Pay For Travel

Travel expenses are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by employees who are in travel status on official business of SSU.

Travel expenses for sponsored programs administered by SSU are subject to CSU/SSU Travel Policies and Information. Prior to travel, travelers should review these policies and procedures.

Travel expenses charged to sponsored awards may be charged on an actual cost basis, on a per diem basis or mileage basis in lieu of actual costs incurred, or on a combination of the two, provided the method used is applied to an entire trip and not to selected days of the trip, and results in charges consistent with those normally allowed in like circumstances in SSU's non-sponsored award activities and in accordance with SSU's written travel reimbursement policies.

Travel should be a budget item in an award agreement for it to be an allowable cost. If a Principal Investigator (PI/PD) determines travel is necessary on an award where travel is not a budgeted item, the PI/PD should work with their Project Administrator (PA) to determine if sponsor approval is required.

Claims for travel reimbursement should be submitted directly to Seawolf Services with the completed Travel Expense Claim, required receipts, and required approvals/signatures. For first time or infrequent travelers, ORSP may assist you in completing the required forms. However, the traveler isresponsible for obtaining all preapprovals, retaining required receipts, obtaining form approvals/signatures, and submitting the reimbursement claim to Seawolf Services.

Most importantly, the traveler is responsible for complying with CSU/SSU travel policies and procedures and complying with travel restrictions outlined in the terms and conditions of any sponsored award agreement.

  • Domestic travel approval - For travel occurring on or after November 1, 2015, pre-approval of domestic travel is no longer required for employees. Non-employee travel, however, still requires approval prior to the trip. The approval rests with the traveler’s organizational unit as to the format; i.e., the official who will ultimately be signing the traveler’s travel claim will notify the travelers in that unit as to whether the pre-approval will be an internal departmental form, an email, etc. The approving official will attest that the pre-approval was received when signing and approving the Travel Expense Claim after the trip.
  • International travel - requires pre-approval by the President, utilization of the Foreign Travel Insurance Program (FTIP), and enrollment in the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The new, comprehensive International Travel Authorization/Travel Advance form is required for international travel and must be completed in advance of the trip and submitted to the Seawolf Service Center before a Travel Expense Claim can be processed. For more information about this process, visit the Seawolf Service Center website: CSU Guidelines for International Travel for less than 30 days.
  • Receipts - Original itemized receipts are required for all travel expenses of $75 or more.
  • Meals for the Contiguous U.S. (lower 48 states) - actual meal expenses may be reimbursed up to $55.* The meals reimbursement cap should not be treated as a per diem. (See Appendix D of the CSU Travel Procedures.)
  • Meals for Alaska, Hawaii & U.S. Possessions - Federal Per Diem for meals and incidentals for the specific location, with no receipts required.* (See Appendix D of the CSU Travel Procedures.)
  • Meals for International Locations - Federal Per Diem for meals and incidentals for specific locations, with no receipts required.* (See Appendix D of the CSU Travel Procedures.)
  • Lodging for domestic travel (50 states & U.S. Possessions) - actual expenses are reimbursed with an original itemized receipt required. The CSU maximum rate for United States travel, including Alaska, Hawaii, and US possessions is $275 per night, excluding taxes, and is effective for travel occurring on or after November 1, 2015.
  • Lodging for International locations - Federal Per Diem amount for specific location, no receipts required.
  • Lodging with friend/relative - a non-cash gift may be given up to $75; limited to one reimbursable gift per stay.
  • Private Vehicle Use - When using a private vehicle for University business, CSU employees must have a current State of California form STD. 261: Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business on file. Current mileage reimbursement rate is $.535 per mile.
  • Tips - for transportation related expenses (taxis, shuttles, and valet parking) are reimbursed as part of the transportation costs. Tips for meals are reported as part of meals. Tips may be reimbursed up to 20% of the total bill.
  • Incidental expenses - may include fees for baggage carriers, hotel housekeeping, and hotel staff that are customary in travel and not included on other bills. Incidental reimbursements will be based on actual amounts incurred up to $7 per calendar day and only when travel includes an overnight stay.

* Excluding alcohol; this is non-reimbursable.

Note: The above attempts to outline some of the most common aspects of travel related to sponsored programs. Please review carefully and refer to SSU Travel Policies and Information for more information. If you have questions, please contact your ORSP PA.