International Travel Note
Before we are allowed book any international travel using university funds, you must get approval for your trip through the Study Abroad office using the International Travel Registration link for faculty and staff. Following approval from the Study Abroad office, please follow the instructions below.
Prior to collaborating with, visiting, or sharing equipment, technical data and information, etc. with foreign persons in the United States or abroad, personnel must determine whether government authorization is needed for those activities. All formal export related communications with regulators such as commodity jurisdiction requests, classification requests, license applications, etc. must be submitted by Research Integrity and Compliance on behalf of the university. Consult with Research Integrity and Compliance for any needed guidance and support. Authorizations must be obtained prior to personnel proceeding with restricted activities.
Effective immediately, all Spend Authorizations must include a copy of the Foreign Travel Export Control form completed by the traveler.
If you're travelling domestically, you may skip these steps and go straight to "Authorization Form."
If you're travelling, you can begin this process by filling out the pre-travel authorization form. Keep in mind, the travel office will not approve travel made more than 48-hours before or after your business purpose. For example, if you are attending a conference between 1/5 - 1/7, the earliest you can depart is 1/3 and the latest you may return is 1/9. If you would like to leave before or after the 48-hour window, you are financially responsible for your travel expenses.
When you fill out the pre-travel authorization form, you're estimating for the PLSC staff what the total cost of your trip will be from hotels, to airlines, to your per diem (which can be calculated using the GSA website). It answers any question we may have for you before we can ask it. Indicate which accounts you wish for your travel to be paid out of on this form. Please fill this form out every time you travel.
If you're travelling internationally, the pre-travel authorization form will be what we use to create a spend authorization for you. Once this authorization has been approved, we can continue booking your travel.
Send your completed form to Patrick (for domestic travel) or Michelle (for international travel) with a brief description of your travel no less than two weeks before your travel, but ideally one month prior. If you're attending a conference and require registration, this is covered by the T-Card. Indicate this on your travel authorization form under "REGISTRATION." If you require a hotel and have preferences, send that in the email. The office will always default to the most affordable options nearest the GSA rates for plane tickets or hotel stays unless otherwise specified by the traveler. We will never put you in a motel or in basic economy unless requested.
You must always book travel through the administrative assistant. Any personal bookings are contingent upon travel office policies and are not guaranteed to be reimbursed or paid for using university funds. If you would like your own T-Card, you are able to apply for one after taking all required T-Card holder training courses, and only if you have reasonable justification for requesting a T-Card. For example, if you have grant related travel that often causes you to travel last minute, during the weekend, or otherwise on a whim or outside of business hours, this is a reasonable justification to have a T-Card assigned to you. Please speak with Michelle about initiating travel training. Note: Travel training is booked by the travel office and is not contingent upon instructor schedules. If you would like a traveler T-Card, you must make all training appointments. Please keep your schedule in mind when registering for travel training.
- All flights are booked on behalf of the traveler through Concur Booking. Most faculty and staff have profiles automatically generated on Concur Booking, but this is not always the case. Please expect office staff to request your date of birth and middle name, if applicable, as they appear on your photo ID. If you are a student traveler, please always supply this information for the office staff when requesting travel assistance.
- Concur Booking requires that we book flights that are compliant with the university's travel office policies. Your office staff is aware of these policies, but if you have questions about what is and is not acceptable, you may contact Dorothy Landerito with any inquiries about travel office policy. Because these policies are in place, the cheapest flight option is not always the option we can book.
- Travel miles and points are only applicable on your flight with permission from the travel office; as a general rule of thumb, unless you acquired these points or miles because of a cancelled business-related flight, please always assume the answer is "no" when asking if we can use your miles or points. University employees are not allowed to be reimbursed under any circumstance on discounted rates or points-related purchases; if you would like to use miles or points, you must book your own flight and forego using grant, scholarship, or RIF money to pay for it.
- You may travel with a guest, but the university will not pay for any flights booked for spouses, children, friends, etc. who may accompany you on business-related travel. If you would like to book seats near you, at the time of booking, an appointment will need to be made with Anthony Travel to meet with a representative about your flight. The representative will pay for your flight expenses through the office T-Card and your accompanying traveler through personal payment (credit or debit), paid for during the meeting. Your payment information will be requested via phone or Zoom (the meeting will not be recorded) by Anthony Travel to pay for your traveler.
- Tickets will be forwarded to you from the office to your uark.edu email address as soon as your flight is confirmed. If you need a physical copy of your itenerary or tickets, those can be supplied and left in your departmental mailbox upon request.
- Please check GSA rates for the month of travel and verify that you are at or around (within $50) of GSA rates before requesting specific hotel accommodations from admin. The only exception to this rule is conference hotels; we can always justify conference hotels, regardless of cost.
- If you are travelling for a conference, the conference hotel is always assumed unless otherwise specified. Please indicate in your original email to office staff if you would like to stay elsewhere.
- As with airfare, a similar process must occur with non-affiliated travelers (spouse, children, etc.) for hotel reservations. A reservation will be estimated for you as a solo traveler, and then again with the additional traveler(s) to calculate a difference in cost. That difference is billed as a personal expense on your expense report and will be billed to you through the travel office.
- A credit card is required for incidentals at check-in at most hotels; the office will pay for your room or provide you with a credit card authorization in advance, but incidentals are never covered under this authorization. You will need to provide your own personal credit or debit card for incidentals.
- Hotels, like flights, cannot use discounts or rewards points. If you would like to use points or discount programs, you will be personally responsible for your hotel booking and payment.
- Business related hotel accommodations must be justified before we will book a hotel reservation. If you need a second bed, for example, or require a suite with a kitchen, it must be approved by the travel office through justification. Please indicate any business related accommodations before your hotel is booked.
Ground Travel (Car, Train)
- The University has a travel contract through Enterprise. Any car rentals must be booked through the administrative assistant and, like hotels and flights, personal points or discount codes cannot be used. If you would like to use a specific car rental service other than Enterprise, or you would like to use rewards points, you will be personally responsible for booking and paying for your vehicle rental.
- Rideshares are considered taxi services by the travel office, and are reimbursed accordingly. Please note the rules on tipping in the section on Per Diems below.
- Other forms of ground travel (like train or tram, etc.) are also covered and paid for by the university as long as the travel can be justified as business-related. Taking a tram or train from the airport to your hotel room, for example, is business related. Taking a train from your hotel to the conference site is considered business related. Booking an Uber or Lyft to go from your hotel room to an interview is business related. Train tickets to see a concert while you're in town is not considered a business expense and will not be reimbursed.
- Per Diems are calculated using the same GSA rates used to book flights and hotels. Your first and last day of travel are always 75% of the daily total, and every day in-between is reimbursed to you based on what is available at your hotel. For example, if your hotel provides a complimentary breakfast, there is a set amount deducted from your per diem every day. If your hotel, conference, etc. provides any meals at no additional expense to you, this is deducted from your daily per diem.
- We do not require receipts for meals. Meal expense is always reimbursed through per diems, without exception. Please do not provide receipts for any meal purchases.
- Any fuel expenses are paid for out of your per diem. Fuel rates vary and are dependent on the cost of fuel at the time; if your plans for renting a vehicle or driving your personal vehicle are dependent on this per diem, please ask prior to making travel arrangements what the current fuel rates are.
- Tipping is included in meals & incidentals. The university encourages standard tipping rates of 15% - 20% of your bill's total, but please be advised that tips are never reimbursed separately from your daily meal per diem. This does include taxi or rideshare tips. They will not be reimbursed, they are considered a factor of your incidental expenses in your per diem.
Returning from Travel
- Upon returning from your trip, please deliver all relevant receipts for personal expenses to Patrick (for domestic travel) or Michelle (for international travel) within 48 hours of return. You may submit receipts as originals or copies.
- Personal expenses we can reimburse include, but are not limited to:
1. Baggage fees
2. Airport parking
3. Ground travel (taxi, train, tram, etc.)