skip to content

General Information

TWU Travel policies apply to employees and prospective employees traveling for official university business. Employees are entitled to reimbursement for only his or her travel expenses and not for any other individual, regardless of who paid the travel expense. Unless otherwise noted, these regulations apply to all University funds regardless of source.

Except for items specifically regulated on this website, it is the policy of TWU to follow travel guidelines as set forth by the State of Texas on the Textravel website. Textravel should be consulted for items not specifically covered by this website.

The State allows for its agencies to specify a travel expense payment or reimbursement rate that is less than the maximum rate allowed. In an effort to comply with the requirements to conserve funds, TWU has adopted some policies more restrictive than those specified on the State website. In these cases, TWU employees will follow the policies outlined on this website unless instructed otherwise by the department that is paying for the employee's travel expenses. Departments within the University may specify reimbursement limits that are lower than the maximum allowable under Texas Government Code Section 660.007(b). The department must notify affected individuals in writing about the lower reimbursement rate before implementing it.

Upon completion of the trip, the traveler will compile all required receipts and complete a Travel Voucher. This documentation, along with the completed RTA, is then submitted to the Travel Desk in Procurement Services for auditing, processing and payment. The preferred and fastest form of payment is direct deposit. Travelers can enroll in direct deposit for special payments other than payroll through the Procurement's SharePoint Site.

In order to receive reimbursement, actual travel expenditures paid by the employee seeking reimbursement must be documented on a Travel Voucher and must be signed by the employee or prospective employee seeking reimbursement. The Travel Voucher must reflect the total reimbursable expenses in US Dollars. Travel services exchanged for "points" or "miles" in any customer rewards program are not considered reimbursable expenses. Itemized receipts are required for all travel expenses other than meals. While receipts are not required for meals, travelers are expected to claim their actual expenses up to the allowable amount for meals. Any amount that exceeds the allowable daily rate for meals will not be reimbursed. Meal allowances may not be borrowed from one day to pay an amount in excess of the allowable rate for another day.

The preferred method of submitting completed travel documentation to Procurement Services is to scan and email everything to twutravel@twu.edu.

If you submit hard copy be sure receipts smaller than 8 ½” x11” are taped to an 8 ½” x11” sheet of paper. Do not tape or highlight over any printed portion of receipts as it erases the printing making the receipts illegible.

Transportation

Reimbursements for transportation expenses include rental cars, public transportation (taxi, bus, network transportation driver or limousine), personal vehicle mileage and commercial air.

A receipt showing proof of payment is required to seek reimbursement for all forms of transportation. Transportation expenses must be itemized on the Travel Voucher form.

Keep ITEMIZED receipts for all expenses, especially:

  • Vehicle rental (the bill should have a zero balance, not a deposit amount or amount due)
  • Gasoline purchases for rental car
  • Public transportation
  • Parking
  • Tolls

Rental Cars:

University employees are required to use State contracted rental vehicles to ensure the lowest rates.

Review comparison tables for all vendors' rates and other contract provisions.

Rental car arrangements should be made directly by the employee to ensure state rates and establish payment method. If employees do not use a contracted rental car agency, they must complete a Contract Travel Vendor Exception form.

Be aware that insurance (CDW, LDW, etc.) is included in the State of Texas contract with all Enterprise locations and with most Avis locations. All additional insurance and products (such as GPS) should be declined unless the traveler is willing to pay for the expense. Charges associated with such items will not be reimbursed.

The receipt must include the following:

  • The name of the rental company, and
  • The name of the employee renting the vehicle, and
  • The starting and ending dates of the rental, and
  • An itemization of expenses incurred, and
  •  Proof of payment.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

  • 1-866-398-5080
  • Texas State Rate Identifier for TWU: TX731

Using the link provided above will take you directly to the TWU dedicated webpage. By booking through this link, you will be certain that you are receiving the contract rate and that all insurance coverage is already included in that rate.

Avis Rental Car System, Inc.

The State of Texas rate identifier for TWU: F999731

After reviewing the following steps, log-on to "Avis" Web site.

  1. Enter rental date, time and location on "Avis" Web site.
  2. Enter your entity’s State of Texas rate identifier (F999731) under OPTIONAL INFO in the “Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) Number or Rate Code” block.
  3. Select “Continue”.
  4. Change the drop-down box near the top of the screen for “Available Rates” to your entity’s AWD number. This ensures you receive the State rate with the State’s insurance coverage.
  5. Select a car type, then click on “continue”. You will advance to the Rate Confirmation screen.
  6. DO NOT accept the optional coverage, Loss Damage Waiver and Additional Liability is built into the rate.
  7. Select "Continue," enter your name and e-mail address to receive an e-mail confirmation.
  8. Select the "Make Reservation" button and your car will be reserved.
  9. A confirmation page will appear with your reservation number.

 

Taxi, Bus or other mode of mass transit:

Actual cost of transportation provided by taxi, bus or other mode of public transportation is reimbursable if incurred to conduct state business and if it was provided by a commercial transportation company.

Actual invoices are preferred but not required, however expenses must be itemized on the Travel Voucher form. When sharing transportation, only the employee who paid for the service may be reimbursed.

Network transportation Driver or Limousine:

Actual cost of transportation provided by a network transportation driver (Uber, Lyft, etc) is reimbursable if incurred to conduct state business and if it was the most cost-effective mode of transportation available.

Actual invoices are preferred but not required, however expenses must be itemized on the Travel Voucher form. When sharing transportation, only the employee who paid for the service may be reimbursed.

Personal Vehicle:

An employee traveling by personal vehicle must carry insurance as required by the State of Texas. An employee traveling in any non-University vehicle does so at his/her own risk. TWU accepts no responsibility for vehicle or other damage, personal injury, claims filing, vehicle repair, maintenance, insurance costs, towing or citations. Gas receipts for gas purchased for a personal vehicle will not be reimbursed. Gas expense is covered by mileage reimbursement.

Travelers should keep point to point odometer readings using the Mileage Log provided in the Forms and Instructions section of this website when claiming mileage for travel by personal vehicle. Mileage within five (5) miles of the traveler's Designated Headquarters is not reimbursable. Mileage will be reimbursed at a rate up to the current maximum rate of 54 cents/mile.

Texas Woman's University is not required to reimburse employees at the maximum rate. Departments within TWU may specify a mileage reimbursement rate that is lower than the maximum allowable rate per mile under Texas Government Code Section 660.007(b). The department must notify affected individuals in writing about the lower rate before implementing it.

Mileage to an employee's designated headquarters is not reimbursable regardless of the time or day of travel. For instance, mileage to your headquarters on a Saturday will not be reimbursed.

Personal vehicle mileage may only be claimed in one of these ways:

  • Using actual odometer readings from the traveler’s vehicle if a mileage log is included or referenced on the Travel Voucher that includes dates of travel and point to point locations.
  • Using Google Maps internet mapping service specifically. No other internet mapping sites will be accepted.

Travel to and from Residence in a personal vehicle: 

Mileage may be calculated to/from residence if the traveler:

  • Leaves his/her residence before working hours. Working hours are defined as 8a-5p Monday through Friday.
  • Leaves the duty point after working hours.
  • The residence is closer to the duty point than your headquarters.

The traveler must provide point-to-point mileage and business purpose for each trip by using either

  • Odometer readings entered on the Mileage Log.
  • Google Maps internet mapping service specifically. No other internet mapping site will be accepted.

Out-of-state Travel

When a personal vehicle is used for out-of-state travel, the employee must claim reimbursement based on the lesser of:

  • Reasonable expense of travel from headquarters to the nearest commercial airport plus round-trip contract airfare from the nearest airport to the out-of-state destination and reasonable parking expenses. This may include what the taxi or limousine fares would have been from the point of destination to the employee’s lodging and return had the employee traveled by plane. This should be figured using the Justification of Mileage vs. Airfare form.
  • The actual out-of-state mileage at the current state rate per mile.

Employees Traveling Together

When multiple employees travel on the same date to the same place by personal vehicle, they are expected to share transportation. There should be at least four (4) persons to a car. Each passenger may submit a Travel Voucher to claim meals and lodging and must provide the name of the person who furnished transportation. Only the owner of the vehicle may claim mileage. No gas expenses will be reimbursed to any person in the car.

Air Travel:

This section is applicable for TWU employees, prospective employees, or TWU students traveling for University sanctioned activities. Guest Lecturers or Performers airfare cannot be purchased using the Air Card. It is recommended that all airline arrangements be made using the Departmental Air Card. If a traveler chooses to purchase his/her own airfare, be aware that the cost of airfare will be reimbursed only after travel is completed.

The following process should occur before charges are made on the Air Card:

  1. The traveler completes an Air Travel Authorization form (ATA) requesting permission to fly using departmental funds.
  2. The traveler submits the ATA to the appropriate department head for approval.
  3. Upon approval, the ATA is given to the Air Card Administrator so that he/she can purchase the traveler’s airline ticket(s).

For complete guidelines and policies concerning booking air travel and using the Air Card, see the Air Card Policies and Procedures.

If employees book airline reservations using online systems such as Expedia and Travelocity rather than the airline’s websites, the following should be considered:

  • All airlines may not be listed
  • Receipts may be provided by the online booking source rather than the airline vendor, which may not meet reimbursement requirements.
  • Transaction fees are incurred by the online booking source, which should be included when evaluating various booking methods for the lowest total cost.
  • Oftentimes, direct booking with an air carrier’s web portal such as, Southwest.com or AA.com, provides a lower total cost than sites with multiple carriers’ inventories.

Caution: Any restricted fares may have non-reimbursable penalties associated with reservation changes or cancellations.

Contracted Airlines: Direct links to the state’s two contracted airline vendors are provided below. Comparing two or three airlines for the lowest available airline fares is recommended.

American Airlines

jetBlue Airlines

Contracted Travel Agencies

Short's Travel Management

Online Booking Tool: www.shortstravel.com/texas

E-mail: texas@shortstravel.com

Toll Free Number for Reservations: 1-888-846-6810

  • From Monday through Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm CST, the toll free number rings to Short's Travel Management.
  • From 5:00pm - 8:30am CST, in the case of a travel emergency, the toll free number will be transferred to Short's after hour's service. (Please note: there will be an additional charge of $15 per call.)

National Travel Systems

Online Booking Tool, tutorials and general information: http://www.nationaltravelsystems.com/state/welcome.html

E-mail: twutvl@nationaltravelsystems.com

Toll Free Numbers for Reservations: 1-800-542-0452 or 1-877-717-7768 or 1-800-891-9002

  • From Monday through Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm CST, the above toll free numbers ring to National Travel Systems.
  • From 5:30pm CST – 8:30am CST, the three above toll free numbers ring to the 24 Hour Emergency Service.

Lodging

University employees are required to use the General Services Administration (GSA)’s federal travel rates to determine the maximum meals and lodging reimbursement rates for both in-state and out-of-state travel. For cities not specifically listed, travelers will use the following rates:

  • In State: $85 maximum for lodging and $51 maximum for meals
  • Out of State: $89 maximum for lodging and $51 maximum for meals

The State allows for its agencies to specify a travel expense payment or reimbursement rate that is less than the maximum rate allowed. In an effort to comply with the requirements to conserve funds, TWU has adopted some policies more restrictive than those specified on the state website. In these cases, TWU employees will follow the policies outlined on this website unless instructed otherwise by the department that is paying for the employee's travel expenses. Departments within the university may specify reimbursement limits that are lower than the maximum allowable under Texas Government Code Section 660.007(b). The department must notify affected individuals in writing about the lower reimbursement rate before implementing it.

When using State funds travelers are required to use State Contracted Hotels. If the traveler does not use a state contracted hotel AND one was available at the duty point, then a Contract Travel Vendor Exception form must be completed and submitted with the Travel Voucher form. This exception has no bearing on the allowable rates.

Once your travel has begun, remember these tips:

No reimbursements are allowed for personal expenses such as:

  • Loss of stolen articles
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Damage to personal vehicles, clothing, or other items
  • Services to gain entry to a locked vehicle
  • Movie charges to hotel bills
  • Expenses resulting from personal negligence of traveler (such as fines)
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Towing charges
  • Expenses for children, spouses, and companions while on travel status
  • Safe deposit box

Keep ITEMIZED receipts for all travel expenses both in and out of State.

In-State Lodging

Attach the original lodging receipt. The following must be included on the receipt:

  • Name of the traveler
  • The hotel name and address (if the hotel does not provide you may handwrite it on the receipt)
  • Itemized charges – single room rate separate from any applicable taxes or incidental charges
  • Zero balance proving payment was made

A receipt that has been altered by any person other than the entity issuing the receipt is unacceptable. The paper version of a receipt delivered through the Internet or electronic mail by an establishment or its central reservations office, by a travel agency or by broker is acceptable. A receipt to which additional information has been added is considered unaltered if the additional information does not conflict with the original information on the receipt.

The employee is required to present a state occupancy tax exemption card and the hotel should not charge state tax. City and county tax are reimbursable as incidental expenses in relation to the allowable lodging rate. The State Occupancy Tax Exemption form is available on-line, or cards can be obtained from the Travel Coordinator in the office of Procurement Services.

Lodging expenses above the allowable rate may be paid provided one of the following is true:

  • All of the lodging expenses are paid using allowable local funds
  • Excess lodging expenses are paid using allowable local funds

No prior Procurement Services approval or forms are required.

Out-of-State Lodging

Attach the original lodging receipt. The following must be included on the receipt:

  • Name of traveler
  • The hotel name and address (if the hotel does not provide you may handwrite it on the receipt)
  • Itemized charges – single room rate separate from any applicable taxes or incidental charges
  • Zero balance proving payment was made

 A receipt that has been altered by any person other than the entity issuing the receipt is unacceptable. The paper version of a receipt delivered through the Internet or electronic mail by an establishment or its central reservations office, by a travel agency or by broker is acceptable. A receipt to which additional information has been added is considered unaltered if the additional information does not conflict with the original information on the receipt.

Out-of-state taxes are reimbursable as incidental expenses in relation to the allowable lodging rate.

Alaska, Hawaii, a U.S. Possession or a Foreign Country

When traveling to Alaska, Hawaii, a U.S. possession or a foreign country the reimbursement rate is according to the guidelines in the GAA. See Travel Reimbursement Rates. All receipts are required, including itemized meal receipts.

Request for Increase in Lodging – using State funds

When using state funds, Procurement Services may approve a lodging reimbursement rate that is higher than the State Comptroller’s Allowable Rates. The request must be on the Authorization to Pay Above Allowable Rates and be received by the Travel Coordinator in the office of Procurement Services no later than the 10th business day before travel begins. Procurement Services will grant the request only if one of the following is true:

  • Granting the request would result in a decreased total cost of travel to the state or
  • No safe lodging is available for less than or equal to the Comptroller’s maximum lodging reimbursement rate for the duty point

An employee may decrease the meal reimbursement and apply that to receive a greater lodging reimbursement. The total meals and lodging must be less than or equal to the total maximum meal and lodging reimbursement allowed by the state. This must be noted on the Travel Voucher form. Applying meals to lodging will cover excess lodging only. Taxes associated with the excess lodging expense will not be covered and will be the traveler’s responsibility.

Increase in Lodging – using local funds

Lodging expenses above the allowable rate may be paid provided one of the following is true:

  • All of the lodging expenses are paid using allowable local funds
  • Excess lodging expenses are paid using allowable local funds

No prior Procurement Services approval or forms are required.

Shared Lodging

Sharing a room with another state employee is subject to the same limitations noted for in-state and for out-of-state travel. The lodging receipt must show proof of payment from both parties or the hotel should provide separate receipts. If two employees (A & B) share a room and employee A pays the bill in full, then employee B must pay employee A separately and obtain a receipt showing proof of payment. Employee A will not be reimbursed for the total bill. Sharing a room must be noted on the Travel Voucher form by both employees.

Meals

State travel expense reimbursement is not a per diem. An employee must claim the actual expenses incurred for meals not to exceed the maximum allowable rates. The maximum should not be claimed unless the actual expenditures equal or exceed the maximum allowable rate.

Alcohol is NOT reimbursable. Tips and gratuities are reimbursable. Tips and gratuities count toward the traveler's meal allowance, and will be reimbursed up to the allowable rate for meals. The meal allowance may not be exceeded due to tips or gratuities. Delivery/service fees (commonly applied to room service meals) are also considered part of the meal expense and will be reimbursed up to the allowable rate for meals.

Any amount that exceeds the allowable daily rate for meals will not be reimbursed. Meal allowances may not be borrowed from one day to pay an amount in excess of the allowable rate for another day.

Meal costs incurred during non-overnight trips, regardless of the length of travel time, are NOT reimbursable. Unless the date changes during your trip, no meal expenses can be claimed.

The State allows for its agencies to specify a travel expense payment or reimbursement rate that is less than the maximum rate allowed. In an effort to comply with the requirements to conserve funds, TWU has adopted some policies more restrictive than those specified on the state website. In these cases, TWU employees will follow the policies outlined on this website unless instructed otherwise by the department that is paying for the employee's travel expenses. Departments within the university may specify reimbursement limits that are lower than the maximum allowable under Texas Government Code Section 660.007(b). The department must notify affected individuals in writing about the lower reimbursement rate before implementing it.

In-state Meals

In-State meals are limited to the State Comptroller’s allowable rates. For any city not specifically listed, the maximum meal allowance is $51. The maximum should not be claimed unless the actual expenditures equal or exceed the maximum allowable rate. Receipts are not required.

Out-of-State Meals

Out-of-State meals are limited to the State Comptroller’s allowable rates. The employee must know the state and city of duty point to search the web page. For any city not specifically listed, the maximum meal allowance is $51. The maximum should not be claimed unless the actual expenditures equal or exceed the maximum allowable rate. Receipts are not required.

Alaska, Hawaii, a U.S. Possession or a Foreign Country

When traveling to Alaska, Hawaii, a U.S. possession or a foreign country the reimbursement rate is according to the guidelines in the GAA. See Travel Reimbursement Rates . Itemized receipts are required.

Packaged Travel

When using travel services companies such as Travelocity or Expedia please use the following guidelines to ensure your maximum reimbursement:

  • Do NOT bundle any travel services regardless of destination. Do not book air, hotel and/or rental car on the same purchase. These companies do not provide sufficiently detailed receipts to satisfy the State’s auditing requirements, and you will not be reimbursed.
  • Do NOT book a hotel stay in Texas. These companies do not provide a breakdown of taxes and fees. As a tax exempt agency, we must be able to provide the State proof that no state taxes were paid. Any taxes or fees charged by travel service companies on hotel stays in Texas will NOT be reimbursed.
  • Also remember that travelers must use contracted vendors whenever possible.

Under no circumstances should a traveler package or bundle travel service purchases. Purchasing any combination of travel services (airfare, rental car and hotel accommodations, for example) in one transaction through a travel services website such as Travelocity or Expedia many times results in no reimbursement for the traveler. These companies do not provide receipts with enough detail to satisfy the State’s auditing requirements.

Registration Fees

Registration for conferences, seminars etc., are paid from Maintenance & Operation accounts, not from Travel accounts. Itemize the registration fee as an incidental expense on the "Registration" line of the travel voucher.

  • Original receipts showing proof of payment must accompany the Travel Voucher when seeking reimbursement.
  • If registration was paid by personal check and no receipt was given, the traveler must provide a front and back copy of the cleared check from the bank.
  • Direct billing on the state issued procurement card (PCard) may be used to prepay registration fees and will not be itemized on the Travel Voucher form.

page last updated 3/4/2016 10:09 AM