Travel Rules and Regulations


The following information is a summarization of CSU and SJSU travel regulations and policies. Also, read carefully below for iSchool-specific policies and procedures.

Official SJSU Travel Agency

Fell Travel is the official travel agency for SJSU.

Recruitment Related Travel

When traveling to represent the school at an exhibition for recruitment purposes, CSU, and School of Information policies and procedures are enforced, along with those outlined in the Exhibition Travel Manual.

Travel Authorization

All travel relating to iSchool and university business must be authorized, even if a travel reimbursement will not be submitted. Travel authorization requests are made using SJSU’s Financial Transaction Services (FTS).

To begin the travel authorization process, you must first obtain approval from the Director. To do this, submit the online Request for Financial Assistance for Travel Form for full-time faculty or part-time faculty, depending on your status. Complete this step promptly to ensure that the FTS Travel Authorization may be created by the Travel Coordinator at least 30 days prior to domestic travel, 60 days prior to international travel to non High Hazard areas, and 80 days prior to international travel to High Hazard areas.

The Administrative Analyst will contact you when the authorization form has been created and is ready for submission. An agenda, letter of invitation, schedule, purpose of business meeting, etc., must be included with all travel authorizations to substantiate the reason for travel.

  • If the travel includes personal travel dates, you must indicate which dates are for personal travel.
  • If the purpose is a business meeting, you must include who you met with, the purpose, and include an agenda.

For more information see the Domestic Travel Requirements or the International Travel Requirements.

Travel Approvals

  • Domestic Travel Authorization Request: College of Information, Data and Society Dean.
  • Domestic Travel Reimbursement Request: College of Information, Data and Society Dean.
  • International Travel Authorization Request: College of Information, Data and Society Dean, SJSU Provost, and SJSU President.
  • International Travel Reimbursement Request: College of Information, Data and Society Dean.

Travel Documentation

Keep all receipts. An itemized receipt is required for any expense over $75. Required travel documentation includes receipts for:

  • Lodging
  • Airfare
  • Rental car
  • Conference registration
  • Ground transportation

Conference or other materials documenting your university-related travel should also be saved. These documents include travel itineraries or event programs, if applicable.

Travel Reimbursement

Submit all receipts for authorized travel to the Administrative Analyst within 30 days of travel’s completion. If the receipts are received after 30 days of the conclusion of travel, the traveler must attach a justification explaining why they were not submitted in a timely fashion. It will then be up to the Director to approve or deny the reimbursement.

The traveler may scan and email the receipts to the Administrative Analyst, along with a complete Travel Reimbursement Receipts Log. Mailed copies are also acceptable. The receipts will be submitted to the University along with the FTS Travel Reimbursement Form. 

Reimbursable Travel Expenses

Reimbursable expenses include:

  • Airfare
  • Ground Transportation (taxi or mileage)
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Conference registration
  • Incidental expenses (e.g., tips to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel housekeepers, taxi drivers, etc.)

Per the College of Information, Data and Society travel policy, travelers may be reimbursed for unique costs associated with international travel, such as the actual cost of obtaining or renewing a passport, visa, tourist card, and necessary photographs; cost for certificates of birth, health, identity, and related affidavits; charges for required inoculations and medical evacuation insurance; currency conversion, ATM and check cashing fees outside the U.S.; the cost of traveler’s checks; costs related to hiring guides, translators, and local labor; and the cost of full collision insurance on automobiles rented in foreign countries.

Travel Advances

Travel advances are available only for international or team travel. An option for “Advance Requested” appears on the FTS Travel Authorization Forms. The traveler can indicate the amount he or she wishes to be advanced when submitting the form.

A travel advance is considered delinquent if the reimbursement request has not been submitted within 30 days of the completion of the travel. Delinquent travel advances will be collected via payroll. Travelers who have had an advance collected via payroll will no longer be eligible for travel advances.

Domestic and international conference registrations can also be prepaid by iSchool upon request to the Administrative Analyst.

Airline Travel

Airfares are reimbursed at the lowest fare available at the time of booking. Due to the negative impact flight layovers can have on University business, individuals traveling on iSchool business will be booked on nonstop flights when they are available and a justification will be submitted with the reimbursement request. Flights with connections will only be booked if nonstop flights to the destination are not available. Purchasing tickets through the official travel agency is preferred.

Per the College of Information, Data and Society Travel Policy, faculty/staff are allowed to book Premium Economy Seats or equivalent for:

  • International flights over 6 hours in length
    • When Premium Economy Seats or equivalent are not available for international flight:
      • Faculty [Staff] may not choose any seating category above Premium or equivalent Economy unless doing so at their own expense or using personal mileage accounts
      • Faculty [Staff] may choose Economy and select seats at additional cost
  • If staff posts a note from doctor advising medical reasons for seating is provided and entered in to FTS [TR] for authorization

Rail or Bus Transportation

Rail or bus may be used when required by the destination. Reimbursements for roomette Pullman accommodations are allowed. If more expensive accommodations are used, a justification must be submitted with the travel reimbursement request.

Automobile Travel

iSchool will reimburse individuals traveling in their personal cars to conduct school or university business. Because iSchool is a virtual school, a person’s workplace is defined as the place where more than 50% of his or her work is performed, regardless of whether or not the person has access to an office on campus.

For staff/faculty whose workplace is the University, travel expenses will be calculated from the University. An exception will be made when travel commences or ends outside of regular work hours. In this situation, distance may be computed from home. On-campus employees will not be reimbursed for travel between their homes and the University. An exception to this policy is when a person has been called back to work or has come in on a normal day off.

Reimbursement for transportation will be for the most economical, most common route to the destination. A more expensive mode of transportation will be reimbursed at the most economical rate. Both rates must be submitted on the reimbursement request.

The time period covered is determined by the trip’s starting and ending times. A trip begins when the person leaves home or workplace, whichever occurs last. A trip ends when the person reaches home or workplace, whichever occurs last.

Travel within 25 miles of home or workplace will not be reimbursed.

Rental Cars

Rental cars should be used when their use is more advantageous to the University. Advanced reservations should be made through Fell Travel and a compact, economy, or intermediate vehicle should be requested. The primary approved car rental agency is Enterprise Rent-A-Car; the secondary is Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (National Rental US). If these vendors are not used, liability insurance will not be reimbursed. The only exception to this rule is international travel.

Other car rental instructions:

  • There is no need to purchase additional insurance coverage (e.g., damage waiver) when renting from the approved rental agencies.
  • You must be identified as a state employee and have a valid driver’s license.
  • Reservations should be made prior to travel through the Travel Coordinator.
  • A compact, economy, or intermediate vehicle should be requested unless an upgrade is available at no extra cost.
  • When special vehicles are required (i.e., trucks, vans) submit a full explanation as to why the special vehicle was required with the travel reimbursement.
  • When a vehicle with hand controls is required by the traveler, the traveler is free to make their own arrangements.
  • Return the vehicle with a full tank of gas.

Maximum daily rates for approved rental agencies:

  • Base Rate $30.00
  • Max Rate $46.00

Use of Privately Owned Vehicles

In order to use a privately owned vehicle, you must have an Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business (Std. Form 261) on file in the iSchool Office.

The following rules apply when using personal cars for University travel:

  • By signing the form, you acknowledge that you have insurance.
  • You must have liability and collision coverage.
  • Your private insurance is the primary coverage. The University’s liability coverage only applies after the limits of your personal insurance and has restrictions.
  • If an accident occurs, fill out a Vehicle Accident Report (Std. Form 270) and submit it within 48 hours to the University Risk and Compliance Office. If there is injury or serious damage, call the State of California Office of Risk and Insurance Management Office IMMEDIATELY (916) 376-5302. If there is no answer, leave a message. If it is after hours, a holiday, or a weekend, you can all (916) 322-8967. If there is no answer, leave a message.
  • Your vehicle must be in safe mechanical condition and have safety belts in operating condition.
  • If an employee uses their own vehicle for State business for more than a month, the employee must complete the defensive driving course on campus.
  • When using a privately owned vehicle, the license plate number must be noted on the travel reimbursement.
  • The reimbursement rate for mileage is $.67.


A personal may be reimbursed for lodging when traveling 25 miles or more from home or workplace on University business. The traveler should ask the hotel if there is a reduced rate for state/government employees. When traveling overnight in California, you may present the hotel desk attendant with the Hotel/Motel Transient Occupancy Tax Waiver. When staying in noncommercial facilities (cabins, house trailers, vans, field camps, etc.), the traveler may be reimbursed up to 100% of the federal per diem. When lodging with a friend or relative, a one-time non-cash gift (flowers, groceries, or meal) may be provided to the host and reimbursed for up to $75. A receipt must be provided.

The SJSU maximum rate is $333 per night, excluding taxes, for travel in state and out of state; this includes Alaska, Hawaii, and US possessions. Rates in excess of this amount must include a justification on the Travel Authorization substantiating the business purpose for the necessity to stay within the more expensive facility. Reimbursement at the higher rate is subject to approval by the Director and the Dean. If the higher rate is denied, reimbursement will be made at the rate of $333 per night plus tax.


Meals per diem rates based on the destination can be found here:  Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable. If a meal is provided as part of an event and the traveler must forgo the meal due to health or business reason, an explanation must be provided. Meal costs incurred because the traveler provided hospitality are reimbursable in accordance to the SJSU Hospitality Guidelines. There is no meal allowance for trips departing and returning on the same day.

Per the College of Information, Data and Society travel policy, additional meal allowance for certain countries: It was approved in August 2017, that an additional meal allowance of $10.00 will be given for 7 countries ($65 per day instead of $55). These countries are ones with unusually high costs of meals. If you are traveling to two countries on the same day, the country where you sleep is the meal allowance to use instead of splitting individual meals.

The 7 countries are:

  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela


Incidentals are included in the per diem rates based on the destination  No incidental reimbursements will be made for one-day trips or for expenses incurred on the first day of travel. Reimbursable incidentals typically include transportation costs (taxis, shuttles, parking, bridge tolls, etc.) and business expenses (telephone calls, internet access, faxing, copying, etc.).

Travel Reimbursement Requests

Payment Services makes an attempt to process reimbursement claims within 10 working days, but the process can take up to 4-8 weeks if there are issues with the request. When submitting a claim, organize all receipts and documentation pertaining to the approved travel.  If the receipt is vague, provide an explanation. International travel must include a print out of the currency conversion rate for the period of the trip. Receipts can be scanned and emailed to the Administrative Analyst or mailed.