Carnegie Mellon University

Travel Advances FAQs

Travel advances support the travel expense-related needs of university employees when traveling on university business. The university will provide travel advances in appropriate amounts for employees traveling on authorized university business to cover reasonable miscellaneous costs, such as per diem, taxi fares, tips, and other business expenses.

When possible, travelers should book travel with the university travel providers as the university is directly billed for these expenses.  The latest information on the university’s preferred travel agencies can be found on the Procurement Services travel page.

Requests for travel advances are submitted on the Travel Advance Request form [.pdf]. The advance amount should be an estimate of the amount of cash necessary to travel while conducting university business.  Each travel advance is the personal obligation of the traveler.  The traveler is responsible for any lost or stolen travel advances.

Travel advances will not be provided earlier than 10 working days before the planned departure date of the trip unless there are extenuating circumstances or an approved exception.  Additionally, departments may choose to restrict the use of travel advances.  

The travel advance will remain outstanding until the advance is cleared.  Employees must immediately return travel advances to Accounts Payable by personal check when a trip is cancelled or postponed for more than five working days. 

Employees are responsible for submitting an expense report with required receipts to account for the travel advance. If travel advances are greater than the expenses incurred, the traveler must return the remaining balance to Accounts Payable at the same time the expense report is submitted.    

The only restrictions to using preferred travel agencies for personal travel is that personal travel may not be booked using university funds and/or be charged to university purchasing or travel cards.