Travel policy

As a traveler on official University of Washington business, you must adhere to policies and guidelines of the State, the University of Washington, and the Department of Medicine as well as to the internal policies of your division. In general, travel must be:

  • Directly work-related
  • Obtained at the most economical price
  • Pre-approved by the appropriate budget authority

You should:

  • Be familiar and comply with State, University and Department/Division travel policies and procedures before embarking on a trip
  • Obtain prior authorization when required
  • Exercise care in incurring expenses
  • Return as promptly as possible after UW business is completed
  • Prepare and submit request for reimbursement, with appropriate receipts, in a timely manner

Arranging travel

Please consult with your division first for specific travel rules/processes. You can either make travel arrangements on your own or, depending on division policy, you can work with division staff to make the arrangements.

Division head preapproval is required for:

  1. Foreign travel
  2. Lodging exceeding 150% of the per diem


Submit reimbursement requests to your division or program administrator promptly upon your return. Reimbursement will be prepared using eTravel, an electronic processing system.  


All travel reimbursements must be reviewed and approved by an authorized individual (defined as your supervisor or higher.)

Travel card

The optional UW Travel Card is an individual liability card for permanent faculty and staff who have been employed at the University of Washington for at least 6 months and is to be used for official UW business travel expenses only. It is not intended to be used for personal purchases.

Travel card holders are required to pay the entire balance on the card monthly whether or not they have received reimbursement from the University for their travel expenses.

If you wish to have an individual travel card, contact your division who will submit the request to the travel office.

Personal travel

Adding personal time/travel to a UW business trip is allowable only when all of the following conditions exist:

  • Primary purpose of trip is official UW business
  • Approved leave is used during personal portion
  • UW does not incur any extra expenses beyond what it would normally incur

When personal travel is planned in conjunction with UW business travel, the traveler must:

  • Purchase airfare for personal trip separate from the UW business trip if personal time is at a location other than the UW business location
  • Keep personal and business expenses separate during the trip
  • Note personal time, date and location on reimbursement
  • Deduct/pro-rate any personal expenses from reimbursement