Preparing for travel
The following resources and guidelines are intended to help UWMLSC
group members prepare for travel and complete travel expense
reports. Some useful links are provided at the end of this document.
New UW-System Travel Policy
- Submit an absence request form
to the department's Business Manager three full weeks prior to your date of departure.
(Exceptions will occur, but do your best to meet this target date.)
If you will direct-bill your airfare through a
UWM-approved travel agency, indicate the specifics on the bottom of your
absence request form.
- Obtain cheapest available airfare. You must document this,
by obtaining quotes for comparable itineraries from multiple carriers,
including the itinerary you actually purchase. Useful
sites to obtain such quotes are
UWM-approved vendors for Car Rental.
See below for justification of car rental for travel.
Travel Expense Report (TER) Checklist
Here are a few things to remember when preparing TERs.
- Registration fee and Travel justification:
The UWM Travel Office routinely rejects TERs lacking the following items.
- Print the conference home page or some type of
correspondence (like an email thread) indicating the meeting
location, date(s), and purpose.
- Indicate explicitly what meals, lodging, and/or
transportation are covered by the registration fee and
provide documentation in the form of the conference brochure
or conference web page. (Sometimes this information is not
explicitly available. Do your best, to avoid delays with
- Foreign Per-Diems:
For each foreign city in which you claim meal reimbursements, compute the
maximum per-meal reimbursements as follows.
- Visit the U.S. Department of State's
Foreign Per-Diem Maximums by Date and City web site.
- In the left column, click the year in which you traveled.
- Click the month in which you traveled.
- Locate the "M&IE Rate" for the city to which you traveled.
- Compute your daily maximums: Breakfast 20%, Lunch 30%, Dinner 50%.
- Prepare a 1-page attachment for your TER summarizing this information.
You may not claim a meal reimbursement when a meal was served on an airplane.
(The rationale being that UWM is already paying the airfare, and therefore the meal cost.)
- Small receipts:
Tape them to full sheets of paper. The people who process your TER will
greatly appreciate it. (They run a lot of photocopies.) This also gives you
some whitespace to write annotations where appropriate.
- Receipts in a currency other than USD:
Include a hardcopy of the
(Tape small receipts directly to their conversions.)
- When possible, organize your receipts chronologically.
- Hotels: Annotate your bill. Any incidental charges (phone calls,
internet access, food and beverages, laundry) should be labeled explicitly.
Not all such charges are reimbursable. Refer to these guidelines:
- Other annotations: Wherever an explanation is appropriate, provide one.
If an expense (such as a taxi ride, rental car, hotel bill, etc) also benefits
another traveler, indicate this.
- Personal Vehicle Miles: Enter daily mileage in the body of the spreadsheet.
Then copy the total of that column into the mileage per-diem section at the
botto of the spreadsheet. Refer to
for more information. Note also the instructions for submitting a
Drivers Authorization Form
to the UWM Risk Management office. Only authorized drivers can claim mileage
- Rental cars: Whenever you rent a car, you must state in the
upper-right corner of your TER why it was required. Some appropriate statements
"Rental car required: No public transit to facility."
"Rental car required: >30 miles from airport to site."
- Other fares: You need a receipt for any transit fare >= $25.
- Submitting Paper-Prepared (PDF) TERs:
Attach the hand-completed TER and all attachments with a paper clip, and submit to
the department's Financial Specialist.
- Submitting Electronically-Prepared (XLS) TERs:
Email the spreadsheet to the department's Financial Specialist
as a file attachment. Use a concise, descriptive subject line, such as
Subject: TER - F.Lastname, MeetingBriefDescrip, Location, MMMYYYY.
In the body of the message, indicate that the paper attachments will be routed to the Financial Specialist.
Send the email, then print it and attach it to the paper attachments with a paper clip. Put the
bundle in the FInancial Specialist's inbox. (This helps ensure that your attachments
will be properly handled by department business staff.)