Top 10 Travel Mistakes

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1. Incorrect locations for per diem rates

  • Per Diem rates for lodging and meals and incidentals (M&IE) is based on the business location.
  • This error usually results in incorrect reimbursements for M&IE.

2. Not taking deductions for meals provided

  • For example: lunches or hosted dinners provided at meetings or conferences.

3. Not marking expenses as personal on personal days

  • For example: portions of parking, lodging, rental car, meals directly related to personal days

4. Not providing comments that connect reimbursement claims to business needs

  • Car rental upgrades.
  • No lodging being claimed (stayed with family or friends).
  • Report dates not matching DTA or FTA dates.

5. Missing Receipts, especially for registration

  • Required: car rental, lodging, conference registration (agenda if available), Travel-Project Supplies (regardless of cost), etc.
  • Itemized /detailed receipt for any claim (allowable or unallowable) $75 and over.

6. Not cross-referencing additional reports for the same trip/ related expense reports.

7. Submitting receipts that do not show accurate proof-of-payment.

Receipts should show:
  • Method of purchase
  • Susbstantial evidence that the full amount listed has been paid

8. Not using Egencia, the preferred SLAC booking tool

9. Purchasing non-reimbursable code-share airfare

  • Tickets must have a U.S. Carrier's flight number for the code-share portion of the flight to be reimbursable


  • Ticket issued by United, airplane operated by Air Canada, flight number United.

Not Reimbursable

  • Ticket issued by Air Canada, airplane operated by United, flight number Air Canada.

10. Traveling to a foreign country without pre-trip approval

  • All foreign trips (including non-DOE funded ones) require pre-trip requests to be entered and approved in Concur. SLAC is required to attain DOE approval and U.S. State Deparment country clearance for every country visited.