Travel Tips

Meals & Per Diem

Please make sure you note the times you left and returned home as this information is required. Also, please remember these are the times you left and returned home, not the times your flight left or when you arrived at the site.

Meal limits during travel 

Meals are only reimbursable for travel with an overnight stay involved.  The limit for a day’s meals when you can claim all three is $62.00.  If you can only claim one or two meals on your first or last day of travel based on your departure or return time then the maximum for that day is the maximum for those meals.  When you reach or go above the maximum allowable for a day, you must submit a receipt for each meal for that day.

  • Breakfast: You can be reimbursed for lunch if your travel began before 7 a.m. or ended after 8 a.m.  The limit when only breakfast is allowable is $7.50/day.
  • Lunch: You can be reimbursed for lunch if your travel began before 11 a.m. or ended after 2 p.m.  The limit when only breakfast and lunch are allowable is $21.50/day.  The limit when only lunch and dinner are allowable is $40.00/day.
  • Dinner: You can be reimbursed for dinner if your travel began before 5 p.m. or ended after 7 p.m.  The limit when only dinner is allowable is $26.00/day. 


Booking Travel

Generally, UCD asks that employees choose the most cost effective way of travel. Try to use rental cars when the cost of rental plus gas will be less than the cost of reimbursing personal car mileage on long trips with high mileage (often around 500 miles or more). If the campus travel reviewers determine that there is a significant difference between the personal mileage amount and the estimated cost of a rental car and gas, they may only reimburse the traveler up to the estimated cost of an economy/compact rental car and gas.

Air Travel

  • Flights need to be coach/economy class. If an upgrade is needed, please check with your unit director for approval and include the explanation with the report.  If the upgrade is for medical reasons a note from your doctor needs to be submitted with your travel report.
  • If credit for a previous unused flight is applied to the airfare cost, receipts for the payment of the original flights that led to getting the credit must be provided.
  • When flight was booked with the UC Davis Connexxus system (either the BCD or UC Travel System version), the Connexxus itinerary that has the cost after the ticket was purchased should be sent in with the report (don’t send in the itinerary that indicates the purchase isn’t final).

Rental cars

  • Use UCD contracts with Hertz, National, and Enterprise for renting cars whenever possible. Information on the contracts is available here.  Use the contract numbers noted as “UCD ID” and not those noted as “UCDMC ID”.
  • Insurance purchased through rental car agencies isn’t reimbursable. Using the UCD contracts will give you insurance automatically with the rental.
  • Campus policy requests that travelers rent economy or compact cars (or intermediate class cars if the cost is $40/day or less using a UCD contract). If you require an upgraded rental car for reasons such as treacherous weather/roads or the need for more space for transporting materials, please check with your programmer for approval and provide the explanation for the upgrade on the travel report.  If the upgrade is for medical reasons a note from your doctor needs to be submitted with your travel report.  If the condition is chronic that should be stated on the note so that the note can be used for other travel reports within the same fiscal year.
  • Charges for GPS units rented from rental car agencies are not reimbursable.


  • Ask hotels for the state rate on lodging when possible.  Add a note if circumstances result in a higher than usual rate, such as an event going on in area during which hotel charges more, and check in with your UC Davis unit director if the rate is higher than 84.00/night.



Receipts are required for all purchases of $10.00 or more except for the following cases:

  • All transportation receipts are required regardless of amount (taxis, shuttles, metro, BART, etc.) except for gas purchased for rental cars.  For gas used in your own vehicle, purchases receipts are needed when the amount is $10.00 or more.
  • Receipts are only required for meal reimbursement when the daily allowable maximum is reached (see section on meal reimbursement for details on daily maximums).

Scan original receipts

  • If possible, tape your receipts to 8.5” X 11” paper in the horizontal orientation without taping over any print on the receipts (tape can cause the print to fade).  All receipts don’t have to be taped to the same piece of paper.
  • Don’t highlight printing on receipts; that can obscure printing and make it unreadable when faxed into our travel system.
  • Use of travel services such as Expedia and Travelocity often don’t provide receipts of payment and without acceptable receipts there may be difficulty in getting reimbursed.
  • Credit card statements are generally not accepted in place of receipts except in the case of payments to online travel services that don’t usually issue payment receipts such as or  In these cases the credit card statements must be provided along with lost evidence forms.  If you can get a receipt showing a credit card payment being made for payment to these services please do so and send it with the report.  Lost evidence forms alone are required in place of other missing receipts.
  • As a receipt for airfare purchases, an itinerary showing the cost and that payment has been made with a charge to the traveler’s credit card is needed.
  • After you check out from a hotel, get a zero balance receipt or check out receipt from the hotel.  If one is not obtained before leaving the hotel, please contact the hotel after you get home to have them get one to you for the report.



Monetary amounts of gift cards or rewards points used for travel expenses can’t be reimbursed.