Travel Policy

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2004 |LAST UPDATED: February 20, 2014 | Policy Section: travel-entertainment

Responsible Executive

Carolyn Ainslie, vice president for finance and treasurer

Responsible Office

Financial Services


Jason Knoch, executive director for financial services, (609) 258-9181

I. Policy StatementBACK TO TOP

Guiding principles:

  1. Support the productivity and safety of those traveling on University business
  2. Ensure compliance with external and internal requirements
  3. Use University resources wisely

General considerations:

  • Travelers should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of business travel on behalf of Princeton University.
  • Be sure to have necessary approvals and travel documents in order prior to your travel.
  • Book airline tickets as far in advance as possible (at least 14 days) in order to obtain advance purchase discounts and optimal travel times.
  • Use of University preferred travel vendors is strongly encouraged and recommended on sponsored research projects to ensure compliance.
  • Follow the terms of sponsored research agreements for travel under such agreements.

II. Who is Affected by this PolicyBACK TO TOP

  • Anyone who travels or entertains on behalf of the University using University or federal funds.
  • Anyone who approves or processes travel arrangements and expenses.

III. Definitions


An expense that is suitable or fitting for a particular valid business purpose.

Allowable expense

A necessary, reasonable, and appropriate expense incurred for the primary benefit of University business and therefore permitted to be reimbursed or directly charged based on the permission of the University or by the terms of federally or privately sponsored agreements.

Business travel

Travel for the purpose of conducting business for the sole benefit of the University.


Minimum purchase or service required to achieve a particular business objective.

Original Receipt

The original merchant receipt or invoice issued by the supplier or service provider to document and substantiates the business transaction. When the original receipt is not available or does not contain adequate information, a cancelled check, credit card receipt, supplier statement, or a paid notice will be accepted.

Per Diem

A per diem is an allowance determined by the U.S. government to cover meals and incidentals while traveling for business purposes. Per diem amounts are published by the General Services Administration (Domestic) and State Department (International) and are specific to major cities.

Reasonable Expense

An expense that is ordinary and reflects a prudent decision to incur the expense on behalf of University business. Not extreme or excessive.


    1. Funding Sources
      University travelers are responsible for understanding and adhering to specific restrictions that may be required by the funder. These restrictions supersede any restrictions outlined in this policy.
    2. Alternative to Travel
      Please consider videoconferencing or web conferencing as an alternative to travel. The University provides a variety of options, including desktop videoconferencing, videoconference rooms, and portable videoconferencing. For more information on video and web conferencing, including available locations and instructions, visit the Videoconferencing website.
    3. Receipt Requirements
      Original receipts for all expenditures greater than or equal to $50 are required. If sponsor or departmental requirements are more restrictive, the more restrictive receipt requirement will take precedence. 
    4. Cash Advances
      Travelers may receive a cash advance to pay for travel expenses when other payment options (e.g. direct bill, credit card, etc.) are not available or do not meet the business need. Advances must be requested on a Cash Advance Voucher. Unspent funds must be returned to the Financial Service Center. Cash advances must be properly substantiated and submitted within certain time limitations. For specific requirements, please see Reimbursement Policy.
    5. Submission and Approval of Expenses
      All travel and entertainment related expenses must be substantiated in writing within 60 days after the expense is incurred or after returning from travel. After 60 days any reimbursement will be reported to the IRS as taxable income. For additional detail, please see our reimbursement policy.

      Approvers are responsible for verifying that funds are available for the trip and that any required special approvals have been obtained prior to departure (e.g., approval for foreign travel under sponsored projects). Approval of the Business Travel Expense Report will be taken as evidence of the reasonableness of the claim, the availability of funds, and the necessity of the trip in furtherance of University business.

      When foreign travel is charged to a sponsored project or program, send the following, along with a Business Travel Expense Report:
      1. Foreign Travel Checklist
      2. Waiver of Fly America Act - if a non-U.S. Air Carrier is used and a University-approved travel agent FAA waiver cannot be obtained.
    6. Pre-Trip Approval
      The traveler is responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary approval from their supervisor to take the trip, and for coordinating with the appropriate business manager to ensure that funds are available.
    7.   Federally Funded or Non-Federally Funded Sponsored Projects or Programs
      In order for sponsored project or program funds to pay for travel to scientific, technical, or scholarly meetings, the trip must be approved by the principal investigator as being of definite value to the work covered under the sponsor award. In certain cases, the principal investigator may need to seek sponsor approval for the trip. Sponsor approval requests should be coordinated well in advance of the trip through the Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA).

      Normally, travel to scientific and scholarly meetings at the sponsor’s expense will be limited to project personnel. However, other factors such as the size of the project and the agenda of the meeting may justify sending additional participants. Travel costs incurred by large groups for special activities of the project must be approved in writing by the sponsoring agency and the principal investigator. When a large group attends a scientific meeting, an attempt should be made to obtain reduced rates for travel and hotel accommodations.

      Refer to the sponsor guidelines for specific compliance requirements. Questions on sponsor award travel should be directed to ORPA.
    8.   Tax
      U.S. Sales, Occupancy, and Other Tax
      The University is a non-profit 501(c)(3) institution, and as such is exempt from tax on most domestic purchases. However, tax exemptions vary by state and by type of good or service purchased. University business travelers must make every reasonable effort to ensure that tax is not paid. For more information on tax exemptions, including a list of exemption certificates by state, see: Sales Tax Exemptions.

      Foreign Value Added Tax (VAT) and Goods and Services Tax (GST)
      Foreign tax, including VAT and GST is an allowable business expense.
    9. Passports and Visas
      Expenses related to visas and passports required for business travel are allowable expenses.
    10. Vaccinations
      Expenses for vaccinations required for business travel are allowable expenses. University travelers are strongly encouraged to obtain vaccinations through University Health Services.
    11. Emergency Contacts
      The University maintains a Travel Registration Database which is an important resource to help keep our travelers safe and secure. The following guidelines apply to its use:
      Undergraduate students: Must register for all University sponsored overnight travel, except for within the New York City – Philadelphia corridor.
      Graduate students: Must register for all University sponsored international travel.
      Faculty and staff: Strongly encouraged to register University sponsored international travel.

      Emergencies When Traveling Overseas
      The University has contracted with International SOS to provide worldwide access to emergency and medical assistance services 24 hours a day. International SOS services are designed to help you with access to medical, personal, travel, security, and legal services when away from home. Call International SOS at any time to gain assistance with simple or critical matters.

      For additional information, including contact information, and to print an International SOS card, visit the travel assistance website.
    12. Accidents, Thefts, and Other Safety Issues
      Accidents, thefts, and other crimes while traveling on university business must be reported immediately to the proper authorities, consistent with local/state laws. In addition, report issues to the Department of Public Safety at (609) 258-1000 and to your home department as soon as possible.
    13. Exceptions to Policy
      There may be unique and valid business needs which require exception to this policy. Exceptions must meet a valid business need and not simply a traveler preference, and must be requested prior to incurring the expense. Exceptions must be properly documented on the Business Expense Report. Please contact the Financial Service Center which can assist in routing the request to the appropriate approver.
    14. Travel Reimbursed by an Outside Entity
      When travel (not part of a sponsored project or program) is being paid for by an outside entity, the expenses should be paid for directly by the outside entity. When expenses are not paid for directly by the outside entity, the traveler is responsible for completing a business travel expense report and indicating that the expense will be reimbursed by an outside entity. In these cases, the department is responsible for billing the outside entity and for ensuring the appropriate funds are received.
    15. Personal Travel
      If personal travel is combined with University business travel, only the business portion of the trip is an allowable expense. Personal expenses should be paid for using personal credit cards or other methods that do not result in the University paying for the personal expense. “In lieu of” and “tradeoff” expense reimbursement is not allowed (e.g., although incurring a Saturday stay reduces the cost of your flight, you may not use the difference to offset all or part of your personal expenses).

    1. Travel Agency
      The use of a travel agency is optional. The University has contracted with the two travel agencies listed below. If you decide to use an agency other than the two university contracted agencies, and you are using sponsored funds, please be sure that the agency is both “Fly America” certified and “Open Skies” certified.
      1. Deluxe Travel Bureau
        Contact: Wendy Lee Wintle
        Reservations: (609) 924-6270
        Fly America Certified: Yes
        Open Skies Certified: Yes
        NCAA Certified: No
      2. Anthony Travel
        Contact: Debbie Abdelgainy
        Reservations: (909) 605-2018 or (877) 824-2254
        Fly America Certified: Yes
        Open Skies Certified: No
        NCAA Certified: Yes
    2. Preferred Suppliers
      Princeton University has negotiated significant discount agreements with hotels and car rental companies. University travelers are strongly encouraged to use these suppliers when making travel arrangements. For more information and a list of preferred suppliers, visit the Business Travel Services Portal.
    3. Reservation Timing
      Travel planning should be completed as far in advance as possible. Advance travel planning is key to obtaining the lowest airfares and securing first choice flight times and room accommodations.
    4. Frequent Flyer/Guest/Reward Points
      Employees may keep all rewards related to travel (e.g., Delta Sky Miles, Marriot Rewards, etc.). Enrollment fees for these programs are a personal expense and are not reimbursable.
    5. Itinerary Changes
      Fees associated with changes, provided there is a business reason, will be reimbursed. To be allowable on a sponsored research project, the change fee must be justified as having a direct benefit to the research.

    1. Booking Airfare
      Reservations should be made at least 14 days in advance to ensure the most convenient and cost effective fares. Transaction fees associated with business travel reservations are reimbursable.
    2. Airline Requirements for Federally Funded Sponsored Research Projects
      Under the Fly America Act (FAA), government regulations require the use of a U.S. air carrier when traveling outside the U.S. In some instances, a non-U.S. air carrier may be used if it meets one or more of the exception criteria listed in the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) guidelines section 301-10.135-138. The Waiver of Fly America Act lists all available exceptions, which include Code Share and Open Skies Agreements. Note that some federal agencies consider Canada, Mexico, and/or U.S. Territories as “foreign”. If the award terms and conditions do not specifically indicate that travel to/from Canada, Puerto Rico, or Mexico is considered as domestic travel, the trip is considered to be foreign travel.

      Code Share Agreement
      The Code Share Agreement provides for compliance with the Fly America Act if the U.S. air carrier is the ticketing agent and issues a flight on a non-U.S. air carrier. The payment for the airfare must be made to the U.S. air carrier. If a non-U.S. air carrier is the ticketing agent, the flight is considered a non-U.S. air carrier flight and is in violation of the Fly America Act.

      Open Skies Agreements
      Open Skies Agreements provides that qualifying travelers, whose travel is supported by federal funds, may travel on airlines from the European Union, Australia, Switzerland and Japan as well as U.S. Flag Air Carriers. For the Open Skies Agreements exception to be allowed and selected in the Waiver of Fly America Act, the following circumstances must be met, without exception:
      1. Travel is not being reimbursed using Department of State (including all of the Department of Defense) funding; and
      2. Travel is booked by an approved University Travel Agency, and travel voucher includes University Travel Agency’s certification of compliance with the Open Skies Agreement.
    3. Fares/Ticket Types
      Non-refundable fares should be booked in the majority of cases. Non-refundable tickets can cost up to 70% less than refundable tickets. Change fees on non-refundable tickets are an appropriate business expense.
    4. Class of Service
      Travelers must purchase the lowest available economy class airfare that meets the needs of the business trip. Travelers may upgrade the level of service at personal expense or by using their “frequent flyer” points, except as outlined below.

      Economy class upgrades (e.g., Economy Plus, exit row, aisle seat, etc.) are an allowable expense.

      Business class may be used for travel if your business office confirms before purchase that appropriate funds are available, and if any of the following conditions are met:
      • Any flight segment has a scheduled in-air flying time in excess of five hours, OR
      • The total scheduled in-air flight time, including connecting legs, is in excess of seven hours, OR
      • A medical justification has been documented by a primary care provider.

        Students must travel economy class regardless of duration or length of the flight.

        For travel expenses that are administered by Princeton but will be reimbursed in full by a 3rd party, business class travel is allowable if approved and documented by the sponsoring institution/entity and documented in the expense report.

        In rare cases, other extenuating circumstances may justify the use of business class for trips that do not meet the above conditions. These requests for exception must be approved in advance by the department chair or office head and by either the Dean of the Faculty or the Executive Vice President depending on the employee’s status.

        In cases where sponsored funds are being used, and where business class airfare or economy class upgrades are not an allowable expense, but the flight meets the exception criteria above, departmental funds may be used to cover the difference.

        When a medical condition requires an upgrade above economy class and sponsored funds must be used, the PI is responsible for securing written documentation from the physician stating that the upgrade is required due to a medical condition. The department manager is responsible for keeping that medical documentation on file, and be ready to present it upon request. The department manager approving the expense report is also responsible for ensuring that a note is included on the Business Travel Expense Report to indicate the department has the appropriate documentation on file. 
    5. Upgrades
      Costs associated with upgrades to business/first class are not an allowable business expense, except as outlined above.
    6. Changes, Cancelations, and Unused Tickets
      When travel plans must be changed due to unforeseen circumstances, the traveler is responsible for notifying the airline or travel agency that booked the ticket. Apply the unused ticket to the next business trip.

      Penalties for changes to an airline ticket for business reasons or circumstances beyond the traveler’s control are allowable expenses. For tickets purchased using federally-sponsored funds, contact the Office of Research and Project Administration to determine if the penalty may be charged to the grant.

      Unused tickets cannot be used for personal travel.
    7. Airline Clubs
      Airline club membership is not an allowable business expense.
    8. Baggage
      Charges for baggage that is reasonable and appropriate for the purpose and length of the trip are allowable. Charges for baggage that is personal in nature (e.g. golf clubs for a business trip) or that is not reasonable and appropriate for the purpose and length of the trip, is not allowable.
    9. Private Plane
      Travel by private airplane may be reimbursed at the cost of an equivalent coach fare, when such commercial plane service is available. When commercial plane service is not available, reimbursement will be at the lowest cost for other means of public transportation, if available.

    1. Reservations
      Reservations may be made through a University travel agency, by using an online booking Web site, or by contacting the hotel directly.

      The itemized hotel bill must always be provided.

      Travelers must cancel reservations to avoid no-show charges. If incurred, these fees are not an allowable business expense.
    2. Princeton University Negotiated Rates
      Princeton University has negotiated rates with a number of hotels. Information on these rates can be found on the Princeton Travel & Expense website
    3. Hotel Class and Rooms
      The class of hotel must be reasonable and appropriate for the business purpose and location. University travelers should stay in standard rooms only. Suites and other upgraded rooms are not allowable expenses. If there is a valid business need for a non-standard room, the business purpose must be documented and approval must be granted in advance by the department chair or office head.
      For general guidance on what would be considered a reasonable hotel rate for a specific location, see the U.S. General Services Administration website .
    4. Upgrades
      Travelers may only accept complimentary upgrades. Costs associated with upgrades are not an allowable business expense.
    5. Hotel Exercise Facility/Gym
      When exercise facilities are not provided for free by the hotel, exercise facility fees will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $15 per night. Exercise facility fees must be itemized on the hotel bill.
    6. In-Room Movies
      In-room movies are not an allowable business expense.
    7. Laundry and Dry Cleaning
      Laundry and/or dry cleaning charges will be reimbursed when an employee travels for 4 or more consecutive nights. The charge must be incurred while traveling (not after the trip is complete). If claiming a per diem for international travel, laundry is included in the per diem rate and may not be claimed as a separate expense.
    8. Lodging at Private Residences
      Although travelers may stay at private residences, this is not encouraged. Gifts in lieu of lodging are not an allowable expense and will not be reimbursed.
    9. Room Service
      Room service is allowed but is limited to the Meal Allowance amounts.

    1. When to Use
      Rental cars should be used when they are less expensive than alternative means of transportation (e.g., taxi, car service, or train) or where there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost.
    2. Reservations
      The university has negotiated rates with Enterprise and National. Reservations should be made through the Business Travel Services Portal to ensure that travelers receive the negotiated rate.
    3. Princeton Universit Preferred Rental Agencies
      The University has negotiated significant discount agreements with Enterprise and National. University travelers should make every effort to use one of these two rental agencies. Booking car rentals through the Business Travel Services Portal will ensure that the traveler receives the University-negotiated rate.
    4. Car Class
      Rental of up to a mid-sized car is an allowable expense. Exceptions may be made if there are three or more employees traveling together, if the traveler is transporting sizeable equipment, or if there are other valid business needs. The exception must be documented on the traveler’s expense report.

      Motorcycle/moped rentals or vehicle upgrades are not an allowable business expenses.
    5. Insurance
      While on domestic University business, decline Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and personal liability insurance offered through the rental company. If proof of insurance is needed, contact the Department of Risk Management at 8-3046.

      When renting vehicles in a foreign country, collision auto liability insurance options should be accepted.
    6. Gasoline
      Employees are expected to refuel the rental car prior to returning to the rental agency and to decline the pre-paid fuel options. The cost of fuel is an allowable expense.
    7. Incidental Expenses
      All business-related tolls and parking charges that are not part of employee’s regular commute are allowable expenses.

      Tickets or fines associated with parking or travel violations, and charges for vehicle lockouts are not allowable expenses.
  6. TAXIS

    1. When to Use
      Taxis should be used for in-city destinations whenever possible, unless a rental car or other means of transport is more cost effective or where there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost.
    2. Tips
      It is customary to provide a tip to for taxi service of approximately 15%. A reasonable tip for taxi service is an allowable expense.
    3. Payment
      When possible, use a taxi service that accepts credit card payment and include the tip in the charge.

    1. When to Use
      Limousine and shuttle services should be used when they are less expensive than alternative means of transportation (e.g., train, taxi, or personal auto) or when there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost. When traveling with others, it is often more economical to coordinate travel times and share a limousine or shuttle service.
    2. Reservations & Preferred Service Providers
      Use one of our preferred vendors when reserving limousine or shuttle service for travel in the Philadelphia to New York corridor. Reference the Princeton University contract number to ensure you get the right pricing and do not pay tax. A list of preferred vendors and their contact information can be found on the Princeton Travel & Expense website.
    3. Tips
      Tips are included in the price we have negotiated with our preferred vendors for travel in the Philadelphia to New York corridor. Additional tipping is not an allowable expense. When using a non-preferred limousine or shuttle service for travel outside the Philadelphia to New York corridor, a tip of approximately 15% is an allowable expense.
    4. Payment
      When using a preferred vendor, a departmental credit card may be used for payment, or an invoice can be sent to the departmental contact. Personal credit cards should not be used to pay our preferred vendors.

      When using a non-preferred limousine or shuttle service for travel outside the Philadelphia to New York corridor, use a service that accepts credit card payment and include the tip in the charge.

    1. Acceptable Usage
      Use of personal auto for business purposes is allowed when it is less expensive than alternative means of transportation or when there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost. Use of personal automobile for normal commute is not an allowable expense.
    2. Mileage Reimbursement
      If a personal automobile is used for business purposes, you will be reimbursed at the current IRS authorized mileage rate for miles incurred in excess of your normal commute. The personal mileage reimbursement covers all costs related to the operation of the vehicle, including service, maintenance, insurance, depreciation, and gas. The current rate can be found on the Finance and Treasury website.
    3. Intercampus Travel
      The University provides a comprehensive free shuttle service for intercampus travel, including Forrestal and PPPL. Reimbursement for use of a personal automobile for intercampus travel is not an allowable expense unless there is a documented medical need.
    4. Gasoline
      The price of the gas is factored into the mileage reimbursement rate and is therefore not an allowable expense when traveling by personal automobile.
    5. Tolls
      All tolls incurred while traveling for business are allowable expenses. This does not include tolls incurred for normal commute.
    6. Parking
      All parking for business purposes are allowable expenses. Commute-related parking charges are not allowable expenses.
    7. Maintenance/Repairs/Fines
      Regular car maintenance, fines, penalties, towing, and repairs are not allowable expenses.

    1. Use of Government Auto
      Some government-sponsored projects have government vehicles assigned to them through the General Services Administration (GSA). Whenever possible these vehicles should be used by project personnel to meet travel requirements. Normally, the use of personal vehicles will not be permitted by sponsors for projects that have access to GSA vehicles. If a personal car is used, the traveler should indicate why a GSA vehicle was not used.
    2. Use of Princeton University Owned Vehicles
      The University owns a number of vehicles that may be available for business travel needs. Travelers should check with their business office or with Transportation and Parking Services to determine if there is an appropriate vehicle available for use. University vehicles may only be operated by approved drivers and only for University business. When driving a Princeton University Owned Vehicle, the purchase of gas is an allowable expense. See Fleet Safety & University-Approved Drivers for more information.
    3. Rail
      Travel by rail is allowed when it is less expensive than alternative means of transportation or when there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost. Business Class travel is allowable for regular Amtrak service as well as for Acela Express Trains. For international rail travel, travelers should purchase a fare that offers reserved seating. Often, reserved seating is only available in first class. Roomettes are allowable for overnight travel.

      In cases where sponsored funds are being used, and where business or first class fares are not an allowable expense, departmental funds may be used to cover the difference.

    1. Individual Meals & Incidentals
      University employees are encouraged to claim actual meal and incidental expenses (M&IE). When claiming actual meal and incidental expenses is impractical, employees may elect to claim a per diem.

      Non-employees may only claim actual expenses. Actual daily expenses claimed should be reasonable and appropriate and typically should not be more than the corresponding per diem allowance. Travelers must use one method for the entire trip.
    2. Per Diem Rates
      When claiming per diem, use the federally published domestic per diem or foreign per diem rates for meals and incidental expenses applicable for the city and dates of travel.

      When a meal is paid for by a host, included in a conference registration fee, or covered by another source, the per diem should be reduced as follows: 20% for breakfast, 30% for lunch, and 50% for dinner.

      On the first and last day of travel, the per diem should be calculated at 75%.

      Incidental expenses included in the domestic per diem rates are tips for services (e.g. porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, and hotel maids). International per diem rates include laundry and dry cleaning in addition to tips for services. These incidental expenses may not be claimed separately.
    3. Group Meals and Entertainment
      In situations where an individual is conducting business with one or more guests, reasonable meals and entertainment expenses are allowable except where noted below. Business meals and entertainment must be directly related to University business.

      The University expects the cost of business meals to be reasonable and to be $125 or less per person (including tax and tip). When sound business reasons necessitate that business meals exceed $125 per person, the excess cost of the business meal must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty or the Executive Vice President, depending on the employee’s status. Costs in excess of $150 per person will not be allowed.

      Entertainment of government personnel is not allowed, even if the expense is charged to a non-sponsored fund. Entertainment costs are not allowable on federally funded sponsored research projects.
    4. Alcohol
      The purchase and use of alcohol places significant legal exposure on the University. Therefore the use of alcohol for business meals and entertainment purposes should be kept to a minimum. Alcohol may never be charged to federally sponsored projects. Any meals being charged to a federal grant must have all alcohol clearly identified on the receipt by the traveler and must be charged to a non-federal funding source.
    5. Documentation
      The Internal Revenue Service requires all business meals and entertainment expenses to be properly documented. This includes a list of attendees including titles and affiliation, or identification of a discernible group, total number of attendees, and the business purpose of the meeting. For more information refer to the Business Expense Policy.

    1. Telephone Usage While Traveling
      Travelers will be reimbursed for business phone calls that are reasonable and necessary for conducting business when the itemized hotel bill or an original phone bill with itemized calls is attached to the expense report. This includes reimbursement for personal telephone calls allowing the traveler to stay in reasonable contact with their family. Use of air phones will not be reimbursed except in emergencies or extenuating circumstances. An explanation must be noted on the expense report.
    2. Mobile Communication Devices
      Travelers will not be reimbursed for the purchase of cell phones or accessories. See Mobile Communication Devices Policy for more details. Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and secure a loaner device through the Office of Information Technology if necessary and appropriate. Loaner devices are available for both domestic and international travel.
    3. Internet Access
      Internet access (e.g., hotel, airport, hotspot, etc.) is an allowable expense provided that the access is necessary for business purposes and not personal use. Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and secure a broadband data card from the Office of Information Technology’s Loaner Program.

    1. Currency Conversion
      Use the following resource to convert foreign currency when completing a business expense report: Curency Converter. Use the exchange rate in effect for the date the expenditure was incurred.
    2. Business Travel Accident Insurance
      The university provides eligible travelers with business travel accident insurance at no cost. Please see Travel-Related Insurance for more information.
    3. Examples of Unallowable Expenses
      Annual fees for personal credit cards
      Baby sitting
      Barbers / hairdressers
      Car service for normal commute
      Car washes
      Personal mobile phones
      Delinquency fees
      Hotel or car “no-show” charges
      Luggage and briefcases
      Membership reward fees
      Meals for social occasions
      Non-business membership fees
      Non-business periodicals
      Non-business postage
      Optional baggage insurance
      Parking and/or speeding tickets
      Personal accident insurance
      Personal entertainment (e.g. sporting events)
      Personal property insurance
      Personal toiletries
      Pet care
      Prescription refills
      Souvenirs and personal gifts
      Vacation and personal expenses when on business trips
    4. Tips Guidelines
      The following would be considered reasonable and appropriate:
      Skycap: $2 per bag
      Porters/bellperson, etc.: $2 per bag upon check-in/check-out
      Maid service: up to $2 per day
      Meals: 15% – 20% (if not included in the charge). If you pay with your corporate card, the tip should also be placed on your corporate card and not paid in cash.
      Car Service: Tip is included in the negotiated rate.
    5. Spousal and Dependent Travel
      Travel and meals for an employee’s spouse and/or dependents is not an allowable business expense unless pre-approved by the Dean of the Faculty or the Executive Vice President, or by the sponsor in the case of sponsored research projects.

V. Procedures BACK TO TOP


VII. Contact Roles and Responsibilities BACK TO TOP



This is an entirely new travel policy, which supersedes the previous policy.


Update regarding "Open Skies Agreements" for booking air travel related to sponsored research projects.


Clarification on booking air travel related to sponsored research projects.


No change to policy or substance; revised organization and language for web-based policy library. Relevant language from former “Expense Guidelines” was also incorporated.


Clarified policy on approval of upgrade for airline reservations.


Airline boarding passes are no longer required to substantiate travel. Clarified policy on baggage fees.


Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-0442

Princeton University
Office of Finance & Treasury
701 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540

Google Map
Princeton Shuttle


7 New South
Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-5040
Open Monday through Friday,
8:45 am — 5:00 pm


Customer service, cashiering,
check pick-up, financial system access


The General Ledger is your link to updates on people, policies, and other information related to financial transactions at the University.

Download Current Issue
Download Past Issues


How can we better serve you? Submit comments, questions, and ideas to our customer service department.