Key reminders for Travel Policy/Procedures:

1. Travel Fund Allocations

     a.  Departmental faculty are allocated up to a certain amount per fiscal year (from July 1st – June 30th) from general department funds to support professional travel expenses. For FY21, the allocation is $3,000.00. To qualify for this support, a faculty member must be presenting at a professional conference, symposium, etc.  All rules of the University with regard to pre-approval, documentation, expenditure limitations, deadlines, etc. apply.

          i.  Faculty with additional department accounts (e.g. annual research allocations, awards, etc.) are permitted to use these funds for additional travel support, but are not limited to presenting at a conference when using other funding sources. As above, these expenditures are subject to all rules of the university travel office.

     b.  Departmental Full-time Associated Faculty are allocated up to $1,000.00 per fiscal year from general department funds to support professional travel expenses. To qualify for this support, a full-time associated faculty member must explain how their attendance at a professional conference, symposium, etc. relates to their professional development and/or how it will enhance their in-class teaching. All rules of the University with regard to pre-approval, documentation, expenditure limitations, deadlines, etc. apply. 

     c.  Department graduate students may apply for up to $500 Graduate Student Conference Presentation award once per fiscal year for travel occurring between July 1-June 30. See application form for further details.

     d. Please ensure you connect with the Travel Fiscal Associate to have her process all expenditures by mid-May to ensure the expenses post/ clear by June 30th each year.

     e. Any travel that posts after June 30th will be expensed to the following fiscal years allocations.

2. Provide the estimated expense details and any other supporting documentation (i.e. conference website, proof of conference acceptance, meeting invitation, etc.) to at least 3 weeks before planned travel departure to ensure a spend authorization (SA#) is approval.

     a.  All required information is included on this Pre-Travel Form, which may be useful to reference to ensure all details are provided promptly.

     b.  Be aware that grant sponsored travel has some additional requirements. Information regarding grant sponsored travel can be found here:

3.  As of August 1, 2018, all business travel airfare done by OSU faculty, staff and students, must be booked with Corporate Travel Planners using one of these three methods:

  1. Add Travel Fiscal Associate (Jen Lopez) as a primary assistant for travel on the CTP booking tool, then send her a notification to select the appropriate requested flights and complete prepayment once the travel request is approved. Instructions for adding a primary assistant in CTP below:
    1. Log onto
    2. Select "Book Travel Online"- it is located in one of the middle boxes. This should automatically sign you in via your OSU log in
    3. In the top right corner, select "profile" and "profile settings" and select "personal information"- most of your information should have been carried over from the HR system, but some information will need added. Anything that has required on it, please fill in.
    4. At the bottom, there is a box selected as "Assistants and Travel Arrangers"- select "add an assistant".
    5. Enter your associates name and select the two small boxes (Indicating "Can book travel for me" and "Is my primary assistant for travel"). After that, the Fiscal Associate can now log on using all your information and select the appropriate flights.
  2. Book airfare using CTP booking tool and pay with personal credit card online. Follow these instructions and choose "Add credit card" during the "select a method of payment" section on page #6 to ensure flight is charged to personal credit card. Submit receipt for reimbursement after the trip. Please note a travel request T# is needed first before proceeding with this option.
  3. Book airfare directly with CTP full service travel agent via phone, then pay on personal credit card and submit receipt for reimbursement after the trip. Call (614) 237-4488 for assistance. 

NOTE: No first class flights are ever permitted. Business class flights are only permitted for international flights exceeding 5 hours (excluding layovers) and there is sufficient budget available. Economy class flights should be the default selection. Delta, United Airlines, and American Airlines offer Basic Economy, however, it is not recommended to purchase this fare due to the significant restrictions. If you choose to upgrade your international flight from Economy to Economy Plus instead of booking Business class, you will need to provide a valid Business class cost comparison. If a comparison is not provided, the Economy Plus upgrade will not be considered reimbursable.

4.  When combining vacation in conjunction with business travel, airfare and lodging comparisons are required to show the cost associated with the business travel only. Reasonable travel dates are considered the day before and day after conference/meeting for domestic trips and up to 2 days before and after conference/meeting for international trips. The university may only reimburse the less expensive option. Please note there are special considerations when booking airfare that contains vacation time in conjunction with business travel:

  1. If personal time is involved and the airfare will be more expensive, then you book airfare via CTP and send receipt for business/leisure travel that has been paid entirely on personal credit card. Reimbursement will be restricted to the business comparison amount (obtained by Travel Fiscal Associate).
    1. Alternatively, you can split transactions for business/leisure portions of travel and should work directly with a full service CTP travel agent if partial prepayment is requested.
  2. If personal time is involved and airfare will be less expensive, then full prepayment will be allowed as long as comparisons are thoroughly documented (obtained by Travel Fiscal Associate) prior to the pre-pay purchase and comments are added to eliminate the appearance of impropriety.

5.  Driving vs. Flying

     a.  When considering driving instead of flying, a mileage vs. airfare comparison vs. rental car will be necessary to show the cost difference. You will be eligible to be reimbursed for cost of the least expensive option. Please keep in mind that the current mileage rate is $.62.5/mile as of January 1, 2022.

6. In-State Driving
     a. As of July 1, 2021, same day in-state mileage requires an approved spend authorization prior to travel.
     b. Email with a mileage map and date of travel, or multiple dates if you wish to have a blanket mileage spend authorization.  

7. Lodging Limitations

     a.  Conference lodging: When attending a conference, please obtain the conference rate when there is one available. When the rate fluctuates between single/double/triple, only the single rate should be chosen unless the other people sharing the room are of OSU affiliation and traveling on OSU business.

     b.  Non-conference lodging: If you are unable to get the conference rate, or are traveling for research or a meeting where there is no conference hotel, refer to the federal lodging rate for the month of travel and use that amount as the guideline. If the nightly rate at the hotel is equal to or up to 1.5 times of the federal lodging rate, no additional justification or comparisons are needed. However, if the hotel is 1.5 to 2 times greater than the federal lodging rate, justification for choosing that hotel and comparisons of other hotels in the area would be needed. Any rate higher than 2 times the federal per diem rate is considered excessive and is not guaranteed to be reimbursed.

8. Required Vendors for vehicle rentals are Enterprise and National – For more information and policy summary: Rental Car Discounts


     b. Enterprise - Phone Reservations: 1-800-261-7331   

     c.  National - Phone Reservations: 1-877-222-9058

     d.  Travelers should be reminded to not purchase any additional insurance coverage, specifically PAI or RAP, as they are not reimbursable per travel policy. OSU Contracts include required coverage of LDW, DW, and Liability insurance.

     e.  When rental cars are booked internationally, the required insurance coverage is often not included even if we use an OSU-preferred agency under our contracted rate. Travelers need to add that coverage when they physically pick up the car to make sure it’s added (even for rentals reserved on Concur).

9. Submit original, itemized receipt to for reimbursement processing as soon as possible. There is only a 60 day window for reimbursements to be processed following a trip, so do not delay!