Berkeley Lab

Guidelines for Travel: Quick Tips

A PDF version of this document is available for download.
GET APPROVAL TO TRAVEL
A Domestic or Foreign Travel Authorization (as appropriate) in TREX must be entered before funds are committed. Travelers must obtain advance approval from their Supervisor/Group Leader for all local, domestic and foreign travel to ensure funds are available.

FOREIGN:
You must have a Foreign Travel Authorization in TREX 30 days prior to departure. Division approval is needed before incurring any expenses. DOE/Travel Department approval is required before leaving the country. See further considerations on page 2.

It is the responsibility of each traveler to adhere to the LBNL Travel Policies: https://commons.lbl.gov/display/rpm2/Travel+Policy

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION REIMBURSEMENT
RECEIPT Yes
Include conference registration receipt. Include the conference program. Meals provided are not reimbursed. Use the “Personal Days and Meals Provided” menu in the TREX expense report.

CONFERENCE REPORTING BEFORE INCURRING COSTS
Travelers must submit conference travel requests to their group administrative assistant at the earliest possible date before the trip. Travelers must not incur any costs before the conference attendance has been reported and authorized by Conference Services. This is a separate approval from the Domestic or Foreign Travel approval. Travelers must clearly state the purpose, presentation title and benefit to the program or Lab on the travel authorization.

AIRFARE
RECEIPT Yes
For all domestic and foreign travel, use our designated travel agency (Carlson Wagonlit Travel). Airline reservations are made through the CONCUR online booking tool or via Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) agency at 1 (888) 243-1125. Do not use other travel agencies/agents or websites. For foreign travel, all travelers must follow the Fly America Act – Use of US Carriers.

Standard (1) baggage charges are reimbursed.
For air upgrades see Travel Policy (https://commons.lbl.gov/display/rpm2/Travel+Policy). Sometimes, air upgrades cannot be reimbursed.

MILEAGE (PERSONAL CAR)
RECEIPT No
Include your to and from locations.

TAXI/SHUTTLE/LYFT/UBER FARES
RECEIPT Yes if $75 or more. Include to and from locations.

RENTAL CAR
RECEIPT Yes (itemize) Travelers are expected to use http://travel.lbl.gov/reservations/car.html.
Additional insurance is not reimbursable.

Berkeley Lab preferred rental car vendors, see http://travel.lbl.gov/reservations/car.html

OTHER GROUND TRANSPORTATION

RECEIPT Yes, if $75 or more. Examples include gas, parking, tolls and bridge fares, rail/subway etc.

HOTEL
RECEIPT Yes
Please provide an itemized hotel bill. Hotel reservations are permissible when travel is more than 150 miles from Berkeley Lab, and requires more than a single calendar day. Lodging tax is broken out in the domestic travel expense reports but not in foreign travel expense reports. You should obtain government room rates where available, or the most economical rate offered.

Actual lodging expenses may exceed the applicable federal rate to a maximum of 300% (see Federal Travel Regulation) if any of certain special or unusual circumstances apply. See travel policy.

MEALS
RECEIPT No
Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) claims are made based on actual expenses-not a flat daily fee aka per diem.

PREPAYMENTS
RECEIPT Yes
Prepayments can be made for conference registrations and for lodging when the bill is paid in advance. Submit a prepayment expense report in TREX. See the Prepayment guide, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1A24v_MSPBKJ-LvnJLt7emcf7bBnul80P/viewfor requesting a prepayment in TREX.

COMBINING PERSONAL DAYS WITH BUSINESS TRAVEL
When you combine personal/vacation days with business travel, reimbursement is limited to expenses for business travel only. When you take personal/vacation days, the number of personal days must be specified on the Expense Report. Vacation time must comply with the DOE 1:1 ratio. You are permitted to take one vacation day for every one day of official business conducted. Contact the Travel Office (travelhelp@lbl.gov) for guidance prior to submitting a foreign Travel Authorization in the TREX system to be certain.

NO ENTERTAINMENT


BE TIMELY

Expense Reports are expected to be submitted within 30 days after completion of the trip, using the Berkeley Lab’s Travel Expense reimbursement system (TREX). Expense Reports submitted after 90 days are considered “late submissions” and must be approved by the Division Business Manager or the Division Deputy of Operations in TREX prior to submission to the Travel Office.

REPORTING FOR FOREIGN TRAVEL

For foreign travel, a copy of the final presentation (talk, and/or abstract, and agenda) must be attached, as a separate item with the Expense Report. If a presentation is not available, DOE will accept an abstract or brief summary. Proprietary information can be deleted before submitting presentation.

BE FRUGAL

1. Expenses for others are not reimbursable.
2. Select the most economical mode of transportation.

BE AWARE, BE INFORMED

Be aware that additional training such as the High Threat Security Overseas Seminar (HTSOS) is now required when traveling overseas. The U.S. Department of State has increased required security training requirements to better educate and prepare those who are on foreign travel. Those who are traveling outside the US for more than 45 cumulative days within a calendar year must complete the Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT) course.