Travel FAQs

All university travel is currently restricted. Please see COVID-19 FAQ: Travel updated October 2020

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.

Before making any financial commitments travelers must FIRST have an approved Authorization Request.

Non-Employees must be pre-approved as well. Please see our pages on Guests, Interviewees, Students, and Contractor/Performer/Speakers.

 

  • Washington State rule 10.10.10.a1 mandates travelers choose the most economical means of travel
  • Sustainable transportation methods should be given priority. 

Where can I find travel webforms?

You can find them on our Resources Page here.

What if I purchase supplies for my trip before I leave?

Supplies in excess of $50 should be purchased according to normal purchasing methods. If a non-food supply is $50 or less (per supply, not per receipt) and purchased within two weeks of travel, it may be reimbursed with the other travel expenses.

Before you travel

Anytime you are traveling non-locally on University related business, even if you are not requesting reimbursement. All travel needing reimbursement, even local travel, requires a Travel Authorization.

For local official business travel that will not result in a reimbursement, divisions and/or departments should implement their own approval requirements that should include, at a minimum, verbal pre-approval of the travel by a traveler’s supervisor. A Concur Travel Authorization Request is not required in this case.

Travelers who do not obtain prior approval as required may be responsible for any unauthorized expenses and may jeopardize other support provided by the state for travelers in official travel status.

A Blanket Request may be used for frequent in-state travel, such as to Everett for monthly meetings. One-time travel events such as a conference will require a separate Request. Multiple Expense Reports can be filed against a Blanket Request making this option perfect for travelers who will have frequent planned or unplanned trips for the same purpose.

  • Blanket Requests may cover up to one calendar year of travel
  • Concur requires at least one expected expense with funding to route correctly
  • When Expense Reports are generated, the report name, itinerary and expenses will be updated with correct details for each trip 
  • Reimbursements for daily or weekly trips should be consolidated on one monthly Expense Report

To create a Blanket Request:

  1. It's recommended to include the time period covered in the Request Trip Name for easier tracking.
  2. Select Blanket Request as Trip Purpose
  3. Indicate the purpose for the repeated travel in the Travel Justification
  4. Spell out acronyms
  5. Enter an itinerary that is the length of time needed. If the travel will be to different locations, enter the most common or Bellingham.
  6. Enter at least one expected expense such as mileage with funding.

Airfare expenses that have been purchased on a WWU Corporate Travel Visa

If there is not any estimated expenses, please include a $0 Miscellaneous Expense with funding and note in the system that there are no expected expenses.

This prevents errors in the system.

If your trip was canceled, expenses were out of pocket, or paid directly, and you don't need to be reimbursed, attach a brief explanation to the Request. For canceled trips the Request may be canceled with a comment. Receipts for expenses that were paid directly (non-reimbursable expenses), credits, and any additional information should be attached to the Request.

While you travel

Original receipts are required for reimbursement of lodging/hotel, rental car (including fuel for rental vehicles).

Read more on our Receipts page here.

After You Travel

Receipts must be in the name of the person seeking reimbursement. If you will be splitting an expense, please try to obtain a receipt for your half of the purchase. If that is not possible, obtain a memo from the person named on the receipt. The memo needs to indicate that you (the payee) covered a specific dollar amount for a specific item/service and that the person named on the receipt (and writing the memo) will not seek reimbursement from WWU for the expense. The memo should be signed by the named person.

Example: Victor Viking paid $125.93 for my lodging on 8/13/2015 and I will not seek reimbursement. Signed ~ Traveler Tom

Western will reimburse you for actual dollars spent on your airfare.

If you use air miles you may not be reimbursed for them.

General System Questions

General System Questions

Regardless of the cost to Western, it is still important to place travelers in travel status from a liability and audit standpoint, so a Travel Authorization (TA) is still necessary.

If you are unsure whether you need a TA for your trip or not, it's always a good idea to check with Travel Services first.

If you don’t have all the specific details of your trip when you fill out your TA, don’t worry. In most instances, certain details of your trip will be unknown or uncertain before you actually travel. For these items, do your best to estimate or approximate them on your TA. It might also be a good idea to identify what aspects of your TA are estimates using a description field or comment box. The estimates entered on a TA are meant to help you and your approvers plan for an upcoming trip and provide a sort of template for any Expense Reports you may fill out for that trip. When you do fill out an Expense Report, that is when you will update your trip information to show actual trip details and expense amounts. TAs show estimates, and TRs show actuals.

A brief description of the business purpose for the trip is required. To include more detail, you may add travel justification under the Comments section. A justification could also be saved to a separate document (like a Word or PDF document) and attached to the TA.