Travel

Visitors to UCI: see the Visiting Physics & Astronomy page for directions and parking instructions, maps, and local hotel information.

UCI Travelers:  All UCI employees and students should read the UCI Travel Policy Highlights and Travel Basics before planning a trip. Travel reimbursement instructions and travel planning information are given below. Travelers should also fill out the UC Travel Insurance form prior to each trip in order to have insurance coverage for medical emergencies.

Travel Reimbursement Instructions

Filling out the reimbursement form:

  • Download the Travel Reimbursement Form to ensure you are using the most current version.
  • For best results, use Adobe Reader (free download) or Adobe Acrobat to fill in the form.
  • Save a copy of the form to your desktop before you begin entering the data. This will enable you to retain the information you enter, and to edit the form. After editing, save the filled-in form.
  • Reimbursement requests should be submitted no later than 21 days after the trip has ended.
  • Please be sure that all applicable areas of the travel reimbursement form are completed.  This will allow for a more timely reimbursement.
  • Include the Budget Code or KFS number for the grant to be charged.
  • If you are NOT a US citizen, provide a copy of your Visa and the front and back of your I-94.
  • Do not submit double-sided documents.
  • Highlight or circle totals on receipts.
  • Tape receipts to 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper (tape all 4 sides of receipts).
  • Enter a detailed description of the travel in the Purpose of Travel section on the travel reimbursement form.
  • The table directly below the Meals section of the form is only to be used if the traveler is requesting reimbursement for the exact amount spent on meals and providing receipts. 
  • Sign the form and obtain PI / Authorizing Faculty signature.
  • If the traveler or PI is not available to sign the form, an email approval can be attached to the completed travel reimbursement form.
  • Submit the form to the appropriate Faculty Assistant for processing in the KFS Financial System.
  • Look for follow-up emails from KFS and follow the instructions to review and approve the reimbursement.
  • Important privacy information for reimbursement forms
 

Information on reimbursement rates:

  • Short-duration trips within the continental United States: For meals and incidental expenses, claim only the actual reasonable costs incurred. The UCI Accounting & Fiscal Services web site lists the current maximum reimbursement rate for meals & incidental expenses.
  • For travel outside the Continental United States, or trips of more than 30 days duration within the continental United States, a per diem allowance is used instead. Per diem rates are set by the federal government.
  • For driving trips using your own car, use Google Maps to calculate mileage, and include a hardcopy showing the distance traveled. Calculate the reimbursement amount using the current UCI mileage reimbursement rate.
  • Currency conversion for foreign travel:
    • When possible, use foreign currency amounts converted to dollars as listed in dollars on credit card statements, and provide receipts and hardcopies of credit card statements along with the reimbursement form.
    • Otherwise, use an online currency converter and include a hardcopy of the conversion along with the receipt for each item. Use the exact date of each expense when converting to US dollars.  For lodging, use the date of checkout (unless it was paid in advance). Online tools for currency conversion by date include:
  • See the Accounting and Fiscal Services Travel and Disbursements web site for complete information on reimbursement policies.

 

Travel Planning Information

Before Traveling:

  • All travelers should read the UCI Travel Policy Guidelines summary.
  • Check with the PI, Financial Analyst, or Faculty Assistant regarding travel accounting policies, allowable expenses and maximum limits, and consult the Accounting and Fiscal Services Travel web site for more information.
  • Prepaid travel expenses can be reimbursed in advance of a trip: see the  Accounting & Fiscal Services web site for more information.
  • Be aware of allowable Per Diem or Meals & Incidentals daily amounts.
  • Review rental car reimbursement guidelines on this page before making your reservation in order to ensure reimbursement. 
  • When using your personal car instead of flying, obtain prior approval from your financial analyst at least two weeks before the trip. Comparisons with airfares should be calculated using the exact days of travel (as opposed to several days/weeks after).
  • Never pay for travel expenses for another person. There is a risk of not being reimbursed.
  • Do not use package deals. Always obtain a breakdown of the itemized expenses for airline and hotel charges.
  • The UC CONEXXUS travel web site can be used to book air travel, hotels, car rentals, and more.
 

Airfare:

  • Federal regulations require that U.S. carriers must be used for travel that is to be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts. Details of this policy and exceptions are listed on the UCI Fly America Act web page.  Foreign flag carriers may not be used solely on the basis of lower cost. If you have any questions, please contact your financial analyst for clarification.
  • When completing travel reimbursements which include travel on EasyJet, JetBlue, Ryanair, or Virgin Airlines, a standard ticket number may not be available. Please check with Travel Accounting in these instances to obtain the appropriate ticket number information. 

Rental cars:

  • UCI Accounting and Fiscal Services provides instructions on rental car policies.
  • UCI’s agreements with Enterprise, National, Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty include CDW, LDW, and SLI insurance coverage. Purchase of additional insurance is unnecessary and not eligible for reimbursement when you use these rental car companies. Car rental should always be done using the UCI agreement with one of these companies, unless none of these are available at the travel location.
  • When renting a car via the UCI agreement with these companies, decline CDW, LDW, and SLI insurance. 
  • When renting a car outside the United States or at a location where none of these companies operates, see the rental car instructions for inrformation on insurance and reimbursements.
  • Only the cost of a Compact or Economy car will be reimbursed unless a larger car is required for the business purpose of the trip or is more economical due to the number of travelers.
  • Free upgrades may be accepted, or the additional cost may be paid by the traveler if they choose to upgrade.
  • Additional upgrades such as GPS are not reimbursable expenses.

Travel insurance: 

UC employees and students on business or research travel should register their trips to sign up for medical insurance coverage while away from home. More information and links to the insurance form can be found on the UCOP web site or on the CONEXXUS site.  It only takes a few minutes to register a trip by filling out a simple web form. After filling out the form, you can print out a hardcopy of the insurance verification card.

 

Travel Advances:

  • Cash Advance:  All cash advances are payable within 10 days of the travel date, regardless of when the voucher form is prepared.
  • Airfare Advance: 
    • Prepare the Travel Reimbursement Form (This form contains all of the necessary information to process the advance for payment)
    • Contact Marcie Ohlinger of STA Travel to make your travel plans.
      Tel:  949-743-1102
      Email: mohlinger@statravel.com
Provide email itinerary notification from STA Travel to your  Faculty Assistant along with the completed and signed travel reimbursement form.

 

 
Last updated 8/4/2017