Travel Authorization

University Travel & COVID-19: please see current CDC Travel Guidelines.

Travel System Note

Western employee travel processing has moved from TEM to Concur as of June 30, 2020. Please see our Travel Updates page for more information.

Make Sure Your Travel Authorization is APPROVED!

When do I need a Travel Authorization Request?

Most employee travel requires a Concur Trip Request.

Travel Authorizations are required for all overnight and/or out-of-state travel, including trips at no cost to Western, and for all types of travelers. For day trips within WA state, a minimum of verbal pre-approval by a supervisor is required, and written approval (such as an email) is recommended.

Travelers who do not obtain prior approval as required may be responsible for any unauthorized expenses.

The Travel Authorization (TA) should be completed before making trip arrangements and financial commitments.

An approved TA documents official travel status and ensures worker's compensation and liability insurance coverage.

A TA Request includes the trip itinerary, the business purpose for travel and estimated expenses.

University travelers are required to choose the travel alternatives that are most economical and advantageous to the state.

Mixing Business and Personal Travel

If a traveler would like to add vacation or other personal use onto a legitimate business trip, it is allowed when all of the following conditions are met:

  • The primary purpose of the trip is official state business;
  • The traveler uses, where necessary, his or her approved leave for the vacation or personal part of the trip; and
  • The state agency does not incur any extra expenses beyond what it would normally incur had the trip occurred without any personal use coupled to the trip.

The business travel itinerary and personal days should be clearly stated in the authorization and reimbursement documents.  

  • Required: document (such as a screen shot) a comparison airfare quote for the business trip dates and destinations at the same time you purchase your actual flights. Please include the quote with your expense report to clearly show the difference in cost, if any, for the personal flight itinerary.
  • Please note when purchasing on a OneCard (PCard): the airfare cost including personal time must be the same or less than the business cost quote. If the airfare with personal time is more than the business quote, the flights must instead be purchased on personal funds and reimbursed up to the comparison quote cost after the trip.
  • Enterprise car rentals must be separate reservations. State contract rates may only be used for business dates.
  • Parking and other expenses must be prorated

Example documentation Mixing Business and Personal Travel

Two flight quotes documented by screen shot showing personal itinerary and business itinerary.

Approval Process

Approvals flow automatically from one approver to the next.

  • Travel Services: Reviews for compliance with travel policy
  • Supervisory: Approves the purpose and business need
  • Budget Authority: Approves estimated expenses (Grant Funds require an additional approval step)


Approver/Proxy listings are available here.

What if I don't need to be reimbursed after all?

Please add a note about what happened, receipts for anything paid directly (non-reimbursable expenses) or credits, and any additional information may be attached to the TA/Request.

How to pay back a travel expense

If you need to pay back a travel expense, please ensure you have the correct budget information and make your payment for free by electronic check or by credit card with a small fee here: Travel Expense Repayment Site.

If you have questions please contact Travel.Services@wwu.edu.