• Complete a Travel Authorization form even if CU is not paying for the trip (just note the trip is at no cost to the university). This is required for both domestic and international travel.
    • To comply with University policy/procedures, the travel authorization form should be completed and submitted prior to incurring any costs for travel - this includes booking airfare.
    • For travel that requires airfare, you'll need the SpeedType in order to book through Concur. If there is any doubt - please speak with the CIPS Research Manager first. Not confirming the correct SpeedType to be used to book your airfare could cause unnecessary issues if the wrong number is provided at the time of booking.
    • For any travel, if you want to talk through how things work - you are encouraged to speak with the CIPS Research Manager either in person or by email.
  • International travel also requires a pre-trip approval via Concur
  • When paying conference registration fees to plan ahead, register early, and get the early registration discount most conferences provide.
    • If you want to pay the fee yourself, ask: Do I have a Procurement Card or University Travel Card? If yes, use this to pay for your fee. If not, pay for this personally (credit card, check, cash) and get reimbursed upon trip completion. Make sure you print a receipt for the cost of the registration.
    • Conference registration fees can be paid by CIPS. You will need to work with the Research Manager before you register.
  • Book your flight, hotel, and rental car using Concur or Christopherson Business Travel
    • For airfare, booking domestic flights through Concur incurs no additional cost.  Booking domestic flights and international flights using an agent from Christopherson Business Travel includes a $20 processing fee. If traveling with grant funds, make sure you understand the Fly America Act and how it impacts your trip. 
    • If purchasing from an external internet site (e.g. Orbitz, Expedia, Kayak) you must obtain a comparison quote from Christopherson. You can do this through the Concur Travel System. Enter the specifications of your travel in the search fields and print the list of Concur fares. You may also contact a Christopherson Agent for a comparison quote. If the external internet airfare is less than the quote, proceed with your purchase using a personal credit card. Your quote and purchase must be on the same day. Without this comparison, you will not be reimbursed for the cost of the airfare. For reimbursement after the trip provide the comparison quote information from Christopherson along with the proof of payment for your internet ticket purchase.
    • If you need to change your airline reservation, contact Christopherson to ensure you understand what fees may be involved.
  • Lodging can be booked through Concur, but that is not required.
    • If you have a Travel Card, use this to pay lodging and any required deposits to the extent of the actual cost of reasonable accommodations. Itemized receipts are required for both the lodging deposit and the balance of the hotel stay.
    • If you arrange private lodging (staying with family or friends) you can be reimbursed up to $25/day for associated costs.
  • Rental Car Guidlines
    • Use your Travel Card to receive insurance coverage benefits.  Decline insurance for domestic preferred cars (Avis, Budget, National, Enterprise and Hertz), accept insurance for international and non-preferred vendors. In most cases, VISA provides Collision/Loss Damage Waivers (CDW/LDW). The State contracted agencies provide liability coverage. For more information contact 1-800-VISA-911 prior to traveling to determine the specific insurance needs applicable to your trip.
    • If you rent a car in person (i.e. not using Concur), make sure you rent from one of the preferred agencies.
    • Four-wheel-drive vehicles may only be rented if the trip requires it to access a difficult-to-get-to location. Unless this is the case, travelers must rent two-wheel drive vehicles.
    • You will need to obtain an itemized rental car receipt showing proof of payment for rental car and rental car gas.
  • Determine the per diem rate for your travel destination (look for "M&IE Breakdown" on left side of the page). This will be the maximum you'll be reimbursed per day for meals and incidentals. Keep this in mind while you are traveling to ensure you don't overspend, as you won't be reimbursed above the cap. Keep in mind that you are eligible for only 75 percent of the per diem daily rate on travel days.
  • If you plan to pay for a group meal (meal with CU colleagues and/or external colleagues), discuss this with the Research Manager  before you travel to ensure this will be allowable. No alcohol is allowed on group meals. 
  • If you plan any personal travel with your business travel, discuss this with the Research Manager before you make your plans.

  • Airport travel and parking is available at a discounted rate. Your RTD EcoPass includes free rides to/from DIA. Discounted airport parking is available at select vendors
  • While traveling, pay for all other expenses (parking, taxi/bus/Uber, baggage check costs, tolls, etc.) out-of-pocket and keep your receipts.
  • Only the most economical fare is allowed. If you need to upgrade due to a medical condition, please discuss this with the Research Manager in advance as there are specific documentation requirements in order for this to be allowable.

  • CIPS will create your travel expense report for you. Simply turn in your receipts to the Research Manager in F837. Explain anything unusual that may have happened.  Documentation includes an approved Travel Authorization (though this should have already been provided) and receipts for lodging, parking, transportation, etc.
  • If any meals were provided to you during travel, report this so that your per diem can be adjusted accordingly. If you paid for any meals on a travel card, those will be marked as non-reimbursable personal expenses and per diem will be provided instead.
  • If a third party is providing any financial support for the trip, communicate this to the Research Manager to adjust other expenses accordingly. 
  • If you are requesting mileage reimbursement, you will receive the standard reimbursement rate ($0.545 per mile as of Jan. 1, 2018). Allowable miles are those driven in excess of the normal round-trip commute to primary work location, regardless of the type of transportation used for your normal commute. Learn how to calculate allowable miles.
  • If you traveled internationally and paid out-of-pocket for expenses, the exchange rate is backdated to the date of the expense to determine the reimbursement amount. Use the currency converter to determine the reimbursement amount
  • Receipts are required for all single transaction expenses $75 or greater. The only exception is for official functions (meals with multiple people), which always require a receipt (both proof of payment and the itemized list showing the meal items - alcohol is not allowable). 
  • If you had any personal travel, you may need to reimburse CU for a portion of the expenses. Talk with the Research Manager about your specific situation. 
  • When the report is ready you will be notified. Log in to the Expense System to review and submit your report.
  • After you submit your travel expense report, it will route electronically to your approver. You are done.
  • After your approver approves your report it will proceed to Travel Accounting at the PSC. Once they approve your report, look for a direct deposit of your approved reimbursement.

For undergraduate non-employees, third-party visitors to labs, seminar speakers, etc., discuss the requirements with the Research Manager as soon as this travel is anticipated so that she can work with the traveler on the necessary arrangements for travel and reimbursement.

Provide a comparison of the business portion of the trip to combined travel. If the cost is greater for combined, the traveler may owe CU the difference. Speak to the Research Manager before you make your travel arrangements to confirm. 

Learn about CU travel policies by completing this online course. By following these procedures you will receive the maximum reimbursement in the shortest amount of time.

  1. Log in to the CU Boulder campus portal; choose the "CU Resources" tab.
  2. Under "Quick Links" click "Start SkillSoft." This will open a new window.
  3. Once in SkillSoft click the "CU Boulder" button. 
  4. On the left of the page, under "Categories" click the "Procurement" link and then navigate to the second page.
  5. Find "CU: Travel and Travel Card Training" and click the "Launch" button to the right of the course title.

  1. If your supervisor wishes you to have a travel card, they should inform the CIPS Research Manager who will then complete the Travel Card Application on your behalf, obtain your signature and submit the document. 
  2. In addition, all applicants must also complete the online Travel & Travel Card Training course. You must pass the short quiz in order to obtain the card. You're training will appear under your "SkillSoft" account in your CU Boulder Campus Portal within 2-4 business days.
    1. Log in to your MY.CU portal by:
      1. Navigating to my.CU.edu.
      2. Log in using your identikey and password.
    2. Select the ""CU Resources" tab.
    3. Under "Quick Links" click "Start SkillSoft." This will open a new window.
    4. Once in SkillSoft click the "CU Boulder" button. 
    5. On the left of the page, under "Categories" click the "Procurement" link and then navigate to the second page.
    6. Find "CU: Travel and Travel Card Training" and click the "Launch" button to the right of the course title.

How to Set Travel Preferences:

Our new Travel Agent is Christopherson Business Travel. New procedures will involve the Concur Expense system. Christopherson will have access to the Travel Preferences section of each traveler's Concur Profile. They will use this information in the travel arrangement process. It is each traveler's responsibility to fill out these fields in a timely manner.

How to Access Travel Preferences Section:

  1. Log in to the Concur Expense System:
    1. Log in to your MY.CU portal by:
      1. Navigating to my.CU.edu.
      2. Log in using your identikey and password.
    2. Select "MY.TOOLS" tab and click the "Open CU Expense System" button.
  2. Click on the "Profile" tab in the tab selection at the top of the window.
  3. Select the "Personal Information" icon.
  4. Select "Travel Preferences" at the top of the page to skip down to the "Preferences" section.

How to Set Travel Preferences:

  1. Check any discount travel rates that apply.
  2. "Air Travel Preferences": Indicate preferences in fields.
  3. "Hotel Preferences": Indicate preferences in fields.
  4. "Car Rental Preferences": Indicate preferences in fields.
  5. To add a program to the "Frequent Traveler Program" section.
    1. Select + Add a Program, located on the right hand side of the window.
    2. Provide program information and member number.
  6. You will be able to see the "Favorite Hotels" section after using them in the new system.
  7. Complete "TSA Secure Flight" fields.
  8. Complete "International Travel Fields" (if applicable).

Foreign Travel:

The University of Colorado provides assistance to employees who travel outside of the United States. Please refer to the University Risk Management website for more information.

Per Diem Rates:

Per diem rates can be found at the US General Services Administration website.

Personal Car Use:

Standard reimbursement rates are per the State of Colorado. 
Reimbursement at the 4WD rate will be allowed if road conditions require use of a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Reimbursable miles are those driven in excess of the normal round-trip commute to your primary work location regardless of the type of transportation normally used for the commute. 


Travelers must submit original itemized receipts for all charges showing proof of payment. If you paid cash the detailed receipt is sufficient, otherwise you will need to document that you paid for the item. If your receipt does not provide this additional documentation you will need to submit your credit card statement or your credit card receipt.


  • All rental vehicle gas receipts are required regardless of dollar amount.
  • Itemized receipts are required for lodging charges showing proof of payment.

Proof of Payment:

Written evidence that an expense is no longer outstanding and that a specific individual or entity covered that amount. Such information is required in order to process reimbursements.

Examples of possible documentation could include:

  • Original vendor receipt showing a balance due of zero.
  • Original vendor receipt/invoice showing note that "Paid in full-cash" and vendor’s signature.
  • Original credit card slip or copy of credit card summary statement.
  • Copy of cancelled personal check to vendor.
  • Copy of subsequent month’s invoice indicating that previous amount due was paid.

Rental Vehicle and Liability Insurance:

Rent from a preferred vendor and charge to your Travel Card (US Bank VISA). See "Before Traveling" for detailed information regarding rental car insurance.

Shared Costs - Employees:

As a general rule, employees should not share expenses. An employee may not use their travel card to pay for another employee's expenses. If two University employees in travel status share lodging, each should pay his/her own portion of lodging and submit separate reimbursement requests.

Telephone/Fax/Internet Usage Charges:

Such charges for University business are reimbursable. When using hotel services, these charges must be itemized and traveler must identify any business-related charges that are reimbursable.


Reasonable tips given to ground transportation personnel are reimbursable (up to a max of 20% of the service charge). Maid, porter and bellhop tips are included in the Incidental Expense Per Diem amount and cannot be claimed separately.

Toll Road Charges:

Toll road charges are reimbursable. Receipt and proof of payment are required for charges $25 or more.

More Questions? Contact the Research Manager

Mandy Wang, 303-492-8760