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Travel Procedures

Traveling to a conference or a National Lab? Planning to travel to Europe for a research collaboration? Travel is an important part of your research efforts. It is also an area that is subject to many rules and regulations. Please help us to help you by reviewing the items below before making travel arrangements. 

Travel reimbursements are processed in the Concur system. To begin the process for requesting travel approval and reimbursement, please follow the steps here:
  1. Log into the system with your UCSB netID credentials (ucsbnetid @ to prepare your request: may also download and use the SAP Concur application on your Apple device (download here) or Android device (download here). 
  2. Prior approvals are requested in Concur via the Requests module. Before you travel, or host an event, navigate to the Concur Requests module and “Create New Request”. All travel on MRL funding requires prior approval.  Please see the instructions below "Prior to your departure" below. 
  3. Once an event or travel has incurred, final reimbursement for expenses are requested in Concur via the Expense module. After you travel or host an event, log in to Concur, navigate to the Concur Expense module and click “Create New Report”. Select "Create from an Approved Request" to integrate the expense report with an approved request. See the instructions below "Upon your return" below.
IMPORTANT: Concur travel and entertainment approval and reimbursement requests on MRL/MC-CAM funding need to be delegated to your MRL/MC-CAM staff reviewer prior to submission. Sara Sorensen is the staff reviewer for MRL-funded travel and Jess Henry is the staff reviewer for DowMI and MC-CAM-funded travel. Please prepare the request to the best of your ability. Then follow the steps outlined here to assign your travel to your designated preparer. Once your request/expense report is ready for staff review, please use the "Print/Share" option in Concur to notifiy your staff preparer that the request/expense report is ready for their review.
When the staff preparer review is complete, we will notify you that your request/expense report is ready for submission. At this point you will need to log in and submit the report into the workflow. Your submission of the request will be your signature verifying the expenses.

Concur tips for MRL travelers:

  1. Please see the guide here for helpful training videos. (Thank you to LTSC for providing this template.)
  2. Please use Dept code MTRL for MRL-funded travel and Dept code MCAM for MC-CAM-funded travel.
  3. The FAU is the account string that you will be using for your travel. You can split expenses using the allocation option, either by expense or by the total trip expense. Select “either” from the drop down menu to enable autofill on the Dept and FAU fields.
  4. Please add comments to explain any expenses that might not be clear. This will help us to process your reimbursement faster.

Prior to your departure:

All travel requires pre-approval. Prior approval is requested in Concur via the Requests module. Before you travel, or host an event, log into Concur, navigate to the Requests module and “Create New Request”. This replaces the Prior Approval pdf form that we used to use and is where you should request a travel advance, if necessary. MRL policy requires prior approval for all travel and entertainment activities. Having a prior approval in place helps us to ensure the necessary approvals are in place for your travel or event, and helps us to get your reimbursement to you faster. For instructions on how to request a travel advance in Concur, please see the tutorial here.

If you have expenses that need to be reimbursed before your trip:

Travel advances can be issued for expenses incurred prior to travel, such as airfare and registration fees. For instructions on how to request a travel advance in Concur, please see the tutorial here. Please attach receipts to your Concur Request for your incurred expenses.  Receipts must be itemized and show proof of payment.
Please plan ahead and submit advance requests at least 2 weeks prior to your trip.  Advances can’t be issued after you leave for your trip, or if you have previous travel advances that have not been cleared.
If you receive a travel advance, you are required to clear the advance within 14 days of your trip completion by submitting a Concur Expense report; completion of an expense report is required, even if you don't have additional expenses to report.

If your itinerary will include personal time:

Plan on taking personal time to explore a city while you’re away? If your purchased airfare is indirect and/or includes personal time, please print a quote that shows what the cost of airfare would have been for direct travel on business dates.  Submit the quote to us in addition to your actual airfare receipt.   The quote should be printed on the same date that you actually purchase your ticket.

If you need to rent a car:

In order to receive reduced rates that include insurance coverage, car rental reservations with Hertz, National and Enterprise need to be made under the UC contract number. If you do not use the UC contract, any additional insurance coverage you consent to is not a reimbursable expense.
Recommendation: Use Connexxus!  Car rental reservations made through Connexxus are automatically booked under the UC contract, at discounted rates with full insurance coverage included.

If you want to direct bill your airfare:

Use Connexxus!  The BCD Travel and UC Travel Center booking tools in Connexxus offer the option to direct bill your airfare to UCSB.  You can also access Connexxus through the Travel module in Concur. For instructions on how to direct bill through Concur, please see the tutorial here.

If you are traveling outside the US:

Under the Fly America Act, US Flag Carriers must be used for all travel paid on federal funds, including NSF.  Please book all foreign travel on federal funds directly through a flag carrier website, for example American Airlines or United Airlines.
Due to the complicated nature of foreign travel, please discuss foreign travel plans with your MRL travel processor in advance.
Please ensure that your travel is registered for UC Business Travel Insurance.

During travel: Receipts and documentation:

As a traveler on University funding, it is your responsibility to ensure that your travel expenses are reasonable and well-documented. Please do not pay for travel expenses on behalf of other group members. Reimbursement requests should only be for your own expenses. 
Please keep receipts for all of your transportation expenses (airfare, rental car, taxi, metro, bus), lodging, parking, baggage fees, etc.  
When requesting reimbursement for travel expenses such as airfare, rental cars, lodging and registration fees, we require an itemized receipt showing payment confirmation. We cannot accept quotes or estimates.  
If you are missing a required receipt, please visit here for a tutorial on how to report a missing receipt in Concur, or fill out and upload the Documentation of Missing Evidence form.


Currently, we do not require receipts for meals during travel, but there is a $62/day maximum allowance. This is NOT to be treated as a per diem rate.  Meal expenses need to be reported based on the actual expenses you have incurred. When entering your meal expenses in Concur, please itemize them by date, amount and meal, i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will be required to provide meal receipts if you appear to be treating the daily maximum allowance as a per diem. Alcohol expenses are not a reimburseable travel expense and should be omitted from your request.

If you share a hotel room, please request that the invoice is divided accordingly and that each person pays for their portion of the lodging expense. This is especially important if you and your roommate are not funded on the same account.  Failure to do so may delay your reimbursement.

For membership reimbursements associated with travel, please attach the Membership Form. Memberships are reimbursable for travel if they allow you to receive discounted registration fees and savings on the total travel expense. You can list “provides discount for conference registration” as the justification for the membership expense. Please provide documentation of the reduced registration expenses that the membership enables.
Travel Packages:

Reimbursement of travel packages is only allowed if you can provide an itemized breakdown of the expenses, for example the exact amount charged for airfare, car rental, lodging, etc.  Travel packages should not be booked unless you have confirmed that each aspect of the package will be separately itemized.  Please do not purchase travel packages through vendors such as Travelocity and Expedia.

Upon your return:

Please complete a Concur Expense report with all receipts included within 21 days of your trip completion.
Unsure of who should receive your travel reimbursement paperwork?
Please submit to:
Sara Sorensen for MRL-funded travel
Jess Henry for DowMI-funded travel and MC-CAM-funded travel

What is Connexxus?

Connexxus is an online travel booking system available to UC employees that provides discounted rates on car rentals, hotels, and airfare.  UCSB employees can easily log into the system using their UCSBnetID and password at the following link:
In addition to cost savings for the University, benefits of using Conexxus include:
* Car rentals with Hertz, National and Enterprise are automatically booked at UC-contracted rates, which include insurance coverage.
* Direct billing of airfare is available.
* All travel booked through the Connexxus system is automatically registered with UC’s Business Travel Insurance plan.

What is UC Business Travel Insurance?

UC Business Travel Insurance provides additional coverage to UC employees traveling on official University business for emergency medical evacuation, out-of-country medical expenses, loss of personal effects, and security extraction.
If you book your travel through Connexxus, your travel will be automatically registered.
If you book your travel outside of Connexxus, please register your out-of-state and foreign travel plans by going to and completing the "Business Traveler Insurance" form. Upon completion of the brief registration form, you will be provided with a Confirmation of Coverage card with the insurance policy number and important contact information. You should carry this card until the completion of your trip.