General Travel - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a Travel Request required for all travel?

All Travelers are required to submit a Pre-Trip Request prior to each separate Travel Status instance. This includes Travel Status trips with no associated business expenses to the Traveler or University. The only exception to this Pre-Trip Request requirement are Travel Status trips that are between campuses (NCTA, UNCA, UNK, UNL, UNMC and UNO) and/or other locations owned by the University (i.e. teaching, research and Extension offices) with no related expenses or reimbursements to be paid by University Funds or University-Managed Funds.

All Pre-Trip Requests will require approval by the Traveler’s Supervisor Approver and Financial Approver for all funding sources. Pre-Trip Requests are required prior to any bookings and/or payments or reimbursements for travel expenses. Blanket Travel Authorizations require a single Pre-Trip Request at the beginning of each fiscal year.

What if I combine a personal vacation with my business travel?

Travelers who engage in personal travel, while in Travel Status, should acknowledge and include information concerning personal travel in the Pre-Trip Request to the extent reasonably necessary to facilitate and comply with this Travel Policy. However, only University businessrelated travel expenses should be included in the Pre-Trip Request and expense reports. Following the trip, the University will pay for or reimburse the Traveler for the portion of the expenses that relate to the University-related business purpose of the trip. All personal expenses and related taxes, tips and fees should be deducted by the Traveler from the submitted, detailed receipts.

What insurance do I need when I rent a car?

Rules have recently changed on what insurance you should purchase. Click here for more information on rental car insurance.

What's the best way to purchase airline tickets?

The University has contracted with Travel & Transport and Southwest.com for airline tickets for University travel. Both allow the expense to be charged to your department directly and include travel accident insurance and lost luggage insurance. If you choose to purchase a ticket from another source, you will have to charge it on a personal credit card and submit for reimbursement with all your other trip expenses after your trip is complete.

What if I choose to drive instead of fly?

On out-of-state trips when commercial air service could have been used advantageously, mileage will be reimbursed at the price of an airline (coach) ticket or at the prescribed mileage rate, whichever is less. No meals or lodging will be reimbursed while en route.

What is the current reimbursement rate for mileage?

Click here for the current mileage rate.

Can I claim gasoline when using my personal vehicle and claiming mileage?

Gasoline and oil for a personal vehicle are not reimbursable. Their cost is covered by the mileage reimbursement rate.

What meals are reimbursed during travel?

Click here for more information on meals.

What is the Standard Meal Allowance?

The Standard Meal Allowance, which is maintained by the US General Services Administration and covers domestic travel, is the anticipated cost of meals and incidental expenses for a given state and locality. The standard rate is $39/day unless a higher figure is listed in the M&IE rate for the location where you are traveling. 

What is the Standard Meal Allowance for foreign travel?

Foreign per diem rates, which are maintained by the State Department, differ by country, city and date traveled. The M&IE rate is used to determine when detailed receipts should be submitted with your expense reimbursements. Click here to access the per diem rates, making sure to chose the file for the month in which you traveled.

Can I claim a "per diem" rate for meals?

No. Under state statues, only ACTUAL expenses for meals can be reimbursed.

Can I be reimbursed for non-travel related meals and receptions?

Meals for guests being recruited for a position at the University or for fund-raising can be reimbursed. An actual detailed restaurant receipt (which lists meal items, beverages, etc.) and a list of attendees is required for reimbursement. An employee's meal is reimbursable.

A claim for reimbursement of a business/official function meal, including a meal purchased for any individual other than the claimant, must be accompanied by an original itemized meal receipt, a list of attendees and a meeting agenda and/or conference flyer or other documentation to substantiate the business purpose of the meeting.
Click here for more information on non-travel related meals and receptions.

I do not have an itemized hotel receipt. How can I get reimbursed for lodging?

In most cases, the hotel will gladly fax you an itemized copy of your hotel receipt if you forgot to get one before you left. You may attach the fax copy with a brief explanation as to why you do not have the original.

Sometimes when staying at a bed and breakfast or a very small hotel they may give a handwritten receipt that is not itemized. In this case, simply write a brief note on the receipt that the only charges included were for room and room taxes. The intent of requiring the itemized hotel receipt is to avoid reimbursing for items such as movies, valet service, or meals claimed elsewhere on the voucher.

My hotel receipt shows two adults stayed in the room. How can I get reimbursed for the correct amount?

No reimbursement will be made for unauthorized lodgers who occupy the quarters of an authorized traveler. The authorized traveler must note and claim only the single rate. For example, if a spouse accompanies an authorized traveler, the amount of the single occupancy rate should be noted on the receipt and the claim for reimbursement should be made for only that portion of the rental charge.

When lodging is shared by two or more authorized University travelers, each traveler should claim and be reimbursed for his/her share of the lodging. The names of all authorized travelers should be noted on the receipt or Employee Expense Voucher. If one traveler pays the entire lodging, then both travelers' employee expense vouchers must be submitted together, as the State requires these to be cross-referenced.

What expenses require itemized receipts when employee is in travel status?

Click here for detail on which expenses require receipts.

What receipts are acceptable as proof of payment?

  • An original itemized receipt
  • A cancelled check may be used in combination with an itemized receipt.
  • A credit card receipt may be used when it includes a detailed itemization of the purchase.
  • A faxed copy of a receipt may be used in lieu of a lost original receipt if accompanied by a signed written explanation for the missing original (e.g. "original lost, use copy as original".)

Remember, on international travel receipts, all claims for reimbursement must be converted to US currency. Click here for a currency converter.

I do not have a registration receipt. How can I be reimbursed?

Registration receipts are required. However, some conference sponsors neglect to provide them. A secondary proof of payment, such as a photocopy of either a cancelled check or credit card statement, will suffice when accompanied by a brief note of explanation. This problem can be avoided for future conferences by prepaying the registration on the Purchasing Card (if available.)

How will I receive my reimbursement?

Your travel reimbursement will be automatically deposited in the same bank account that your payroll check is deposited into unless you have set up a Travel Bank in Firefly, under ESS (Employee Self-Service), "Bank Direct Deposit" tile. You will receive an email notification when the deposit has been made. If you do not have payroll direct deposit, a paper check will be mailed directly from the State of Nebraska.

How long will it take to receive my reimbursement?

You will receive your reimbursement within 5-7 days after your Employee Expense Voucher is received in Accounts Payable.

Will my reimbursement be held until the next time I receive a paycheck?

No. You will receive your reimbursement within 5-7 days after your Employee Expense Voucher is received in Accounts Payable.

How do I set up a Travel Bank?

You can use Employee Self Service to set up a Travel Bank.

What do I do if my bank information has changed?

You can use Employee Self Service to change your bank information or contact your campus.