Review and follow all UW-Madison travel expense guidelines (available at the Accounting Services Travel Center) when booking flights, making hotel reservations, or traveling. Non-reimbursable expenses are the responsibility of the traveler.

If you haven’t made a reservation through the UW TravelWise/Concur booking tool before or need assistance please contact the appropriate person at the bottom of this page for help.

  • Faculty and staff may contact the business office.
  • Graduate students must notify their path coordinator.

General Travel Information

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Before you travel

  • Set up a UWTravelWise/Concur account online.
  • Ask your PI or supervisor what funding number to use for your trip (e.g., 144-PRJXXYY). Please note that 101- funds cannot be used for travel.

Register for the conference/event

See your travel representative or path coordinator (listed below) to purchase your conference/event registration. Keep a copy of the registration invoice/confirmation and save it for your reimbursement documentation.

Make lodging/hotel arrangements

Once you have calculated the maximum hotel reimbursement rate for your travel destination, find and book appropriately priced lodging with your travel representative or path coordinator listed below. You may make hotel reservations in one of two ways: (1) book the hotel room directly through the conference website or by calling the hotel and requesting the conference rate; or (2) book the hotel room through UWTravelWIse/Concur either through the online booking tool or by calling Travel Inc. at 470.589.2205. Airbnb is now allowed, but standard daily/night rates will still apply. You may not use any other hotel room reservation method (e.g., Expedia,, Kayak, Priceline, etc.), and you will not be reimbursed if you fail to use one of the two university-approved methods for booking hotel rooms. After you make a reservation, save the confirmation for your reimbursement documentation packet.

Make transportation arrangements

  • Flying: Once you know the dates/times of travel and your funding number, book your flight through UWTravelWise/Concur with your path coordinator. If you plan to arrive early or stay late, refer to the FAQ section on the right.
  • Driving: Become a UW-Madison-authorized driver at least two weeks before you travel. Learn more below.

Meal and expense reimbursement planning

  • Look up UW-Madison reimbursement rates for lodging and meals for your destination city here.
  • If food is provided through the event (e.g., meals are covered through your conference registration fee) you may not claim reimbursement for the meals that are provided.
  • Travelers will only be reimbursed for up to 75% of the per diem rate for the first and last days of travel.
  • Some faculty allow group members to claim the UW-Madison per diem rate for meal and incidental reimbursement. Other faculty allow group members to claim reimbursement only for the amount of money actually spent on meals and incidentals while traveling, rather than the full per diem amount. Either way, please save your receipts while traveling. If you are unsure of what policy applies to you, please ask your supervisor or PI.

While you travel

  • Get a detailed invoice from the hotel when you check out. If sharing a room, make sure that each individual’s name appears on the hotel invoice in order for multiple travelers to use the same invoice for expense reimbursement requests.
  • Save any receipts more than $25. To be on the safe side, save all of your receipts from the trip until your reimbursement has been processed.

After you travel


You must submit your reimbursement request within 90 days after your trip.

1.     Submit an online reimbursement request through E-Reimbursement. Be sure to include:

  • Short paragraph explaining the ‘business purpose’ of your trip. This explains how your trip will benefit the university. This paragraph must include who, what, where, when, and why information at the minimum. Please do not use acronyms (i.e., say ‘American Chemical Society meeting’ rather than ‘ACS meeting’).
  • PDF of the conference/event website homepage or conference/event agenda or conference/event acceptance letter showing dates and location
  • Photocopy of event name tag or program (evidence that you attended)
  • Detailed hotel invoice
  • Registration fee invoice/registration confirmation
  • Copies of any receipts more than $25
  • Full flight itinerary

Driving & Mileage

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Driver's Authorization

To be covered by the university’s liability protection policy while driving on university business, all UW-Madison faculty, staff, student, LTE, and volunteer drivers must be approved through Risk Management prior to departing on university business. Regardless of whether you are driving your own vehicle, a fleet vehicle, or a rental vehicle, all potential drivers must complete the appropriate driver authorization request form. Two weeks prior to your trip, visit the Risk Management Driver Authorization webpage for more information and to apply.

Also review UW-Madison vehicle rental and gas policies.


According to Policy: 201.B – Privately Owned Vehicle Expenses, the standard mileage rate for personal vehicles is $.54 per mile. Any roundtrip mileage that exceeds 300 miles will be reimbursed at the Turndown Rate of $.375 per mile.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Where can I find news and updates related to work-related travel?

The UW-System offers travel updates here.

May I arrive early, stay late, or combine business and personal travel?

When you are able to save money by adding a day or two to your trip, reasonable expenses for lodging and meals for the minimum necessary additional days may be paid if the total cost of the trip expenses (e.g., additional days of lodging, meals, parking, etc.) are less than the lowest airfare would have been without the additional days of travel. In these cases, you must provide a cost comparison to show that the additional days don’t add to the overall cost of the trip. This comparison must be given over the phone by Travel Inc. at 470.589.2205, and included with your reimbursement documentation packet later.

If you wish to combine personal and business travel, you must document a cost comparison to ensure that the university only reimburses for the business portion of the trip. To document your cost comparison for airfare, call Travel Inc. at 470.589.2205 and ask for a flight comparison with the correct corresponding dates. The lower of the two airfare costs will be paid for or reimbursed by the university.

Valid cost comparisons: UWTravelWise/Concur or Travel Inc. agents must be used for cost comparisons. Because of pricing and availability fluctuations, accurate cost comparisons must be done at the time of booking in immediate succession to be valid.

How can I find hotel maximums and per diem rates for my destination?

Use the UW-Madison lodging and per diem expense rate calculator to determine the allowable hotel and per diem rates for your destination. Please note that the university at large is now using a per diem model rather than reimbursing exact expenses for meals and incidentals. Some chemistry research groups use the per diem, others allow travelers to claim reimbursement for actual expenses only. Travelers are reimbursed at 100 percent for full days traveled and 75 percent for the first and last day of travel.

Are meals covered when I travel for work?

For research groups that allow reimbursement of actual expenses only, maximum meal rates (as of Oct. 6, 2015) are shown below.

meal rates

Read the full policy from Business Services:

Is ___________ a reimbursable expense?

The following items are NOT reimbursable expenses:

  • Airline ticket upgrades for coach tickets with extra leg room, or for business or first class
  • Room service
  • In-room movies
  • Entertainment

Please see a comprehensive list here:

How do I purchase tickets and make reservations?

Use UW TravelWise/Concur or call a Travel Inc. at 470.589.2205 to book your flight, car rental, and/or hotel room. Any travel expenses (airfares, hotel rooms, car rentals) purchased on UW-Madison credit cards or reimbursed by UW-Madison must be purchased using UW TravelWise/Concur or by calling Travel Inc. at 470.589.2205.

The only exception is for hotel rooms booked through a conference hotel room block. Conference rates are not available in UW TravelWise/Concur; instead, reserve your room through the conference website or by calling the hotel and booking a room in the conference block.

When traveling on federal grant funds (e.g., NSF, NIH, DOE funding beginning with 144-), you must request special approval prior to booking your ticket if you need to use a foreign airline.

When booking flights with UW TravelWise/Concur, a confirmation email is sent first, followed by a final booking notification with the e-ticket number. Please print out the second email with the e-ticket for your reimbursement, rather than the first with the confirmation.

Do I need to keep receipts? What if I forget?

A receipt is generally required for all travel expenses. There are very few exceptions to this policy. Receipts for reimbursable expenses must be submitted via the expense reimbursement process as part of your reimbursement documentation packet.

Travel Assistance is available from the following

Driscoll, Kayla

Position title: Executive Assistant to the Chair, Associate Director of Faculty Services


Phone: 608.262.1480

Hale, Erin

Position title: Administrative Assistant


Phone: 608-890-2623

Thies, Mandi

Position title: Administrative Assistant