Section 2.7 Travel

University of Maine Cooperative Extension employees travel in-state and out-of-state as a regular component of their work or to attend special events related to scholarship, learning, and administrative issues. All travelers should consult the UMS Administrative Practice Letter (APL), Section IV-B – Subject: Travel, Expense, and Corporate Card Procedures, Effective 4/1/2023, detailing travel and expense procedures.

Travel permission, planning and reservations, and reimbursements are done online through CONCUR, or through the MyCampus portal at

Permission to Travel

A supervisor should always be informed that an employee is traveling on business.  This is essential for insurance purposes, as well as to assure proper financial control. An individual must have the approval of their supervisor and other appropriate approving authority (e.g., principal investigator on a grant) for out-of-state travel prior to the travel dates.  Approval must be completed in CONCUR.  Prior approval is required for each incident of out-of-state travel even if there is no cost to the University.

Allowable Meals for Extension Travel

When traveling on a day trip for University business, meals are the responsibility of the traveler.

When traveling in-state or out-of-state meal reimbursement is only allowed if the employee stayed overnight.

Allowable meals should be charged to a T-Card (Travel Card) up to $46/day.  If the meal was purchased using cash, reimbursement is available, but a T-card is a preferred method.  All allowable meal expenses should be processed in CONCUR.

Automobile Mileage Reimbursement

Whenever possible or practical, UMaine Extension cars or university pool cars should be used when traveling on university business. When the use of a personal car is necessary, the University reimburses official automobile use at a rate specified by the collective bargaining agreements. Permission to travel is required in either case (see Permission to Travel above).

Consistent with university policy, the beginning destination for mileage reimbursement is either the employee’s home or office, whichever is the shorter distance. No employee will be reimbursed except for miles actually traveled. Expenses for travel between home and office are not reimbursed, except for Extension Community Education Assistants who may compute their official mileage from and to their homes if their homes have been officially established as their base of operations.

Extension employees are expected to carpool whenever feasible. Travel vouchers will not be approved when travelers use separate cars for their personal convenience.

Travel Expense Reimbursements

Cooperative Extension employees should submit a request for reimbursement at least once a month through CONCUR.

Travel Advance

All employee travelers should have a Travel Card for expenses incurred when traveling on University business. In the rare occurrence where a Travel Card is not available, employees may request a travel advance.

  • Employees may request a travel advance using the Travel Request form within CONCUR.
  • Employees are allowed travel advances of $500 maximum for any domestic trip and $1,000 for international trips. Exceptions must be specifically authorized by the appropriate campus Chief Financial Officer or designee.
  • Only one cash advance is permitted per employee, per destination, and will be issued no sooner than 14 business days prior to the trip.
  • At the completion of the trip, the traveler must incorporate the Travel Request, which includes the cash advance, on the Travel Expense Report.
  • Any unspent cash advance funds must be returned to the University Business Office or the UMS Travel Administrator within 5 business days of returning from a trip. Checks should be made payable to the University. Travelers must obtain a receipt for the repayment and then attach an image of the receipt to the Travel Expense Report.
  • No advances will be issued for expenses that are the responsibility of a third-party organization rather than the University.

Procurement Card (PCard) Vs. Travel Card (TCard)

RULE OF THUMB: Every day small dollar purchases not available within MaineStreet Marketplace, emergency purchases, and instances where the vendor cannot take a purchase order.

  • Purchase of non Travel related products:
    • Supplies
    • Licenses and Permits
    • Non Travel related memberships
  • Publication Fees
  • Training Classes when no travel is involved
 RULE OF THUMB: Used for booking a trip and/or expenses incurred while traveling

  • All Travel related expenditures
    • Food
    • Transportation
    • Lodging
    • Seminar/Conference registration
    • Parking
  • Purchases of products or services while on a University paid trip
  • Food for approved University Business meetings or outings1

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding TCard and PCard USE:

Q: I am doing a program, workshop, or home visit and need some supplies that I could not purchase on Marketplace or with a purchase order beforehand. Which card do I use?

A: TCard

Q: I need to purchase some sort of electronic gear while on a trip for research. The gear is needed right then for the purpose of the trip. What card do I use?

A: This is a University Paid trip, and the traveler needs a product or service. The TCard is the proper choice. Example: The traveler needs a new laptop for data logging on a field excursion; the TCard is the choice to use when they are on that trip.

Q: I need some sort of equipment that I could not purchase on Marketplace and the vendor only accepts credit cards?

A: PCard; see spending limits below

Q: Why do we have two (2) cards?

A: Spending Limits

  • PCard: For a transaction between $125 and $500, the purchase must be approved in writing by your supervisor and for transactions greater than $500, the purchase must be pre-approved in writing by your supervisor and the Procurement Card Administrator who will consult with the Campus Business Officer (CBO), if necessary.
  • TCard: Variable based on travel frequency and Chief Business Officer (CBO) guidance


  • PCard: Is a single manager approver based on the department the cardholder is in.
  • TCard: Has two layers of approval, HR Manager, providing duty of care approval, and Financial Approver (COA), providing budgetary approval.

Policies: the PCard and TCard are governed by different administrative practice letters (APL) and thus have different policies and procedures associated.

1 This applies to food for on-campus/in-office meetings and may be purchased at Hannaford or a local restaurant. While this is technically not travel, the TCard is the preferred procurement vehicle.