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Travel Procedures

An overview of the key steps in the spend authorization and expense report processes are summarized below, with each step linked to detailed explanations of required procedures. Each traveler is accountable for understanding and following these procedures.


Travel Process Steps

Step 1. Submit a Spend Authorization in Workday

More information is available in Workday:

  • Sign in to Workday
  • Go to the NSHE Workday Training module/worklet​ (the blue circle with the question mark)​
  • Click on the NSHE Workday Training Quicklink item
  • Type "Expenses" in the search bar
  • Scroll down ​and click on the "Create Spend Authorization" document

Visit GSA's website to locate appropriate lodging and per diem rates (see: Lodging and Per Diem).

Choose the least expensive method of travel.

If mileage reimbursement is the only expense, proceed to creating an expense report.

Step 2. Within 15 days of completion of trip: submit Travel Expense Claim form

More information is available in Workday:

  • Sign in to Workday
  • Go to the NSHE Workday Training module/worklet​ (the blue circle with the question mark)​
  • Click on the NSHE Workday Training Quicklink item
  • Type "Expenses" in the search bar
  • Scroll down ​and click on the "Create an Expense Report" document

For team or group travel, follow the same procedures, whether expensed individually for each member of group or by one employee for whole group, when used for travel with students (see: Team or Group Travel).

Combine guest speaker, independent contractor and accreditation travel costs into the overall contract or honorarium whenever possible, rather than a travel-specific reimbursement (see Guest Speaker, Independent Contractor and Accreditaton Travel).

Document that no personal expense is charged to the College when combining College business and personal travel (see: Combining College Business and Personal Travel).

Spend Authorization Procedures

Spend authorizations are required prior to travel, regardless of the funding source.


  • Spend authorizations are not required for mileage only reimbursements.
  • Contact Auxiliary Services if you have a no cost to college travel event.

Any funds received from other agencies or organizations for travel reimbursement of a TMCC employee must be turned over to the Travel Accounting staff to the extent expenses relating to the reimbursement have been paid by TMCC. This can be done by either endorsing the reimbursement check over to the Board of Regents, writing a personal check made payable to the Board of Regents, or by paying cash.

To streamline the travel reimbursement process, TMCC encourages all travelers who have a TMCC purchase card (PCard) to use it for all reimbursable travel expenses except per diem meals and incidentals and mileage claims. If you don't have a TMCC PCard, coordinate your alternatives with the TMCC Travel Accounting Office.

TMCC Faculty Senate Funding

For any travel using Faculty Senate funds, follow the steps outlined in the Faculty Senate Travel Procedures and Guidelines.

Travel Airline Booking Tool Option

NSHE has negotiated a price discount with Southwest Airlines. To take advantage of the discount, follow the steps below. This is intended only for business travel; for personal travel, please visit Southwest Airlines.

SWABIZ is an online booking tool through Southwest Airlines.

  1. Sign onto SWABIZ
  2. Enter NSHE's Corporate ID (contact the Travel Accounting staff for ID number).
  3. Enter traveler's Rapid Rewards account number.
  4. Enter traveler's Rapid Rewards password.
  5. Select "Submit" and enter travel itinerary.

Travel Advances

Travel advances will not be issued. All employees who travel may obtain a College-issued credit card that may be used in lieu of a cash advance. Under no circumstances will an advance be issued for airfare, lodging, or registration fees. A College-issued credit card may be used for reimbursable items for which receipts are required; however, they may not be used for per diem meals or incidentals.

Lodging and Per Diem Overview

Lodging and Per Diem rates adopted by the State of Nevada are the same rate for employees of the federal government established by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). These "federal" rates are updated every October 1 of each year and can be found on the GSA website. The State of Nevada has adopted these federal lodging and per diem rates but has not adopted the federal regulations outlined at the GSA site.

The best way to get the latest GSA rate is to use the "Search by State" option on the GSA website and select appropriate fiscal year in the dropdown box. Travelers are responsible for using appropriate fiscal year GSA rates.

Lodging: U.S. Travel


Federal lodging and per diem rates are established by location and season. If the travel destination (city or county) is not specifically identified (i.e., "non-surveyed"), a standard U.S. Continental (CONUS) lodging rate must be used. All lodging rates exclude taxes and special fees assessed by the location, thus the combined lodging reimbursable amount includes the room rate plus local taxes and special fees assessed all customers regardless of the room rate (example: utility surcharges). Lodging taxes and fees are limited to the taxes/fees on reimbursable lodging costs. For example, if the maximum lodging rate is $50 per night, and you elect to stay at a hotel that costs $100 per night, you can only claim the amount of taxes/fees on $50 which is the maximum authorized lodging amount.

Receipts are required for lodging. If a lodging receipt is unavailable from the hotel because of use of an online booking service (e.g., Expedia), a reservation receipt will be accepted if it shows payment has been made in full, gives detail on the days and hotel covered by the receipt, and is supported by other receipts of associated travel (e.g., airfare receipt, airport parking, proof of attendance, etc.).

Exceptions to the Federal Lodging Rates

Exceptions to the federal lodging rates are capped at a maximum amount and must be approved in advance by the individual authorized to approve the employee's travel request.

Exceptions to the rate of reimbursement for lodging include the following:

  1. Lodging is procured at a prearranged place such as a hotel when a meeting, conference or training session is held or;
  2. Costs have escalated because of special events; lodging within prescribed allowances cannot be obtained nearby; cost to commute to/from the nearby location exceed the cost savings from occupying less expensive lodging.
  3. As otherwise approved by TMCC president.

The maximum allowable rate approved under these exceptions is based on rates published on the GSA website. Whether the travel destination is not specifically listed on the GSA website (i.e., it is "non-surveyed"; less frequently traveled and uses a "standard" U.S. Continental [CONUS] rate) or it is a surveyed site specifically listed on the GSA website. The State Administrative Manual (Section 0200, Travel) defines the cap (maximum allowed over per diem).

Reasons for exceptions must be justified. All these calculated amounts are before applicable taxes and fees.

In-State Exception

If there is a justifiable exception for in-state lodging, 150% of the federal per diem rate for non-surveyed in-state sites may be used to calculate the lodging reimbursement. There is no exception to in-state lodging rates for surveyed sites (e.g., Las Vegas).

Out-of-State Exception

If there is a justifiable exception for out-of-state lodging, 175% of the federal rate for surveyed out-of-state sites or 300% of the standard federal rate for non-surveyed out-of-state sites may be used to calculate the lodging reimbursement.

Travel Less than 75 Miles One Way from Duty Station

Reimbursement for overnight lodging in areas less than 75 miles from a principal station must be justified in the expense report.

Examples of reasons for overnight stays include:

  • Inclement weather conditions make travel difficult.
  • Late official meetings are required.
  • Early start time of meeting makes same-day travel to meeting site difficult.
  • Individuals involved are conference hosts responsible for meeting arrangements.

Per Diem: U.S. Travel

Meals will be reimbursed in accordance with the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) allowance. Receipts are not required for the M&IE allowance.

TMCC's purchase card may not be used for per diem meals or incidental expenses.

Employees may receive reimbursement for breakfasts even though continental breakfasts are provided. Employees are not reimbursed for meals furnished to them during a conference, meeting or hosted event. Meals exceeding the state reimbursement rates will not be allowed as part of the registration fee when listed as a optional item on registration form.

Meal time frames are:

  • Breakfast: 12:01 a.m.–10 a.m.
  • Lunch: 10:01 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Dinner: 3:01 p.m.–12 a.m.

Breakfast per diem will not be reimbursed for travelers who depart their home city after 9 a.m. Dinner per diem will not be reimbursed for travelers who return to their home city before 5 p.m.

Reimbursement for per diem meals on multi-day College business trips to areas less than 75 miles from a principal station must be justified (based on same reasons as detailed for lodging exceptions for trips under 75 miles).

When an employee travels less than 75 miles (one way) and for a period less than 24 hours, the employee is entitled to transportation reimbursement but is not entitled to receive reimbursement for meals for the day unless an exception is made by the appropriate cabinet representative.

Incidental Per Diem covers luggage carts, metered parking, subway/bus use, toll charges; receipts are not required. If these charges exceed the incidental rate, you may expense that amount if receipts are attached.

Lodging and Per Diem: Foreign Travel

Foreign travel lodging and per diem rates are the same as provided by the United States Department of State (DOS) at the State Department's website.

When traveling on federal funds (grant funds) to foreign countries, travelers must comply with the provisions of the Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. § 40118) and the requirements of 41 CFR Part 301-10, which requires the use of U.S. flag carrier regardless of any cost savings that may be obtained by using a foreign air carrier.

Employees renting cars in foreign countries (including Canada and Mexico) must elect to purchase the CDW/LDW insurance coverage offered by the rental car vendor as the insurance coverage included in the State of Nevada rental car vendor contracts are valid only in the United States.

Employees are encouraged to obtain recommended immunizations prior to traveling overseas.

Additional information on foreign travel insurance can be found on TMCC's Risk Management website.

Method of Travel: Overview

Travel should be by the least expensive method available when total travel time, salary of traveler, and cost of transportation are considered. Air coach is recommended to all areas serviced. Use of other than a rental vehicle for trips over 50 miles requires justification.

Remember: When traveling on College business, use seat belts.


Airline Upgrade Charges

When flying, the additional fees to upgrade services (e.g., early boarding pass, Business Select, priority seating, TSA pre-check fees, etc.) will not be reimbursed to the traveler unless there is an exception such as there are no other seats available and no alternative flight. Fees for up to two checked baggage will be reimbursed, with receipts attached.

Bonus Flight Points

Some commercial airlines allow the accumulation of free bonus flight points to travelers based on miles flown or as an inducement to travel with that airline. Any flight bonus points received by the College or College employees as a result of College-paid air travel shall, whenever possible, be used to meet College travel needs.

Traveler can not claim reimbursement for personal flight bonus miles used for College business travel.

Canceled Trips

Advance planning for travel will allow for purchase of airline tickets at discount prices. Such rates usually involve a penalty in the event the trip is not taken or a flight segment is changed. An employee may be held responsible for a penalty incurred if a trip is not taken or is changed as a result of his/her own actions or for his/her personal convenience.  An explanation of the circumstances and justification for the cancellation or change fee is to be included in the expense report. The explanation can be included in the memo field of the expense report or included as an attachment.

Any airline tickets that are not used and cannot be refunded becomes a credit that can be used on future travel. The credit must be used for future College business travel.

To ensure that your spend authorization is canceled, contact the Travel Accounting staff as soon as the trip has been canceled.

Rental Cars

Rental Car Companies

Certain rental car agencies have agreed to provide what the Risk Management Division has determined to be minimum acceptable insurance coverage, and State and Business Center Purchasing has developed agreements with each of them.

If your trip involves rental cars, refer to BCN Risk Management under "Rental Vehicles".

Use of any company not authorized by Purchasing may expose the College to increased liability in the event of an accident and is prohibited. Vehicles must be rented in the name of the individual, and the code and pin should be referenced. Do not obtain insurance coverage. Reservations may be made direct or through your travel agent.

Other rental car companies should only be used if the traveler's destination city is not serviced by one of the contracted agencies, and justification must be provided.

Collision Deductible Insurance On Rental Cars

It is not necessary to purchase collision damage waivers from state-contracted car rental companies, as these protections are already included in the negotiated agreements. Should it be required to rent a vehicle outside of these agreements, employees should rent the vehicle using the College-provided credit card, which provides coverage for physical damage to the rented vehicle. If a rental vehicle cannot be rented from a contracted company or by using the College-provided credit card, the damage coverage should be accepted and paid for at the time of the rental and submitted for reimbursement.

In the event an employee driving a rental car on College business is involved in a collision, the individual is to submit a Vehicle Accident Report of the accident through the supervisor authorizing the travel. The report is to be sent to the rental car agency and BCN's Risk Management. Any related correspondence is to be attached to the report and a copy sent to TMCC's Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services. Individuals are not to make direct payment and seek reimbursement. Such action may result in the individual absorbing the charge.

State Motor Pool

Use of State Motor Pools

The state motor pool may be used for Carson City, Reno, and Las Vegas. Reservations for state motor pool cars require a Nevada State Motor Pool Daily Vehicle Approval form, signed by the employee's appointing authority. A copy of the signed form should be faxed to the appropriate motor pool site to reserve a vehicle. The traveler must present the originally signed form at the time of vehicle pickup.

See: State of Nevada Motor Pool for rates and forms.

Private Automobile

Private Automobile Usage

Unless specifically authorized in writing by the employee's supervisor for the College's convenience, an employee who makes a single trip greater than 200 miles shall use a rental car, State Motor Pool vehicle, or air flight instead of a personal vehicle, if any of these three options is less expensive than the mileage reimbursement rate of personal vehicle.

Airfare in lieu of the mileage reimbursement rate will be used when it is the least expensive travel reimbursement rate.

An employee approved to use their own personal vehicle at the convenience of the College will be allowed reimbursement at the standard mileage reimbursement rate for which a deduction is allowed for travel under federal income tax laws. Nevada state mileage reimbursement rates are provided by the Nevada State Department of Administration, Budget Division, which periodically announces the current rates to be in effect throughout the year.

If an accident occurs while using a personal vehicle for College business, the employee’s personal insurance coverage will have primary responsibility for damages/liabilities.

For other information on use of private cars, refer to BCN Risk Management under "Personal/Privately Owned Vehicles."

Private Automobile Usage Reimbursement

In the expense report list trip miles by trip, specifying location to location miles, times and, dates. In order to verify mileage, online documentation by MapQuest, Google Maps, etc. must be attached to the expense report.

Private car standard mileage reimbursement rate includes the cost of gas; gas purchases will not be reimbursed separately.

The College uses a "duty station standard" in determining allowable reimbursable miles. An individual is normally assigned a basic duty station (office, first classroom assignment, etc.). The mileage from home to the duty station during a normal workweek schedule is assumed to be a normal commute to the work place and not allowable as mileage reimbursement. Subsequent mileage from the duty station (office or first classroom assignment) is allowable mileage reimbursement.

Performing business during the initial commute from home to the duty station is considered a part of the normal commute travel and not allowable for mileage reimbursement. If in the extraordinary circumstance that attending a business function during the normal commute travel causes the individual to incur additional miles over the normal home-to-duty station mileage, then the difference in mileage is reimbursable.

If an individual is called out on special assignment or emergency beyond the normal work schedule, mileage from home-to-duty station is reimbursable.

If two employees travel in a private vehicle on College business, only one employee is entitled to mileage reimbursement.

Expense Report Reimbursement Procedure

Within fifteen days after completion of a trip, an expense report must be completed in Workday. If filed later than fifteen days, attach an explanation. Receipts should be attached to expense report including all items purchased with a PCard.

If travelers use their personal funds for the purchase of airline tickets or the payment of conference/workshop registration fees, reimbursement cannot be made until completion of the travel.

A spend authorization should be prepared and submitted before airline tickets are ordered from travel agencies. Special arrangements can be made to pay for tickets in advance of the trip; using the PCard is the preferred option.

Conference Registration Fees

  • Registration fees may be paid in advance directly to the conference.
  • Registration fees may be charged to a College credit card.
  • Include registration fee expense in the expense report.

All receipts must be attached to the expense report. If documentation is not available, a letter of explanation signed by the employee's supervisor must be attached to the claim form.

If a purchasing card was used to pay for any portion of the trip, the claimant must attach the receipt denoting payment. If a personal MasterCard is used to pay for any portion of the trip, coordinate with the Auxiliary Services staff to differentiate purchasing card charges from personal MasterCard charges.

Duplication Of Per Diem Items

Claims for per diem allowance must take into consideration meals or lodging included in conference registration fees and for meals served on public transportation without additional cost to the traveler. Conference agendas must be attached to the expense report.

Non Per Diem Items

Parking or storage fees will be allowed when considered necessary for College or private cars. Charges should be itemized in the expense report. Receipts are required.

Other non per diem items that are reimbursed if receipts are attached include: taxi, airport shuttle, and internet services.

Non-Travel Items

Travel claims filed in conformity with these regulations shall be considered full compensation for all meals and lodging, including tips, and for minor miscellaneous expenses such as local telephone calls. Toll calls may be itemized to claim reimbursement, if College related. The person and place called must be identified and a receipt is required.

Team or Group Travel

College employees on trips accompanying a team or group follow the same procedures.

If a TMCC employee is paying for all reimbursable expenses for the group's travel, attach a list of trip participants to the expense report. Reimbursement will be for actual expenses. Employee may use a purchasing card, since reimbursement is based on actual expense, not per diem; however, reimbursement may not exceed per diem and lodging rates. Tips on group food purchases may not exceed 20%, and may not exceed per diem meal rates.

Individual students traveling on TMCC-related activities should use the spend authorization and expense report procedures. Additional procedures for College-sponsored field trips are referenced by TMCC’s Risk Management.

Guest Speaker, Independent Contractor and Accreditation Travel

If reimbursing for travel expenses, TMCC is limited by state policy to reimbursing at the same rates as employees for transportation, lodging, meals, and other per diem and the same procedures for required receipts and claim forms must be followed.

For this reason, it is recommended that an honorarium be paid, or a contract or agreement be negotiated that is inclusive of all costs to the speaker/performer/independent contractor/accreditation team whenever possible. 

Combining College Business and Personal Travel

Employees who incorporate private and College travel must demonstrate the costs borne by the College are not increased by the personal travel. The employee must clearly delineate the private and College charges when submitting an expense report.

When College and private travel is not clearly delineated, the travel processor will determine the reimbursement due to the employee. For questions about this calculation, contact Auxiliary Services.