General Travel FAQs
- How can I view the CSU Travel Policy?
(CSU) Travel Policy is located here.
- Who needs a Travel Request form?
Travel must be authorized prior to travel, utilizing the Travel Request. *Excludes service providers, candidates and non-employee students.
- All stateside employees using state funds for travel (includes self-support, state trusts, and split funding between state funds) will use Concur.
- All others use the Adobe Sign Travel Request Form.
- How long does it take for my travel forms to be approved?
Variables in Timeline:
The below timelines are an estimate, approval times may vary based on the below:
- Additional approvers
- Additional previewers
- Auto Approval in concur
- Approvers out of office
- Missing documents
- Missing or incorrect information
Estimated Travel Timelines:
System Timelime Adobe Sign 5-10 Business Days Concur 5-10 Business Days
System Timelime Adobe Sign 7-10 Business Days Concur 7-10 Business Days
System Timelime Adobe Sign 10-30 Business Days Concur 10-30 Business Days
System Timelime Adobe Sign 10-30 Business Days Concur 10-30 Business Days
- What if I travel without approval?
Travel must be pre-approved via the travel request. If a Travel Request is not approved before the travel event, an approved Travel Exception Request must be attached to the Travel Request.
- How do purchase registration?
All registrations must be purchased with a ProCard.
(If a traveler does not have a ProCard, please contact your department AC. A ProCard can be used to purchase anyone's registration within the cardholder's department.)
Please do not purchase registration with personal funds, as the Travel Office can no longer reimburse for this on a Travel Expense Report.
- How do I determine the most economical mode of ground transportation?
Travelers should consider all reasonable and economical modes of transportation such as mileage and parking, train, rental car, and rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft.
Below is an example cost comparison for renting a car versus taking a rideshare service for a conference where the airport is about an hour from the conference hotel.
Travel Rental Car Rideshare Service (Uber/Lyft) Airport to Hotel $65 Hotel to Airport $65 Rentel Car Fee $175.05 Hotel Parking $75 Gas $25 Total $275.05 $130
The cost comparison indicates that taking a rideshare service is the most reasonable, economical option.
- What should I consider when booking airfare?
- Coach or Economy Class (example: Southwest = Wanna Get Away).
- Refundable airline tickets are not permitted.
- Airline upgrades (including Southwest Early Bird Check In) are prohibited and non-reimbursable.
- Upgrades such as Southwest early Bird check-in are not reimbursable.
- Is a traveler able to purchase travel upgrades (For example: business class, seats
with extra leg room or early bird boarding) if they pay out of pocket?
If a traveler prefers to use a higher class than the one authorized for reimbursement, or select upgrades, the traveler must pay the incremental cost of the airfare. A documented cost comparison must be attached to the Travel Expense Claim.
- What is needed if a traveler has a combination of business and personal travel?
When a traveler is combining business and personal travel, a documented cost comparison of flights must be attached to the Travel Expense Claim.
If you need assistance, please reach out to the Travel Office, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- When traveling, do I claim mileage from my home or work?
- Reimbursement shall be made for round-trip mileage between home and the assignment location, or between the normal work location and the assignment location, whichever is less.
- Mileage expenses may be allowed between the traveler's residence and the common carrier or destination if University business travel occurs during the traveler's non-working hours, or during a regularly scheduled day off.
- When do I need to submit receipts for travel expenses (Meals, taxis, uber, registration,
Per, CSU Travel Policy, itemized receipts for all expenses in excess of $75 dollars must be submitted with the travel expense claim. Your manager has the discretion to ask for receipts for expenses below the $75-dollar threshold.
Please ensure that when documenting ride-share receipts, they are broken out on individual lines. For example, if you had two ride-shares that totaled $79 dollars, we would want to see them broken into two lines on the travel claim. If you include them in the same line, they appear as one charge and we will reach out for a receipt (see example below).
Date of Travel Time Location of Travel Lodging Breakfast Lunch Dinner IE Cost of Transportation Type Used 11/3/21 Seattle, WA $35.00 T 11/3/21 Seattle, WA $44.00 T Date of Travel Time Location of Travel Lodging Breakfast Lunch Dinner IE Cost of Transportation Type Used 11/3/21 Seattle, WA $79.00 T
- How do I expense hospitality while traveling?
Both Adobe Sign and Concur now have a mechanism to record hospitality expenses while traveling. Please include the approved Hospitality Form in the Travel Expense Report.
Hospitality expenses are only reimbursable via the Travel Expense Report when there are associated travel expenses.
- What are the requirements for interview candidates who are seeking reimbursement?
Candidates should submit all receipts and information to department admins, who will submit a Travel Expense Report on their behalf.
See the Candidate Quick Guide for more information.
Please note, Candidates do NOT need a travel request.
- What rental car agencies can I rent from?
Per the CSU Travel Policy "when renting a vehicle, travelers are expected to utilize rental agencies with which the State of California or the University have negotiated contracts that include insurance coverage. Renting vehicles from a non‐contracted vendor is prohibited, unless vehicles are unavailable from a contracted vendor. See Travel Related Insurance, Rental Vehicles."
CSU is contracted with Enterprise Rental Car.
Please note: Stateside Employees should make Enterprise reservations directly through Concur.
- What is our corporate code for booking with Enterprise Rental Car?
Rental cars are only authorized when renting would be more economically advantageous to the university than other means of transportation, such as using a rideshare service.
If you need assistance, please reach out to the Travel Office, (email@example.com).
For the personal travel discount code, please reach out to the Travel Office, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- What if my trip was cancelled?
- If a trip must be cancelled or changed, the traveler must make every effort to cancel/change any travel reservations. Fees incurred as a result of cancelling/changing a trip will be covered if the cancelation/change was work related or due to unforeseen circumstances out of the control of the traveler. A business justification must be submitted and approved by the approving authority
- Travelers who are unable to honor a reservation shall be responsible for canceling the reservation in compliance with the cancellation terms established by the vendor. The traveler must return any refundable deposits to the University.
- Charges or lost refunds resulting from failure to cancel reservations, registrations, etc. shall not be reimbursed unless the traveler can show that such failure was the result of circumstances beyond the traveler's control.
- The traveler shall be responsible for promptly returning for a refund any unused or partially used transportation tickets.
- If applicable, a cash advance must be returned immediately if a trip is cancelled or indefinitely postponed.
- A non‐refundable ticket associated with a cancelled trip must be used for the employee's next trip.
- Are credit card statements accepted as receipts?
No, credit card statements are not considered actual receipts. Please do not use your statement as proof of payment as your claims will not be processed.
- For International Travel, what approvals are required?
- Employees traveling to foreign destinations must receive approval from the campus President or Designee prior to making any travel arrangements.
- Travelers should contact the Travel Office for guidance and foreign travel insurance.
- See CSU Travel Policy International section for more details.
- How do I obtain a Defensive Driving (DD) certification?
- Employees using their personal vehicle for business travel must obtain a Defensive Driving (DD) certification before mileage reimbursement can be submitted.
- Apply for Defensive Driving certification through Safety, Health & Sustainability.
- How do we setup direct deposit for Travel Reimbursements?
Fill out the Adobe Sign Direct Deposit Request. *Please note: this is for direct deposit for reimbursements only, not for Payroll.
- Can travelers request meal reimbursement on day trips?
No, overnight stay is required for meal and incidental reimbursement.
- Can I book through broker sites like Expedia, Hotels.com or CheapOAir? The rates are
lower on those sites.
Utilizing broker sites is not advised. Itemized receipts are required for travel, and often these sites do not provide adequate detail. Broker sites often charge up front for hotels, and do not provide refunds. It is highly encouraged to book directly with airlines and hotels.
- Can I use Airbnb (or similar) as my lodging?
Although CSUSM encourages standard hotel accommodations, we have provided the following “best practices” to help reduce risk:
- Use listings that appear to be solely used as rental properties, rather than incidental rentals (e.g. family going on vacation and listing their primary residence as up for rent for two weeks each year, or it is a family’s vacation home, and they rent it off-and-on and stay there off-and-on).
- We strongly discourage renting of just a room or any accommodation that would require shared restrooms. (Exception for a “B&B” type space where the property is a commercial property that rents individual rooms with private bathrooms within a large house intended solely for the purpose of renting rooms to transient travelers, and the room has its own key lock.)
- Look for properties with a high number of reviews for the property, and that it has a 4-star or higher rating, that the property owner/manager has a “superhost” or similar designation, etc.
- Encourage reading of any negative reviews (even if overall rating is high) to look for potentially problematic trends (more than one mention of a last-minute cancelation by the owner, safety or security concerns, etc.)
- Have back-up plans, such as knowing where a few hotels in the area are, in case you arrive, and there are no keys, no one answering the phone # provided, etc.
- What is a PAT Member and how do I determine who is my PAT Member?
The President's Administrative Team (PAT) is comprised of the senior management team of the university.
Please use this link to determine your PAT Member: https://www.csusm.edu/president/leadership/universityorg.html
- When can I secure lodging? (How many miles away)
Travelers may secure lodging when traveling on business more than 25 miles (one way) from their normal work location or home whichever is closer.
- When submitting in Adobe Sign the following error comes up "The Transient Document
ID specified is invalid". How do I fix this?
- A file that the Submitter is trying to upload is not acceptable by Adobe Sign. This
usually means they are trying to upload a secure/encrypted pdf (i.e. A completed pdf
from Adobe Sign).
- The Submitter can try to ‘flatten’ (that’s what Adobe calls it) the secure/encrypted
pdf by doing the following:
- Find the pdf file you want to ‘flatten’ (Could be in your ‘Desktop’ or ‘Downloads’ folder or wherever you saved it)
- Right click on the file and select “Open with Adobe Acrobat DC“
- After the file opens in Adobe Acrobat DC, click on File -> Print -> Change ‘Printer’ to ‘Microsoft Print to PDF’ -> Print
- Name new file and Save to same location you found file (i.e. Desktop or Downloads folder)
- The Submitter can try to ‘flatten’ (that’s what Adobe calls it) the secure/encrypted pdf by doing the following:
After the file has been ‘flatten’, please try to attach to the flattened file to the Workflow Selector and re-submit.
- A file that the Submitter is trying to upload is not acceptable by Adobe Sign. This usually means they are trying to upload a secure/encrypted pdf (i.e. A completed pdf from Adobe Sign).
Concur Travel FAQs
- Who is required to use Concur?
All stateside employees using state funds for travel (includes self-support, state trusts, and split funding between state funds) will use Concur.
- Which software do I use if I have split funding between stateside and an auxiliary?
Split-funded travel using two or more stateside funds should go through Concur. Split-funded travel between state and auxiliary must go through the Adobe Sign process.
- Can an AC complete travel documents on behalf of other individuals in Concur?
Yes. If the AC will fill out on behalf of the traveler, make sure that the traveler adds the AC as a “Request Delegate” in the Request Settings section. See the first 5 minutes of the “Concur Training Recording” under the Resources section for instructions on how to do this.
- Will an agenda or proof of event continue to be required for all travel requests?
Yes. An agenda (or email for smaller events) must be attached to the travel request. Concur will prompt you to upload it and alert you if you missed it.
- After a travel request is approved, can a traveler/requestor revise the dates of travel?
Dates cannot be revised on the approved travel request, but they can be updated on the expense report. If dates change drastically, it is best to cancel the original request and re-submit or make it clear in the expense report what happened. Ultimately, the approver is responsible for approving the change.
- How long will a travel request remain open in Concur?
- How are Concur approvers assigned?
There are two required approvers in Concur for domestic travel. The department assigns one funding approver per dept ID. The one-up manager is determined by Peoplesoft and updated daily.
- Can Concur accommodate blanket travel requests?
Yes. To do this, make the “Dates of Travel” a range, such as a semester or fiscal year. When it comes time for the expense claim, do not “inactivate” the request until all mileage has been submitted.
For more information on submitting in concur, check out our Blanked Mileage Guide.
- How do I get approval to stay at a hotel that is over the allowable rate?
Please submit an approved Travel Exception Request with your Travel Request.
- When booking hotels in Concur, are we eligible for the government rates shown?
Yes, but it is limited to hotels in the State of California only. The rate must state "Government State". We are not eligible for U.S. government, federal, or government contractor rates.
- How are travelers notified about banned states?
In the request, Concur has a drop-down list of all the banned states. In addition, all banned sites are listed on OAG.org.
- What are E-receipts? What are the benefits?
E-Receipts auto-fill the expense claim when you purchase flight, hotel, and car rental in Concur. It is up to the individual if they would like to sign-up for E-receipts, but please still review the expense report before submitting to ensure accuracy.
- In Concur, where do I certify that I am up to date on my Defensive Driving (DD) certification?
This is currently in the user agreement that the traveler sees once they click “submit.”
- What is the process for obtaining the required insurance for international travel?
International travel insurance must be obtained after the entire Travel Request is approved. Insurance will be bound outside of Concur. Please see Foreign Travel Insurance for more information.
- If someone wants to purchase a first-class ticket, can they do this in Concur and
pay the difference between the university cost and personal cost?
Business class and first class will not show up in Concur booking. You may book business class or first class outside of Concur. If someone wants to purchase a flight upgrade, they must do it outside of Concur and upload the receipt and cost comparison to their expense claim. The cost in the cost comparison will be reimbursed and the difference is considered a personal expense and paid by the traveler.
- What are the travel credit card options and features?
The University has retired the Personal Liability Travel Cards that were offered before the travel suspension. We now have the following credit card programs:
- University Liability Ghost Card: Used for direct billing when booking in Concur. Mainly used for flights.
- University Liability Travel Card: Individual university liability travel card (similar to ProCard), used for business travel. Cards are assigned to specific individuals and cannot be used for department-wide or group travel booking.
Submitting your expense claim will reconcile both the Ghost Card and the Travel card. ProCards are still recommended for registration purchases.
- I created a travel request and the following alert appeared for "A Vendor ID is not
specified on your profile." What do I do?
The first time a traveler creates a travel request, the alert "A Vendor ID is not specified on your profile." may come up. If it does, go ahead and submit your travel request for routing if all other required information is entered. Once the request has been routed, the Travel Office will add your Vendor ID as the last step in your first travel request.
No further action is needed from the traveler to add the Vendor ID once the first request is submitted.
- How can I apply for a University Liability Travel Card?
See the Travel Card page. *Please note: only Stateside Employees using Stateside funds are eligible for the University Liability Travel Card.
- How do I download a copy of a Concur Request/Expense Report?
- Log into Concur -> select ‘Requests’ -> select an approve Travel Request -> select ‘Print/Share’ -> select ‘*CSU-Request Printed Report’
For Expense Reports:
- Log into Concur -> select ‘Requests’ -> select an approve Travel Exepense Report -> select ‘Print/Share’ -> select ‘*CSU-Detailed Report with Summary Data'