University of California, Riverside


Travel Tips

These tips are offered to help you locate the most economical transportation and lodging when planning your travel. In general, you will be on the right track if you do everything possible to ensure the optimal use of university funds.

There are three types of business travel expenses that can be reimbursed by the university:

  • Transportation – Transportation expenses should be reimbursed based for the most economical mode of travel on the most commonly traveled route consistent with the authorized purpose of the trip.
  • Subsistence – Charges for lodging and meals & incidental expenses (M&EI) must be ordinary and necessary to accomplish the official business purpose of the trip.
  • Miscellaneous – Expenses that fall into neither the transportation nor subsistence categories but are ordinary and necessary to accomplish the official business purpose of the trip.

A. Airlines

The cost of airfare should be the lowest available commensurate with the requirements and itinerary of the trip. Policy normally requires travelers to use economy class. Business class or first class may only be authorized for exceptional circumstances.

  1. Use Local Travel Agencies When Feasible: Because the campus is committed to supporting small business enterprises, you are strongly encouraged to use local travel agencies, a list of which is provided at Local Travel Agencies. All of these travel agencies accept UCR purchase orders.
  2. State (YCAL) Fares: The State of California has contracted with selected airlines for special negotiated rates and conditions covering specific routes known as City Pairs. These City Pairs cover many of the most frequently traveled routes between cities inside and outside of California. These negotiated rates and terms, known as State or YCAL fares, are available to all employees traveling on University business. For more information, go to: State (YCAL) Fares.
  • Use YCAL fares where they are price competitive or provide desired flexibility and insurance.
  • Balance the chance that a trip will be canceled or changed to a different date against achievable savings from using penalty and non-refundable fares.
  • When working with a travel agency, advise the agent when you are flexible about your departure and return times to increase your likelihood of getting an economical fare.
  • When working with a local travel agent, request that your travel be paid with a purchase order to eliminate the need for you to spend your own money out-of-pocket.
  • Check the Internet to compare fares and find the best routes and prices.
  • If you book your own travel, use your UC Corporate Card to obtain traveler’s accident insurance and lost and stolen baggage coverage.

B. Rental Cars

A vehicle may be rented when it would be more advantageous to the University than other means of commercial transportation. The traveler is responsible for obtaining the best available rate commensurate with the requirements of the trip.

For a list of Rental Car agencies with whom the University of California currently has agreements, click here: Rental Car Agreements.

UC has worldwide full-value primary Auto Rental Insurance that covers collision, theft, vandalism, appraisal fees, and loss of use when the rental car is paid for with the UC Corporate Card. There is no additional charge for this coverage.

  • Use rental agencies with which the university has system-wide contracts that include insurance coverage. In such cases, charges for additional insurance are not allowable, including any charge for collision damage waiver (CDW), on cars rented in the COntinental United States (CONUS).
  • Use your UC Corporate Card for rental cars used in Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. possessions (OCONUS) and foreign countries because insurance is included. If you do not have a UC Corporate Card, you may claim reimbursement for insurance costs on OCONUS and foreign rental cars.
  • Request a compact or economy model unless a no-cost upgrade is offered. Use of a higher cost model requires exceptional approval.

C. Parking and Shuttle Services

The University has an agreement with PARK'N FLY, Inc. to provide parking at Ontario airport (ONT) at a Corporate Advantage rate of $8.50 plus tax per day. In order to receive this rate, the traveler must complete the web application for a Corporate Advantage Card. For more information, including additional airports serviced by PARK'N FLY, see the PARK’N FLY Corporate Advantage Program flyer.

D. Hotels

For a list of Hotels with which the University of California currently has agreements, click here UC Hotel Agreements. The Campus has hotel agreements with local hotels in the Riverside area, which are listed at Local Hotel Agreements.

  • Book your hotel reservations as far in advance as possible to ensure that a room is available and at the best rate.
  • Ask about weekly rates or weekend specials, as appropriate. The university has a policy of paying additional expenses associated with travel extended to save costs, e.g., a Saturday night stay for domestic travel may be reimbursed when the resulting airfare savings are sufficient to offset all other expenses incurred for the extended stay.
  • Consider the hotel's location and whether it has a shuttle service, either of which could save taxi costs or perhaps eliminate the need for a rental car. Forgoing a rental car would also save on parking fees and gas.
  • In the absence of UC hotel agreements, shop the Internet to compare hotels' rates for the best deals. When comparing rates, look at the whole package.
  • Some California cities grant an exemption from the payment of transient occupancy taxes to university travelers on official university business. (two cities, San Francisco and San Diego, only offer this exemption when billed and paid directly by the university.) When travel is paid directly by the traveler, the cities of Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Irvine, Newport Beach, Del Mar, Riverside, Coronado, and Oakland provide an exemption to University travelers who pay hotel room charges directly upon completion of a Transient Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate.

E. UC Corporate Card

The UC Corporate Card should be used to charge expenses whenever possible. All active employees (academic, staff, student) eligible to travel on University business are eligible to have a UC Corporate Card. Separated employees and non-employees are not eligible. Application forms are available at: Corporate Credit Card Application. Applicants should complete the form, request and receive approval from the department head, and return it to the Accounting Office - Travel section. The credit card company does not perform credit checks on employee cardholders. Cards are automatically reissued to cardholders with open accounts in good credit standing every three years. For more information, logon to: Corporate Credit Card User Guide.

Advantages of using a UC Corporate Card:

  • No annual fees to the individual employee.
  • No interest/delinquency fees if payment is received by the end of the next monthly billing cycle.
  • The individual cardholder is totally liable for all charges, therefore, personal purchases are allowed.
  • Worldwide full value primary auto rental insurance coverage.
  • Travel accident insurance for both the traveler and accompanying family members during business travel. Each person is covered for $500,000 for accidental loss of life.
  • Lost or stolen baggage coverage and assistance up to $1,250.
  • Travel and emergency assistance.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Computing & Communications
Computing & Communications Bldg.

Tel: (951) 827-4741
Fax: (951) 827-4541