Davidson College employees may travel away from the college from time to time to conduct official college business. The college will reimburse the employee for certain reasonable expenses associated with this travel.
This policy seeks to inform college employees of the policies regarding lodging, meals, and transportation associated with travel away from the college.
All college travel should be approved in advance by the employee's supervisor or department chair.
All college personnel are expected to travel using commercial airlines, economy/coach class, at the Lowest Available Airfare, unless scheduling or a medical condition necessitates other arrangements.
The college will reimburse the traveler for business mileage driven in personal cars at the IRS approved mileage rate. Since the IRS rate includes compensation for gas and depreciation, employees may not request reimbursement for actual gas receipts. Tolls and parking charges will also be reimbursed.
The college will reimburse reasonable and actual expenses of meals and gratuities. Charges to purchase or reload store brand cards are not reimbursable.
Travelers who are using federal or state funds (e.g. grant funding) for travel must be aware that they may not legally pay for alcohol using such funds.
Room reservations should not exceed the normal rate for a standard single room.
The college does not reimburse for personal items charged to hotel rooms, including personal phone calls, video or movie rentals, toiletries and health club fees.
When staying with a friend rather than in a hotel, a "meal or gift in lieu of" hotel costs are appropriate and reimbursable.
Cash payments to a host are not allowed.
The "Lowest Available Airfare" is defined as the lowest economy class fare available for flights within three hours before or after the requested departure or arrival time that does not:
The Controller/Director of Business Services shall oversee this policy and review it at least once every two years. Changes to this policy shall be made in accordance with the college's Policy on Policies.
Please reserve air travel well in advance of known travel dates in order to secure the Lowest Available Airfare. The college will not reimburse employees for tickets paid for with frequent flyer miles. Seat upgrade and change fees (e.g. First class, business class, preferred seating, etc.) are not considered a business expense and must be paid by the employee if fees are incurred. Whenever possible, please limit checked bags to one. Travelers who are using federal funds from grants must be aware that there is a statutory requirement for use of U.S. Flag carriers, whether or not the U.S. carrier is more expensive than a foreign carrier.
College employees are eligible to use the college's UATP card when booking airfare with most airlines in order to not tie up credit card lines of credit. For more information please see the Office of Purchasing or contact the Director of Purchasing.
Find the current rate for mileage reimbursement. The mileage allowance covers all transportation and operating costs. Repairs to the vehicle and other similar costs will not be reimbursed. Since the IRS rate includes compensation for gas and depreciation, employees may not request reimbursement for actual gas receipts.
Receipts must be submitted for tolls and parking. Employees should park in remote, satellite, or long-term lots at airports, rather than daily or hourly lots.
Travelers who choose to use their own automobiles on a trip for which air travel is more appropriate will be reimbursed for the actual miles the automobile is driven at the standard rate per mile, less their daily commute. This reimbursement may not, however, exceed the economy class airfare to the destination, including related costs (e.g. tolls and parking). A rule of thumb is that the length of the drive should not require additional lodging costs.
Note: Some college departments may have an additional internal policy about the use of personal vehicles while on college business.
For out-of-town trips, please compare prices from companies for the best rates. The college receives discounted rentals from Enterprise. For in-town and local trips of short duration within driving distance of the campus, please contact the College motor pool. Please use mid-size, standard, intermediate or compact class cars.
Rental car charges should be paid on the corporate Visa card in order to properly document that the car is being rented for college business. If the employee has to use a personal credit card, Davidson College's name should appear on the rental agreement. Since the college's insurance policy provides coverage, please decline the optional daily insurance. If you choose to accept the daily additional insurance, these charges will not be reimbursed. Employees may obtain an auto insurance ID card for the college's policy from the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration to have while driving a rented vehicle.
When attending conferences and meetings, employees should take advantage of meals covered by the registration fee.
Employees must document the business purpose for each meal charged to the college as well as the name of other individuals attending the meal.
Costs to purchase or reload store brand cards (such as Starbucks, Panera, etc.) are not allowable.
Generally, meals and gratuities should not exceed the following:
In certain circumstances, employees may be reimbursed for meals on a per diem basis using IRS guidelines. Within the United States, the daily meal allowances by city may be found at: GSA Domestic PerDiems. When traveling outside the United States, the rates by country and city may be found at: Dept of State Foreign PerDiems. Faculty should consult the Faculty Handbook for policies regarding per diems.
Gratuities: Customary tipping for good service is 15 to 20% of the total bill.
Room charges for luxury accommodations are reimbursable only up to the rate for a standard single room. Resort hotels are allowable only when the hotel is the site of the activity.
When staying with a friend rather than in a hotel, a "meal or gift in lieu of" hotel costs are appropriate and reimbursable. The gift or meal should be reasonable and not exceed the cost of acceptable accommodations, as outlined above, up to a maximum of $75. You must provide receipts for the expenses incurred. The gift/meal must be purchased and presented to the host during the trip.
The college recognizes that employees sometimes travel with family (spouses, partners, children, etc.) and friends. In these cases, the employee is responsible for all extra costs incurred, including airfares, meals, additional hotel room charges above a single room rate, ground transportation, etc. If an employee cannot avoid charging the additional amounts to her/his corporate credit card, the unallowable amounts should be reimbursed to the College (via personal checks or cash) when the related credit card bill is submitted for payment.
Employees may, but are not required, to use a travel agency or online booking service. Many employees use Internet travel services or book directly with the web sites of airlines, hotels, and rental car companies. For any of the above methods, please be aware of additional fees, including servicing fees.
A Voluntary Travel Assistance benefit is available to provide medical help to employees travelling for business purposes. For information on this benefit, please see our Travel Benefits.