Employee Travel and Tips

To make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible, the University has identified several important steps before, during, and after your travel. 

Please note: The links provided in the Employee Travel and Tips section are for informational purposes only. The University of Massachusetts does not endorse or take any responsibility for content posted within these sites.

If you have questions, please contact the UPST.

Travel Best Practices

  • The University reimburses employees for all necessary and reasonable travel expenses incurred for authorized University business. A traveler on University-related business has the responsibility to act prudently and incur expenses that are necessary, appropriate, and reasonable.
  • All out-of-state and international employee travels should be registered on the UMass Travel Registry to facilitate rapid location and communication in the event of an emergency situation.
  • Employees cannot be reimbursed for any travel expenses prior to the actual travel. Use of a University purchasing card (UMass Bank Card) is suggested for airfare and conference fees to avoid any financial hardship.
  • When securing reservations, travelers should confirm if a discounted university/college rate is available.
  • When traveling on federally funded projects, travelers may request the hotel's government rate. A letter from the project sponsor may be required upon check-in to confirm the funding source.

Travel Procedures

  1. Review the Travel and Expense Policy for your campus and follow the guidelines listed in the policy.
  2. In general, use the least expensive, most direct, and efficient means of transportation available.
  3. Let your supervisor know if you intend to travel within Massachusetts for business purposes. Get pre-approval following the guidelines listed in your campus travel policy if you are planning to travel outside of Massachusetts.
  4. Use your UMass Bank Card to pay for airfare, conference fees, and anything else that must be paid before you travel. 
  5. When booking airfare, hotels, cars, and trains, use the UMass travel agencies:
    • Egencia for domestic point-to-point travel
    • The Travel Collaborative for all international travel reservations, complex travel arrangements involving two or more cities

Note: UMass will not reimburse you for any airline upgrades including early check-in without pre-approval for a special reason. Also, UMass will only pay for a mid-size, compact, or economy class vehicle unless you have a valid exception.

Employees traveling on University business are strongly encouraged to read the entire Travel Policy and Procedures Manual for their respective campus.

  • Act prudently. Incur only expenses that are necessary, appropriate and reasonable. 
  • If you are traveling internationally, take additional precautions.
  • If you are signing a rental car agreement, decline liability insurance (UMass already has this coverage), but purchase comprehensive/ physical insurance. Select the option to fill the tank on your own (not pre-pay for gas).
  • Domestic travel per diem meal allowance varies by city. It is important to note that if the conference or event you are attending includes food, you are not eligible for the per diem for each of the meals served.
  • For international travel, use the per diem meal rates listed on the US State Department website.
  • When in doubt, ask UPST before you make the purchase. We are here to help.
  • Promptly submit a  Bank Card Purchase log to your manager for all Bank Card purchases including airfare, hotel, etc. This step should be done no later than 15 days after the Bank Card statement is available.
  • All active employee expenses incurred on the Bank Card must be processed through the PeopleSoft Travel and Expenses module. The generated expense report must be submitted for compliance purposes.
  • For non-employee travel incurred on a Bank Card, an expense report, or A/P payment disbursement is not required. However, one must document the travel through the BuyWays Bank Card Statement process (for UMAH employee performing this process, your campus requires submission of a completed Non-Employee Travel Documentation Form also.
  • For non-Bank Card purchases, follow your campus process to promptly submit a reimbursement through PeopleSoft Travel and Expenses. If you misplace a receipt, use an affidavit form.
  • If you earned frequent traveler miles or points, those are yours to keep. UMass will not reimburse for fees related to earning frequent flyer benefits.

Note:  If the paperwork is submitted more than 120 days after the travel occurred, the reimbursement will be taxed as income because it is added to your W-2 at the end of the year.

Travel Tips

Currency Converter: Exchange rates, travel expense calculator, etc.

Google Translate: Translate test to and from multiple languages

World Time Saver: Current time and date of every time zone in the world

Traveler's Health: CDC's travel health guide

Passenger Safety Tips: FAA's tips for aircraft passengers

Travel Safety Guide: Over 130 pages of travel safety tips

Traffic Conditions: Traffic conditions in cities around the world

Airport Parking: Parking information underground transportation.

Travel Weather Guide: Weather, highway conditions, travel outlook, etc.

Global Flight Tracker: Flight status, airport delays, airline stats, etc.

e-Travel Alerts: Up to date worldwide travel alerts.

US State Department: Passport & Visa Information, International per diem rates for meals, and tips for Traveling Abroad

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP): A free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate

TSA: Traveler information such as acceptable forms of identification, prohibited items, liquids rule, and food or gifts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Knowledge Base has answers to the most frequently asked questions that asked by our constituents.

Travel & Expense FAQs