Guidance on Rutgers-approved Domestic and International Travel
Who should follow this guidance?
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, mission-critical travel by members of the Rutgers community may be necessary. To reduce the risk that faculty, staff, students, post-doctoral fellows, and administrators will contract the virus during domestic and international travel, we have developed guidelines and processes to help us consider critical travel fairly on a university-wide level, and to help protect the health and safety of us all.
Note that as of September 12, 2021, Rutgers has implemented new, streamlined travel approval processes. Please review the steps below to complete your submission.
Steps to Follow
Step 2: Review the appropriate practice form/s (below) to prepare the information you need to receive approval.
Step 3: Consult the Travel Approver Listing to identify the necessary reviewers for your department to include on your DocuSign form. You may also find it helpful to review the approval flowcharts for your requests:
- Travel Review Process for Domestic Individual and Group Travel (Forms A and B)
- Travel Review Process for all International Travel (Form C)
- Travel Review Process for Rutgers-Sponsored Faculty-Led Travel Abroad (Forms SA1 & SA2)
Step 5: Complete and Submit the appropriate DocuSign form/s (below)
Step 6: For International travel, Register with Rutgers Travel
- A - Individual Domestic Travel Approval: DocuSign | Practice Form
- B - Group Domestic Travel Approval: DocuSign | Practice Form
- C - International Travel Approval: DocuSign | Practice Form
- Petition for Study Abroad: DocuSign | Practice Form
- SA1 - Faculty-led Study Abroad Travel Authorization: DocuSign | Practice Form
- SA2 - External Provide Study Abroad Travel Authorization: DocuSign | Practice Form
- Domestic Travel Waiver: DocuSign | Practice Form
- International Travel Waiver: DocuSign | Practice Form
Yes. For funds to be released as reimbursement for the travel expenses of Rutgers students and employees, travel beyond the current non-restricted area of NJ, NY, PA, DE, and CT must be approved through the Travel Approval Process and tickets for air or train travel, hotel reservations (outside of conference-associated bookings), and car rentals must be made through a Rutgers-approved travel agency. Expenses for extended stay rentals, AirBnB, food, taxis, Ubers or Lyfts, local train transport, shuttles, and other travel items not provided through the travel agencies will be reimbursed through the Travel and Expense Reimbursement system.
The Rutgers approved travel agencies are listed on the Procurement website under Travel -> Booking Travel -> Travel Agencies.
Our new preferred travel agency is Direct Travel and they have the capability to book air, rail, hotel, and car rental with Rutgers discounts in place. The other travel agencies on the list will be removed as travel agencies for Rutgers in the near future but remain active while travelers have unused tickets.
Contact the travel agency that booked your trip. Tell the agent that the trip booked through their travel agency needs to be canceled. This should be done as soon as possible.
Yes, you can. Conferences generally book blocks of hotel rooms at a reduced rate so it is beneficial to book at the lower rate through the conference site.
Travelers have the option to reply “Yes,” “No,” or “Prefer Not to Answer” to this question. One of the options must be selected to move forward with the completion and submission of the form.
Whenever more than one person is traveling using the exact same itinerary, all members of the group can submit one form by submitting Form B – Group Domestic Travel Approval Form. For International Travel, on Form C select Group for Question 1, select Group under Type of Travel, add all of the members to Names and Group Contact under Travelers and Group Contact, and complete all of the requested group member information on Page 5 Group Travel Listing.
If one member of a group will follow a unique itinerary, that Traveler must submit a separate Travel Approval Form, where the entirety of travel and risk planning will be considered under its own merits. In the Purpose of Travel section, the Traveler can reference the details of the group with whom they will be traveling, to assist the Reviewers. Travel expenses for personal travel are not reimbursed, and Procurement will require a quote showing any change in costs resulting from the additional time.
A Travel Approval Form is not needed for travel within the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and Connecticut area, that is for 2 overnight stays or less. There may be restrictions on discretionary spending for travel within the Traveler’s Rutgers unit that apply. Please contact your Business Office for written approval prior to traveling. A Local and Non-Employee Travel Request Form is submitted to facilitate these expenses. Hotel rooms (minus conference hotels), airfare, and Amtrak travel must be booked through the approved travel agencies to receive reimbursement of these expenses. The Local and Non-Employee Travel Request form will need to be completed and approved prior to booking through the travel agency.
If the Traveler plans multiple trips that all follow the same itinerary, a single Travel Approval Formfor all trips may be submitted, detailing this unique aspect of the request in the Purpose of Travel box on Page 2. The request will be considered for the potential approval of all of the trips at one time. As referenced in the Travel Affirmation on the forms, approval of travel ban exceptions may be changed as a result of new COVID-19 information.
These costs would all need to be paid through the funding source for the travel expense and must be included in the Estimated Travel Amount entered on the DocuSign form.
Within DocuSign, an Approver can redirect the form to someone else through the following steps:
- After opening the DocuSign form, on the top right of the screen under “Other Actions” select “Assign to Someone Else.”
- Input the Rutgers Email Address and Name of the person to whom the form should be reassigned for review and provide the Reason for Changing Signing Responsibility.
- Click on the “Assign to Someone Else” box at the bottom of the screen.
- The Sender and New Signer will be notified of the change, and the DocuSign form will be rerouted.
Travelers who also serve in one of their own Approver roles should complete and submit the Travel Approval Form just as any other Rutgers traveler. They can approve their own request, and will receive the same consideration of their approval request as any other potential Traveler or Requestor.
On the Travel Approver Listing, at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet click on the tab for your area of Rutgers, and locate your particular department to identify the Business Office and Academic/Administrative approvers for your Travel Approval Form.
Our new travel agency, Direct Travel, is able to work with the airline to use your unused tickets to offset a future approved airfare. If your unused ticket was booked with one of our travel agencies, then you need to book your new trip through that specific agency to have the unused ticket applied.
Resources at Rutgers
- Rutgers University COVID-19 Website
- Event and Activity Certification System
- COVID-19 Safety Training, under “Safety Short: Coronaviruses and COVID-19”
- COVID-19 Health Briefings and On The Pandemic Podcasts
- Travel Advisory for Rutgers Employees
- International Travel Advisory
- Rutgers Global Travel Resources
- Return to Research COVID-19 Health and Safety Training
- Compliance Reporting