefit to the UW
  • Lodging within 50 miles of the headquarters city (unless properly justified and approved)
  • Flight insurance
  • Trip Insurance (exceptions may occasionally be granted for foreign travel when cleared in advance through the Institution Controller) See also reimbursable medical insurance coverage for foreign travel in Section XVII, (UWSTR).
  • Extra baggage charges for personal items, such as golf clubs, skis, etc.
  • Airline, car, hotel, corporate card club membership dues
  • Childcare costs
  • Kennel fees
  • Late payment penalties and interest on corporate card


Airfare Domestic – Air passenger coupon
Foreign – Passenger coupon and invoice or copy of cancelled check showing amount paid
Taxi/Limo If one-way exceeds $15 or round-trip fare exceeds $25
Vehicle Rentals Final invoice (not rental agreement) plus gasoline receipts
Meals Meals purchased for other than the employee must have itemized receipts.
Lodging Original itemized receipt
Registration Fee If cost exceeds $25
Laundry/Cleaning Original itemized receipt
Porterage/Tips If cost exceeds allowed amount
Train/Bus For intercity travel
Telephone/Fax Original receipt with explanation of official business purpose.
Parking If claim exceeds $25
Miscellaneous Any claims in excess of $25
ATM Charges Original itemized receipt


  • Computerized TER used
  • Fund, Department & Program numbers listed
  • Person/Student ID listed
  • Headquarters City stated
  • Address where to send check to
  • Type of employment specified
  • Contact person including telephone number
  • Purpose of trip clearly stated
  • All acronyms are completely spelled out
  • Original receipts are attached for all expenses
  • Individually itemized claims listed in chronological order
  • Mode of transportation indicated
  • Direct billed expenses are listed
  • Registration fee documentation is provided
  • Conference agenda is attached
  • Conference site documentation is attached for lodging expenses exceeding the maximum
  • All miscellaneous expenses are clearly identified
  • Exchange rate documentation is attached for international travel
  • TER signed by claimant
  • Dept. Chair or Director & Dean/Division Head (if out of state) signatures obtained