Travel - Frequently Asked Questions

If I only want to be reimbursed for airfare, do I need to fill out a Travel Reimbursement Request Form?
Yes, you will need to fill out the form because your PI needs to approve this travel expense. Any time you ask to be reimburse, you need to complete a Travel Reimbursement Request Form and seek PI approval.

Can I drive my car to a conference even though airfare is the preferred method of transportation?
If advance approval has been obtained, you may use surface transportation for personal reasons even though air travel is the appropriate mode of transportation; however, please be aware that costs incurred while driving, including the mileage reimbursement, cannot exceed the cost of airfare, based on the most affordable coach fare available for the location of travel.

Can I be reimbursed for meals if my trip is less than 24 hours?
When the entire length of a trip is less than 24 hours, meals and incidentals cannot be reimbursed unless the travel includes an overnight stay and is supported by a lodging receipt.

Am I allowed to pay for the travel expenses of a fellow ESS researcher?
No, you cannot pay for the travel expenses of another researcher. University travelers cannot be reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of other persons, except in the case of co-travelers who are sharing a room.

How can I be reimbursed for gas mileage?
To be reimbursed for gas mileage, please print out and attach Mapquest directions showing mileage driven. The current mileage rate is 57.5 cents a mile.

What is a guest folio?
A guest folio is an itemized hotel receipt that it is given to the traveler at the time of check out. The guest folio lists the daily room rate, taxes, and incidentals expenses billed to the traveler.

Are membership fees reimbursable?
Membership fee reimbursement is determined by the PI and the policies and conditions of the grant. The travel coordinator will work with the PI and the financial analyst to determine if this expense can be reimbursed.

What is Connexxus?
Connexxus is an online resource that you can use to book your travel and take advantage of UC negotiated discounts on airlines, hotels, and car rentals. It is UCI’s preferred method for making travel arrangements.

Can I request a trip number and work with the Travel Store to book my flight?
We would prefer that you book and pay for your flight and submit the flight confirmation receipt to the travel coordinator for reimbursement. You will receive your reimbursement in approximately two weeks.

I am attending a conference and I would like to share the hotel room with a fellow researcher to save on costs. How will I be reimbursed for the lodging?
If you will be sharing the room, you can ask the hotel to split the cost into two separate bills. If the hotel is unable to do this, it is ok for you to pay the full amount. When you submit the Travel Reimbursement Request Form, please indicate in the “comments / additional notes” section that you shared the cost of the lodging and include the name of the person you shared the room with and his/her funding source.

My trip has not taken place yet, but can I receive an advance for expenses not yet incurred but known or approximately predicted such as meals and taxis?
We typically only reimburse for travel the expenses when the trip is over and the Travel Reimbursement Request Form has been turned in. If this is a financial hardship, please contact the travel coordinator.

The information and wording in this text is found in the University of California Policy BFB-G-28: Travel Regulations.

The Department of Earth System Science acknowledges our presence on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples, who still hold strong cultural, spiritual and physical ties to this region.