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Administrative Services: Booking and Reporting Travel

Administrative Services supports the MIT Libraries' mission and goals in the areas of Budget & Financial, Facilities & Operations, Personnel and Staff Services.

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Training/Travel Policy Note

For non-professional development travel, please click this link and provide your travel information to for tracking purposes. Any questions may be sent to

For all professional development-related questions, please contact

Travel Advisory Guidelines

Travel Reporting

Travel Card Expenses

Know before you go!

Non-reimbursable expenses:

  • frequent flyer mileage or rewards card fees
  • costs incurred by unreasonable failure to cancel transportation or hotel reservations
  • fines for automobile violations including parking tickets
  • personal auto repairs, insurance deductibles, and surcharges
  • lost or stolen tickets, cash, or property
  • travel accident insurance premiums
  • expenses not directly related to the performance of the travel assignment
  • hotel movie rentals and airline headsets
  • airfare, hotel, rental cars, or any other travel purchased with frequent flyer miles or rewards points and/or cost for frequent flyer miles or rewards points
  • toiletry items
  • medications
  • dependent care for non-faculty
  • health club fees
  • magazine, newspapers, and books unrelated to business
  • additionally purchased car rental insurance for domestic travel, excluding Alaska
  • personal credit card delinquency fees or finance charges
  • travel insurance (trip protection or trip cancellation insurance)
  • travel accident insurance

Car Rentals

IMPORTANT: Travelers using rental cars for domestic business travel should NOT purchase the optional collision insurance coverage offered, because MIT will not pay the charge nor reimburse you for it. The cost of collision insurance is already included in MIT’s rates at preferred rental companies.  Travelers may, however, purchase car insurance when traveling internationally.

MIT has two preferred car rental vendors--Budget and Avis.

These rental car companies can be used for official Institute business and also for personal travel (however, be sure to use the correct corporate ID numbers) Please do not use any other rental agency unless one of these two companies are not available in the area.

AVIS Rental Cars
Avis Car Rentals For business rentals the MIT Corporate Account Number is A122600; for personal/leisure rentals the MIT Account Number can be found on the following AVIS link. More information can be found here:

Budget Car Rentals For business rentals the MIT Corporate Account Number is T240202; for personal/leisure rentals the MIT Account Number can be found on the following Budget link. More information can be found here:

*If a Traveler rents a car from an agency other than Avis or Budget, MIT's partner car rental agencies and is involved in an at-fault accident, an internal deductible of $1,500 will be placed on the insurance claim.  See MIT Office of Insurance for details on this policy.

*Personal Rentals
Insurance is NOT included when using the Budget/Avis leisure discount codes.  Any claim will be the responsibility of the driver. 

Meal Allocations

Now to better reflect meal costs in particular destinations we are now going by the GSA meal allocation rates for the specific city/areas:

For domestic travel, the meal allocation rates per day can be found here: (M&IE Rate)

For International travel, the meal allocation rates per day are here:  (M&IE Rate)

PLEASE NOTE: when reporting meals per day in CONCUR (MIT's travel reporting system) You will want to use expense type meals. see below for an example of rates for a trip to Cambridge, MA. Note the first/last day of travel is different than a full (total) day in between.

Non-Travel Allowable Expenses

As detailed in the MIT Travel Policy Section 2.02 Using the MIT Travel Card, the MIT Travel Card may be used to pay for local travel and dining expenses associated with a meeting, and such charges may be expensed in Concur, the MIT Online Expense Tool. The MIT Procurement Card may also be used for such expenses. The same requirements for reconciling these expenses (detailed below) apply when either card is used. *Local travel is travel within the six New England states of CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT.

All food and beverage expenses for business meetings must be charged to General Ledger Account 421000 (Meetings – Food and Beverages or business meeting/meal).

Expenses for meetings, retreats, seminars, symposia, workshops or events, including food and beverages, may be allowable costs on a federal award if the sponsor expressly states they are allowable. In order for the expense to be allowable, the meeting's primary purpose must be dissemination of technical information beyond MIT. The meeting must also be necessary and reasonable for successful performance of the federal award. Standard group meetings in which information is shared among laboratory members do not qualify as allowable costs.

To substantiate the business purpose of the meeting expenditures, Travelers must provide the following:

  • The purpose of the meeting or topic of discussion
  • A list of attendees (names and group association) present at the meeting
  • Itemized receipts

If no itemized receipt is available for a business meeting/meal (and an attempt has been made to obtain one), the expense type in the Concur reporting tool should be changed to "non-recoverable expense"’ and allocated to a non-sponsored cost object.

To charge a business meeting/meal with no itemized receipt to a sponsored cost object, approval must be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) or the sponsor.

As with non-meeting-related meals, alcoholic beverages must be segregated and charged to a non-sponsored discretionary cost object.

Travel Reimbursement

Are You Traveling? Tips for Prompt Expense Reimbursement

Publication Date

The VPF Travel and Card Services team handles more than 160 expense reports per day, with the average total of $1,629. If you are traveling on MIT business and want to get your travel expenses processed and reimbursed as quickly as possible, check out the top five reasons that expense reports get sent back to the traveler and tips to avoid these common reporting mistakes and omissions.

  1. Missing receipts/missing itemization: Itemized receipts are required for expenses of $75 or more, for all business meeting meals, all meals with alcohol and all local travel expenses regardless of the cost. Itemized receipts are also required for airfare, hotels, and car rentals. Consider downloading Concur Mobile to your smart phone and taking pictures of your receipts for easy upload to your expense report. (Remember to save the paper copy in case of an audit.)
  2. Business/first class airfare or upgrade fees are not itemized: Travelers may fly Business Class (or First Class if Business Class service is not offered) when the flight—or any segment of the round trip— has a scheduled in-air flying time greater than 6 hours, or the destination is outside North America (defined as the continental U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean Islands). Travelers must itemize the lowest available coach fare (providing documentation) and the airfare difference. Consider using The Travel Collaborative (TTC)—MIT’s preferred travel agency— or the Concur booking tool (fulfilled by TTC) for travel arrangements. TTC documents the equivalent coach fare on all itineraries. Unless specifically allowed by the sponsor, the cost of Business Class/First Class may not be charged to sponsored projects. Travelers must allocate the difference in airfare to a discretionary cost object.
  3. Alcohol not itemized: If alcohol is not permitted by the sponsor it must be itemized and charged to a discretionary account. Even if it is permitted by the DLC, it still must be itemized in Concur. An itemized receipt is required for meals with alcohol regardless of the amount.
  4. Meals on hotel bill require confirmation no alcohol was included: If you charge meals to your hotel bill and they are less than $75 you need to include a comment that the meals did not include alcohol if there was none. For meals more than $75, or if there is alcohol, you must have an itemized receipt and itemize them in Concur.  (See #3 above.)
  5. Missing comments on miscellaneous expenses under “other fees, materials, incidentals”: You must include a comment for miscellaneous expenses explaining how they relate to the business purpose of the travel. Please note that every purchase you make while traveling is not necessarily reimbursable. For example, if you forgot your toothpaste and bought some on your trip, it is not reimbursable. While dental hygiene is important, toothpaste itself has no direct benefit to MIT or the sponsor. Use this sponsored-focused example when considering miscellaneous travel expense reporting.

Review MIT Travel Policies.