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Key Tips For UCSC Travelers

These tips are based on the topics that get the most inquiries from campus travelers. The guidance included here will help ensure a trouble-free travel reporting and reimbursement experience. Click on any of the titles below to expand the information presented. For information explaining the complete travel process, from planning your trip to post trip expense reimbursement, visit the Travel Process page. Contact travelhelp@ucsc.edu with any questions about UCSC travel.

Reasons to Use Connexxus
Connexxus has been completely redesigned for ease of use and offers many benefits you will not find directly with carriers or other booking sites.
  • UC negotiated prices
  • One stop shopping for flights, hotels, rental cars, etc.
  • Automatic inclusion of travel insurance
  • Direct billing to your department for airfare, simplifying the travel process

You can go directly to the Connexxus website, or visit our travel guide for information on how to get started.

Yes, You Want Your Receipt!
Hold on to all the original receipts you receive for travel costs. You will need them to complete the Post Travel Expense form for prompt reimbursement after your trip.

Many types of travel receipts must be submitted with your Post Travel Expense form.

Make sure your receipts are:

  • Original (not a photocopy)
  • Itemized
  • Actual receipt showing proof of payment
  • Dated
  • Legible
  • Converted to US dollars

Additional information:

Receipt and Documentation Requirements
Allowable Expenses

Mixing Business with Pleasure?
At the time of booking travel, prepare an airfare cost analysis, comparing the cost of direct travel to the business destination, to the cost of mixed personal and business travel. Your reimbursement will be based on the lower of the two.

Review the airfare cost analysis with the appropriate travel expense approver or departmental/divisional office to determine the amount of airfare expense that will be approved for reimbursement.

  • Reimbursement will be based on the lower of the two costs
Example of a Cost Comparison

Professor Smith is flying to visit her grandmother in Washington D.C. before her business conference in New York City. She decides to purchase a roundtrip flight to Washington D.C. with a return flight out of New York. She also plans to take a train from Washington D.C. to her New York City business conference. Professor Smith’s cost comparison should look like the example below.

Direct Travel Route to the Business Destination:
Roundtrip flight to New York City - $750

Actual Travel Route to the Business Destination:
Roundtrip flight to Washington D.C. returning from New York City - $875
Train ticket from Washington D.C. to New York City - $50
Actual travel route total - $925

Professor Smith would be reimbursed $750 because it is the cheaper of the two within the cost comparison.

Getting "There"
Ensure a trouble-free expense reimbursement by using the most practical and economical means available to achieve your travel objective.

Review travel arrangements involving unconventional transportation modes with the appropriate travel expense approver or departmental/divisional office to determine the expenses that will be approved for reimbursement.

Remember that additional or excessive expenses not essential to accomplishing the travel objective will not be reimbursed.

Additional information:

How to Prepare a Cost Comparison

Generally, airfare from point A to B (and B to A for return) is used as the baseline reimbursement for most business travel. Alternate modes of transportation will be compared to the cost of a round trip flight and its associated costs (e.g. shuttle, airport parking). You will be reimbursed the lesser of the two costs.

  • Using Connexxus or another internet booking tool, print an estimate of a round trip coach flight to your business location using the business travel dates. Include cost of transportation to and from the airport--from your home or headquarters, whichever is closer.
  • Attach the printed estimate to your Travel Advance Request, or Post Travel Expense form.
  • In the form you submit, record the lesser of the two costs and include a comment that you elected to take an alternate mode of transportation that was more expensive.

Travel by air
Renting a car or using a personal automobile

What About Travel Packages?
Only discounted travel packages that provide receipts with itemized costs will be reimbursed.

The costs directly related to achieving the business travel objective will be reimbursed.
 
Before booking:

  • Review the travel package with the appropriate travel expense approver or departmental/divisional office to determine which costs will be reimbursed.
  • Confirm with the package vendor that the receipt for the package will contain an itemized breakdown of component costs, including airfare, car rental, hotel, meals, etc.
Traveling Close to Work or Home?
In most situations, travel must be at least 40 miles away from the closer of either home or work location in order for the cost of an overnight stay to be reimbursed.  Meal expenses can only be reimbursed if an overnight stay is involved.

Have your travel expense approver or departmental/divisional office consult with travelhelp@ucsc.edu to determine if reimbursement of meal and/or lodging expenses will be allowed for travel destinations less than 40 miles from home or work location.

The "Big 3" Forms
Having all necessary pre and post travel forms in order will facilitate quick reimbursement processing.
  1. Payee Setup 204: Complete if this is your first reimbursement or if your information has changed to get set-up to receive expense reimbursement payments.
  2. Travel Advance Request: Complete each time you need cash before leaving on a trip or want to have UCSC billed for expenses, such as airfare, conference fees, etc. Click here for step by step instructions for this form.
  3. Post Travel Expense: Complete after each trip to get reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses and/or to report expenses if you received a travel cash advance or used a Trip number. Click here for step by step instructions for this form.

Note: For information regarding foreign nationals traveling to UCSC for business purposes please see Visa Types and Tax Reportable Documentation.

Avoid delays by getting the Travel Advance and Post Travel Expense forms approved before sending them to the FAST office.

Submit Instructions: Delivery Methods

See the table below for methods of delivery for each form.

Travel Advance Request and Post Travel Expense  Payee Setup 204
For US Mail:
UC Santa Cruz
Attention: FAST Office
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
For US Mail:
UC Santa Cruz
Attention: FAR Office
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Intercampus Mailstop:
FAST
Intercampus Mailstop:
FAR
Drop-Off Location:
2300 Delaware Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
2nd Floor, East Wing A-208
Deliver to FAST inbox
Drop-Off Location:
2300 Delaware Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
2nd Floor, East Wing A-208
Deliver to FAR inbox

Travel Advance Requests forms may be faxed to 831-459-1723 or scanned and emailed to tars@ucsc.edu.

Please note: mailed or hand delivered original copies of the Post Travel Expense form are required in order to be processed.

Footing the Bill for Others
Paying for another traveler’s expenses is allowable in certain situations.

You can get reimbursed for paying another UCSC business traveler’s expenses if:

  • You are a group travel leader paying for other group members' expenses
  • You are one of two or more people sharing a hotel room

More information about group travel

Airline Fee Basics
Fees serving a valid business purpose are reimbursable; if related to a personal preference, they are not reimbursable.

Generally allowable fees include: Business or first class travel is allowable under the following circumstances:
  • Cheaper than a coach or economy seat
  • A coach or economy seat is not available
  • Involves an overnight flight with no time to rest before work begins
  • You have a documented disability or medical need
Renting Some Wheels
Check to see if the car you would like to rent qualifies for reimbursement before you make arrangements.

Ensure a speedy and full reimbursement by using Connexxus or a UC-Contracted agency to rent a car up to intermediate size.

  • Insurance is automatically included

You may be able to rent a larger or different-sized vehicle if you have a documented disability or medical need

  • Check with the appropriate travel expense approver or departmental/divisional business office to see if such an expense will be fully reimbursed.

Travel arrangers can book a car rental for another traveler by using the traveler's credit card profile in Connexxus. See Booking Travel for a Non-Employee for more information.

Students traveling for UCSC business can rent a car from Fleet Services.

Additional information for students:
Rental Car and Personal Auto Usage Guide
Fleet Services Rental Information
Direct bill from Enterprise on Ocean Street

Options for Travel Arrangers
Getting set up as a Connexxus travel arranger is the simplest way to arrange travel for another employee.

See How to Designate a Travel Arranger for step by step instructions detailing adding an arranger to your Connexxus profile. To set up travel for a visitor or a student get a trip number.

The matrices below contain booking and payment options for travel arrangers when arranging travel for staff/faculty, visitors and students.

Airfare Options
Travel Arrangers - Payment Options for Booking
Staff/Faculty Visitors Students

Direct Billing - Select BCD in Connexxus *

green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
​​Traveler Pays Out of Pocket green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Pay With Traveler's UC Travel Card Via Connexxus​​ green checkmark
For instructions on how to pay using these methods see the Ways to Pay Overview. Reimbursement can be obtained before or after your trip if a receipt is provided.

* To arrange travel for any non-UCSC employees (including students) click on "Book for a guest" within the Connexxus "Trip Search" box.
Conference Registration
Travel Arrangers - Payment Options for Booking Staff/Faculty Visitors Students
​​​Pay Directly by UCSC Check green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
​​​​​​​Traveler Pays Out of Pocket​ green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Pay With Traveler's UC Travel Card​​ green checkmark

For instructions on how to pay using these methods see the Ways to Pay Overview. Reimbursement can be obtained before or after your trip if a receipt is provided.

Shuttle Service Options
Travel Arrangers - Payment Options for Booking Staff/Faculty Visitors Students
​​Direct Bill UCSC Via Specific Providers green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
​Traveler Pays Out of Pocket​ green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Pay With Traveler's UC Travel Card​​ green checkmark

For instructions on how to pay using these methods see the Ways to Pay Overview.

Hotel Options
Travel Arrangers - Payment Options for Booking Staff/Faculty Visitors Students

​Book Via Connexxus - Traveler Pays Out of Pocket

green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Book Via Connexxus - Traveler Pays With UC Travel Card​​ green checkmark
Direct Billing Via Specific Local Hotels​
green checkmark
Cash Advance for Hotel Costs​​ green checkmark green checkmark

For instructions on how to pay using these methods see the Ways to Pay Overview.

Rental Car Options
Travel Arrangers - Payment Options for Booking Staff/Faculty Visitors Students
​Book Via Connexxus - Traveler Pays Out of Pocket
green checkmark green checkmark green checkmark
Book Via Connexxus - Traveler Pays With UC Travel Card green checkmark
Cash Advance for Rental Car Costs green checkmark green checkmark
Fleet Services Reservations green checkmark
green checkmark

For instructions on how to pay using these methods see the Ways to Pay Overview.

For questions, contact travelhelp@ucsc.edu.

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