Policy Steward:  Office of the Corporate Controller

Table of Contents:

  • Guidelines for Lodging
  • Lodging Receipts Required
  • Conference Hotels
  • Online Hotel Booking
  • Deposits and Cancellations
  • Lodging in a Private Residence
  • Further Information

  • Guidelines for Lodging

    Lodging expenses must not exceed the single occupancy rate unless two or more employees are staying in the same room. Staff, faculty, or students who are spouses/partners, immediate family members, or of the same sex may be asked to share a room, provided a separate bed/cot is available for each individual in the room.  The University does not expect nor does it condone University staff, faculty, or students sharing a bed while on travel sponsored in whole or in part by the University (Spouses/partners are excluded if they so choose.). If an individual presents as a gender different from one's birth sex, individuals may not be compelled to share a room, but may do so if all individuals agree.

    Lodging Receipts Required

    Reimbursement of lodging must be supported with receipts. The receipt must state the amount of the charge, the date, the name and the location of the establishment, and an explanation of the charge. Express checkout service, where the hotel bill is placed under the guest's door on the morning of departure, is an acceptable receipt if the traveler has reviewed it and the above requirements are stated. Charges for lodging, meals, phone calls, parking or other services must be itemized. Personal expenses charged to the hotel bill such as in-room movies, laundry, mini-bar service, grooming, or exercising expenses are not allowable and are not eligible for reimbursement.

    Travelers may use services such as Airbnb, but a detailed receipt is still required for reimbursement, so travelers are encouraged to check that such receipts are available before booking through these services.  The email received at the time of booking which confirms nightly booking rate, any cleaning fees, and the service charge can be used as the receipt documentation. It is important to note that the University must not be the contracting party for any agreements (electronic or otherwise) with services such as Airbnb; instead, the agreement must be between the service and the individual since it is the individual choosing this method of service, and the individual is responsible for any and all liability associated with the use of such services.

    Conference Hotels

    For conference travel it is appropriate to stay at the hotel hosting the conference, assuming that the daily rate is reasonable. Reasonableness would be determined by comparing relative cost, convenience, safety, the reduced need for taxi or rental car, and the ability to interact with other conference attendees.

    Online Hotel Booking

    With the use of online hotel booking, it is not always possible to obtain a receipt from the hotel one has booked online. In this case, the hotel did not contract for payment with the guest but with the online booking company. Therefore, the hotel has no receipt to provide to the guest. The online receipt printed when the hotel is booked will serve as an acceptable receipt provided it reflects the dates of the traveler's stay, the location, and the amount charged.

    Package travel which does not delineate costs – flights/transportation/lodging/rental cars – must be submitted with comparisons to show that the total package cost is less than the costs if purchased separately.  These packages may be unallowable on sponsored travel if not properly documented through comparisons at the time of booking.

    Deposits and Cancellations

    Some hotels require a deposit equal to one or more night's lodging to be paid at the time a reservation is made. In this event, the traveler's credit card may be charged months in advance of the travel. This deposit may be paid with the Purchasing Card, or with the traveler's personal credit card. If the Purchasing Card is used, the traveler must provide supporting documentation with the submission of the paperwork for the Purchasing Card. If the deposit is paid with personal funds, the traveler may seek reimbursement from the University, which will be paid as an advance against the trip. When the traveler settles his or her account at the end of the trip, the amount of the advance will be applied to the reimbursement due.

    When a reservation will not be needed, it is the traveler's responsibility to cancel it. The traveler will not be reimbursed for any charges or fees assessed due to failure to cancel a reservation unless there are circumstances beyond the traveler's control. Such circumstances must be noted in ERS.

    Lodging in a Private Residence

    In the event a traveler lodges in a private residence in lieu of a commercial establishment, the traveler is eligible for a reimbursement of actual expenses not to exceed $25 per day. Recognizing that the University will save substantially from reduced lodging expenses, this reimbursement is intended to facilitate this choice. The traveler is required to provide the name and address of the residence in which he or she stayed. This is only available for employees while on travel status and is not intended in situations where an employee is lodging with another employee at their residence. This reimbursement is also not available when the residence is owned by the traveler.

    This type of reimbursement is ONLY for employees and is not an option for non-employee travel.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Corporate Controller.

    Effective Date: August 2, 2016
    Date Approved: July 27, 2016
    Date Published: August 2, 2016

    Most Recent Changes:

    Revision History (and effective dates):

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