Travel Expenditures

All travellers are to obtain pre-approval from one administrative level higher who is responsible for the budget before scheduling their travel plans.

Planning for travel should ideally start at least 14 days in advance for North American travel and 21 days in advance for international travel in order to obtain the best value and support for the traveller.

Travel has a large impact on the environment and increases the University’s carbon footprint. University travellers should strive to use available technology as a substitute for face-to-face meetings where possible (i.e. Skype/videoconferencing/teleconferencing).

To ensure that travel expenses are minimized, utilize the following cost saving measures:

Review further expenditures guidelines below by topic:

Accommodations
  • The standard for reimbursement of accommodations while travelling should be based on the lowest price of a standard room in a business class hotel. 
  • Luxury accommodations or rooms on Executive Floor, suites, concierge or Executive Premium level rooms will not be reimbursed unless pre-approval is obtained from their respective Dean/VP or President and proper justification is provided to support the request.
  • Generally, bookings at the conference hotel would be appropriate.
  • Rooms should ideally be booked through our preferred travel agencies to ensure UBC receives government or corporate rates where available. Refer to CAUBO or Provincial Government negotiated rates sites. 
  • UBC also has negotiated corporate rates with preferred hotels. See the UBC Travel website
  • Non-preferred hotel booking websites may offer cheaper rates but require 100% prepayment of fees, have higher cancellation/change fees and there is no ability for UBC’s travel vendors to assist traveller for cancellations and rebooking in case of emergency in any unforeseen circumstances.
  • Where short-term lodging is provided at no charge, a gift or payment in appreciation may be provided up to $50.00/day with a maximum of $150.00 for the entire duration of the stay. Please see Policy #83 - Travel and Related Expenses, Section 5.1 for more details.
  • For visitors coming to UBC, it is strongly recommended wherever feasible to consider on- campus guest accommodations before considering external downtown options. Review on-site accommodations for UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan

For the latest updates on Travel, visit the Frequently Asked Questions

Air

To ensure that travel expenses are minimized, utilize the following cost saving measures:

Travel has a large impact on the environment and increases the University’s carbon footprint. University travellers should strive to use available technology as a substitute for face-to-face meetings where possible (i.e. Skype/videoconferencing/teleconferencing).

In keeping with the travel guidelines developed by the University:

  1.  All travellers are to obtain pre-approval from one administrative level higher who is responsible for the budget before scheduling their travel plans. Planning for travel should ideally start at least 14 days in advance for North American travel and 21 days in advance for international travel in order to obtain the best value and support for the traveller.
  2. All air travel should be at the lowest available economical fare on the most direct route. Any exception to economy travel, such as Premium Economy and Business Class, must be pre-approved by the respective Dean/VP or President with justification. Typical justifications would include, for example, medical certificates and flights outside North America where flight segments > 6 hours. The approver should ensure appropriate budget funding is available.
  3. Stopovers or combination of personal and business travel arrangements are permissible if the total cost of the trip does not exceed the cost of the direct economy flight to the final destination. Pre-approval from one administrative level higher and supporting documentation are required.
  4. If the lowest direct economical fare is not available for the required date of travel, pre-approval from one administrative level higher is required and documentation must be submitted as justification for the higher rate (i.e. screen shot from Concur or Vision Travel showing the lower rate not being available for that date of travel) with the expense claim.
  5. UBC reimbursement of use of flight passes is not permitted, as they are not considered the most economical cost (i.e. Latitude/Flex).

Please see Policy #83 - Travel and Related Expenses for more details. For the latest updates on Travel, visit the Frequently Asked Questions

Automobile and Other Transportation
  1. Vehicle rentals are permissible if they are deemed to be the most economical option when conducting UBC business. Cost of luxury, sport and full-size vehicles are non-reimbursable; however, exceptions may exist for full-size vehicles only if pre-approved by one administrative level higher.
  2. Typically, a vehicle rental is only permitted for out of town travel. ‘Out of town’ is defined as outside of the Lower Mainland and Bowen Island. For UBC Okanagan, this would be outside of the Central Okanagan area.
  3.  Always refuel vehicle prior to return to avoid high refuel costs charged by the agency.
  4. Payment for vehicle rental with a UBC individual credit card is ideal as it includes Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW) insurance coverage for most vehicle types and durations. If you are paying the vehicle rental on a non-UBC personal credit card, ensure that a Collision Damage Waiver is available. Risk Management Services offers coverage at $5/day if arranged with them in advance.
  5. In Canada and the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, decline 3rd party liability insurance as UBC carries a policy that covers you while you are on UBC business. In all other countries, you will have to purchase coverage.
  6. Mileage reimbursement on private vehicles is permissible at the UBC approved rate of reimbursement for kilometres in excess of kilometres normally incurred directly to and from work. Distance calculated starts either from the place of work or home to the destination in the most direct route and should only be considered if the excess km calculation plus accommodation and meals do not exceed the cost of an economy priced airline ticket.
  7. Google Maps should be used to substantiate kilometres driven and be submitted as part of travel claim.
  8. Parking fees are reimbursable if travelling to and from meetings, to and from airports, events and meeting places other than your place of employment.
  9. Mileage reimbursement when attending meetings locally at any UBC place of business is reimbursable unless it forms part of your commute back home. UBC places of business include Robson Square and any of the Hospital sites.
  10. Limousine costs are not reimbursable unless, due to the number of UBC travellers or specifics of the destination (such as distance from the airport), it is more economical to do so. A specific expense justification and a list of travellers must be provided at time of reimbursement.
  11. Taxi, Uber, ride sharing or other public transportation costs are eligible expenses incurred while conducting University business and when travelling between meetings if a personal vehicle is not available. Receipts must be obtained from the taxi driver to support the fee with gratuities not exceeding 15%.
  12. Car sharing costs on economical vehicle types are also permissible if it is a more economical mode of travel.
  13. Taxi costs are reimbursable in lieu of airport parking if this is the more economical expense when travelling out of town.

For the latest updates on Travel, visit the Frequently Asked Questions

Conference (PD Travel)
  1. Conference travel as part of professional development requires pre-approval from one administrative level higher, with a cost estimate provided and benefit to the University clearly outlined.
  2. Conference travel is not the only means of pursuing professional development. Where possible, the most economical means of obtaining professional development should be considered.
  3. Any professional development identified must benefit and add value to your current position.
  4. UBC personnel should access their Professional Development (PD) Funds to supplement the PD funds provided by the unit.

For the latest updates on Travel, visit the Frequently Asked Questions

Meals - Out of Town or Conferences for UBC Personnel
  1. To facilitate timely and efficient reimbursement, UBC individual travellers should use per diems to claim for out-of-town meal expenses; receipts do not need to be provided for individual per diem meal claims.
  2. Only the individual traveller can claim UBC per diem rates.
  3. UBC per diem rates represent what the University deems to be a reasonable cost, and are as noted in the current UBC Travel and Related Expenses Policy and Directive. ‘Out of town’ is defined as outside of the Lower Mainland and Bowen Island. For UBC Okanagan, this would be outside of the Central Okanagan area.
  4. UBC per diem rates cannot be claimed if meals have been included in another reimbursable item (i.e. conference fee, transportation, accommodation).
  5. UBC per diem rates also cannot be claimed in the following situations:
  • Any meetings/seminars that take place during the course of the day either on or off campus
  • Where another member of the University has submitted a claim for the same meal
  • Where meals are offered by the event organizer.
  1. Where grant or contract funding have per diems different from the University’s per diem rate, the traveller may claim the differential amount from the University and charge the research PG with the maximum allowable rate. 
  2. If a group meal expense is submitted when dining with donors/special guests, an itemized receipt should be submitted as support for the expense, indicating the purpose and attendee names with gratuities generally not exceeding 15% unless the vendor has a higher pre-set gratuity.

Please see Travel and Related Expense Policy 83 Procedures - Section 4 for more details. For the latest updates on Travel, visit the Frequently Asked Questions

Minor Reimbursable Items

While travelling, an incidental amount of up to $10/day, to a maximum of $50/trip, may be claimed. The incidental amount is to compensate for non-receipted items such as meter parking, transit fares and housekeeping gratuities. Note that research granting agency rules may not permit non-receipted items, in which case missing receipt documentation is required.

Please see Policy # 83 - Travel and Related Expenses, Section 6.2 for more details. For the latest updates on Travel, visit the Frequently Asked Questions

For non-reimbursable items, please see Policy #83 - Travel and Related Expenses