Travel policies and procedures have changed. You must meet with your Advisor at least 6-8 weeks before your potential trip and follow the Travel Planning Checklist as of September 2022.

Chaperone Policy

The necessity of a University representative on a student organization trip is dependent on the nature, destination, and duration of the trip. A University representative must be a full-time Student Affairs Staff member, an approved coach/instructor or an approved Faculty/Staff member of Rutgers University. Student Involvement and Leadership in consultation with the Rutgers University Risk Management Office will make the decision on the necessity of a representative’s presence on a trip.

A professional staff member or approved coach may be assigned to be in attendance for one or more of the following traveling conditions:

  •  Student Organizations make nationals and travels further than 350 miles
  •  Student Organizations traveling internationally
  •  Student Organizations traveling by air
  •  Student Organizations traveling with more than 7 students

For trips not requiring a representative, the student responsible for organizing the trip/travel program must be present during all phases of the trip. Please talk with your Advisor at least 30 days in advance when planning a trip to ensure you are aware of all that is required.


All student organization travel must receive their Advisor’s approval prior to departure and have sufficient funds to cover travel expenses prior to the trip.

Driving Distance and Driver Responsibilities

Driving Distance

Student Organization members may choose to drive to their destinations as long as the destination is no further than 350 miles and 6 hours in driving time (exceptions made at the discretion of your Advisor and the Associate Directors of Student Involvement and Leadership, in consultation with relevant university departments who manage risk).  If approved by your Advisor, overnight stays are highly recommended for all trips involving total driving hours of 6 or more.  Drivers are mandated to stop every 3 hours behind the wheel for a minimum of 15 minutes per stop.  Vehicles driven by student organization members should NOT be on the road between the hours of 12am and 6am.  Only student organization members and Advisors may be transported in these vehicles.

Only students with approved driving records are permitted to drive other students while traveling for a group program/project.


Student Driver Requirements

All students requesting driving privileges on or off campus for student organization and approved travel must provide a copy of their driver’s license and, in some cases, proof that a defensive driving course has been completed. Proof of defensive driving certification is REQUIRED for rented vehicles and Rutgers-owned vehicles, and is strongly encouraged in all other cases.  For information on defensive driving, go here. These drivers will also sign a special “driver” informed consent waiver that describes the risks of driving themselves and other trip participants to and from travel destinations.


The maximum capacity of a passenger van is limited to nine people, including the driver.  These occupancy limits extend to all twelve-passenger and fifteen-passenger vans. Roof racks may not be used for transporting any cargo.   The drivers of passenger vans should be limited and must receive special training.  Any individuals authorized to drive passenger vans must attend the defensive driving course mentioned above.


Student Involvement and Leadership and Rutgers University does not advocate that students drive their own vehicles whenever a rental vehicle is available, nor advocate the use of passenger vans.


The University cannot assume responsibility for the driver or the safety of the vehicle being used.  It is highly recommended that all drivers have two years of driving experience and have taken the defensive driving course.

Funding Travel Programs

The Student Activities Business Office will reimburse students for reasonable, necessary, appropriate and approved travel and business expenses incurred in the performance of university/student organization approved travel events.  Most of the events are considered pre-approved if funding is obtained from the respective governing/allocation council.  Travel events not approved by their respective governing/allocation council may be subject to further reimbursement guidelines.

The purpose of this policy is to make students, advisors, approvers, deans and directors, aware of their respective roles and responsibilities relative to submitting and approving travel and business-related expenses.

All students are expected to be prudent when incurring travel or business expenses.

Tax-Exempt Status

The university is a tax-exempt organization and individuals should request that taxes not be collected. Unfortunately, the travel industry (e.g., airlines, rail, hotel, car rental, restaurants) frequently will not recognize this status and insist that taxes be paid. In these instances, the student may be reimbursed for the taxes paid. If the vendor requests a tax-exemption document, a tax exemption letter can be obtained from the SABO office.

Making Travel Arrangements:

International Travel

The University has guidelines that must be followed for all International Travel.  Students and Advisors must be sure all UNIVERSITY Guidelines are followed.  Additional information regarding international assistance when traveling abroad may be obtained from the Office of Global Programs, the Office of Risk Management and your Host Department. Registered Student Involvement and Leadership organizations has additional resources in the International Travel Planning Policy.


CASH (Travel) Advances

CASH Travel Advances for Airline Transportation Only can be requested up to 60 days prior to the departure date. Travelers are encouraged to make travel arrangements directly with the supplier via the Internet as a cost containment strategy. The SABO will reimburse only coach class tickets aboard a regularly scheduled commercial carrier.  Please check with your advisor before purchase.


In addition to your Cash Travel Advance you may need additional Cash Travel Advances which can be requested for transportation, lodging, meals, and incidentals 2 weeks prior to your trip.

All Cash Travel advances are considered a personal charge to the student requesting the advance and requests of more than $100 per day, for lodging, meals and incidentals requires appropriate documentation to be submitted to the SABO office in addition to the on-line cash advance request.


A CASH ADVANCE RECONCILIATION with appropriate itemized receipts must be submitted within 30 days of the traveler’s return, along with the amount to be repaid to the SABO office.


Outstanding CASH (Travel) advances for completed trips must be settled before subsequent advances will be issued.

Travelers are encouraged to request a SABO check to pay for conference registration’s and hotel reservation deposits. This is done via an on line check request in the SABO system.  Appropriate documentation must be presented at the SABO office for the check to be issued.

PERR Reimbursement

A student may make all travel-related purchases with personal funds and submit a PERR to obtain a reimbursement according to the SABO Travel and Meal Policy.

If you choose to make all purchases yourself for your trip, please submit ONE PERR form with multiple original receipts per trip and per individual.


What can be reimbursed?

Airline Information

Regardless if you have received a CASH (travel) advance or are requesting reimbursement, the airline ticket receipt must be submitted. The passenger copy of the air ticket (boarding pass) should be attached whenever possible. If an electronic ticket was used, a detailed invoice/itinerary (which may also be identified by the air carrier as a receipt), as long as it shows all times of departure, flight numbers, class of service, fare basis, ticket or confirmation number, and cost of ticket, along with proof of payment, proof of payment also (i.e., credit card being charged) must be submitted. The university will reimburse only coach class tickets aboard a regularly scheduled commercial carrier.  Please check with your advisor before purchase.

Commercial Bus/Rail Fares

Regardless if you have received a CASH (travel) advance or are completing the PERR form, reimbursement for commercial bus and rail travel will be the reasonable actual cost. A ticket stub showing the fare or a detailed receipt showing the fare must be submitted-proof of payment (i.e. credit card/bank statement) must be submitted.


Lodging Reservations

Only expenses for standard room accommodations will be reimbursed. The original receipted hotel, motel, or other bill must substantiate lodging expenses. The bill must specify rate, date(s) of stay, and evidence of payment (normally a zero balance) and must be attached to the PERR OR Reconciliation form. Express checkout itemized receipts are acceptable for reimbursement, but the receipt must show the credit card being charged (the credit card number should be concealed to prevent misuse of the number). Credit card slips/receipts alone are not adequate support.


Car Rental

The university will reimburse for a rental car when there is PRIOR APPROVAL, from the Advisor.  All students that will be eligible to rent a car must complete a DEFENSIVE DRIVING course and submit a defensive driving certificate to Student Involvement and Leadership or other host departments.  Please see your advisor for details. Car rentals may be used when the overall cost of the rental is less than the cost of other means of transportation (e.g., taxis, limousines, airfare). Reimbursement for car rental is limited up to intermediate size classifications for individual travelers. Full size vehicles or vans are allowed for groups when traveling. Reimbursement will normally be made only to the traveler who signed the rental contract. Original receipts for car rentals and the rental contract must be attached to the PERR to support the expense.


Privately Owned Vehicles

The university will reimburse students that use private automobiles on university business at the current mileage reimbursement rate established by the Internal Revenue Service, plus parking and toll charges. Please provide a google direction map with miles to and from the University to the event. Some areas have established they will reimburse the driver for a tank of gas, this is also permitted, however the gas receipt must accompany the reimbursement request.


The current rate is available on the University travel web site. The mileage reimbursement rate is intended to cover all operating costs including depreciation, repairs, gasoline, insurance, towage and other similar expenditures.


When driving on university business, students must carry a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. New Jersey residents must carry a New Jersey Insurance Identification Card. Privately owned motorcycles shall not be used on university business.


In the event of an accident involving injuries or damages to other persons or property while operating a privately owned vehicle on university business, the employee must notify the Office of University Risk Management and Insurance in order to provide for any potential involvement of the university. The financial loss for damage to a privately owned vehicle used on business is not reimbursable by the university.


Ground Transportation

Reimbursement may be requested for ground transportation from the traveler’s home, or from their work site to the airport, bus, or train station. Receipts showing the amount and the date of service should be attached to the PERR for reimbursement.


Meal Expenses

A reimbursement for actual expenses up to $30.00 per day for a travel period of more than one full day per student. This amount may be adjusted by the hosting department.  However it cannot exceed this amount.  Students must submit itemized original receipts with proof of payment for all meals to be reimbursed. The cardholder’s copy of the meal receipt, without itemization of the meal will not be accepted, the receipts must include the provider’s name and date, and the name(s) of any other person included on the bill. Travelers shall not seek reimbursement for goods or services (including transportation, lodging, etc.) that are provided free of charge, paid for by another source or are not related to student organization business


The maximum allowed for gratuities is 20%.  Tips over this amount will result in reduction of reimbursement.


Meals for a one day event i.e. trip to NYC, Philadelphia, local builds and service projects, etc. are limited to $15.00 per student. If a student requests a cash advance/PERR for a trip off campus and pays for a meal for a group of students the name of each student paid for must be included.


Under no circumstances will a student be reimbursed for a banquet/gathering or celebration through a PERR form – this type of event/transaction requires a contract or in some limited cases an invoice paid directly to the vender.


Alcohol is not permitted to be purchased or reimbursed to a student.  Should alcohol be found on the receipt, the entire receipt will not be reimbursed and the student will be referred to Student Conduct.


To ensure proper accounting, prompt reimbursement and compliance with IRS regulations, students need to submit their PERRS within 30 days after their return.

Both the approver and the next higher-level approver (i.e.  Advisor) must approve PERRS submitted beyond the 60-day time period. PERRS submitted beyond one year after the date(s) of travel will not be reimbursed.


Students must list all itemized receipts on the cash advance reconciliation form or the PERR form and attach the appropriate receipts.


The student is responsible to provide an English translation/explanation for all receipts written in a foreign language. The translation/explanation should provide an identification of the type of expenditure (i.e. meals, transportation, etc.) and a general description of the items included on the receipt (i.e. lunch for traveler). Travelers are encouraged to use credit cards for payment and submit the credit card statement that facilitates and validates the conversion process. If a copy of the traveler’s credit card statement is included with receipts, reimbursement will be for the amount shown for the item on the statement. If the traveler converts US dollars into foreign currency, the currency exchange receipts or bank statement detailing the transaction can be used to calculate the US dollar equivalent for expenses reported. For those individuals not using credit cards or lacking currency exchange receipts, receipts submitted in foreign currency must be converted to US Dollars using the Oanda currency converter which can be found at


Non Reimbursable Expenses

Although this is not a complete list, the following are some examples of expenses that will not be reimbursed by the SABO:


  • The use of frequent flyer miles will not be reimbursed.
  • The use (not purchase) of a gift card will not be reimbursed.
  • Fees incurred for changing reservations unless there is an authorized justification.
  • Unreasonably expensive meals and lodging.
  • The maximum allowed for gratuities is 20%. Tips over this amount will result in reduction of reimbursement.
  • Expenses at hotels for in-room movies, in-flight movies, telephone charges.
  • Meals included in the cost of conference/meeting fees.
  • All expenses related to the personal negligence of the traveler (parking tickets and fines, towing, traffic violations, damage to personal vehicles, clothing, or other items).
  • Repairs of personal vehicles used on university business.
  • Laundry and valet service for business stays less than a week (five consecutive business days).
  • Spouse’s/family member’s friends/travel costs.
  • Lost/stolen cash or personal property including luggage and/or backpack.
  • Personal items and services (e.g., shoe shines, haircuts, manicures, saunas, massages, pet care costs, souvenirs or personal gifts, childcare costs, and personal reading materials).
  • Late payment penalties and interest on personal credit card.
  • Alcoholic beverages. All receipts that have alcohol on the receipt will not be reimbursed.
  • Frequent flyer or club membership (air or rail) fees.


Under no circumstances will a student be reimbursed for a banquet/gathering or celebration through a PERR form.


Who gets reimbursed?


Normally our students are being reimbursed through the SABO system. The SABO system is specifically designed to reimburse only Rutgers University Students and Staff.  At times we understand that the students may have to use their parent’s credit card for reimbursement.  If the parents credit card is used for purchases SABO will reimburse the student provided the parent has signed and completed a Parental Consent to Reimburse Form

Inclement Weather Policy

In the event that student drivers encounter inclement weather and adverse driving conditions, for the safety of all students on the travel program, they are encouraged to get hotel room(s) as needed for the number of students until the conditions improve. Student Affairs will cover the cost of these hotel accommodations. We urge you to discuss this policy with your Advisor prior to your trip when planning to travel in the winter months.

If pending weather is imminent prior to a student organization trip or travel program, Student Involvement and Leadership/Student Affairs reserves the right to highly encourage cancellation and/or cancel/postpone the trip or travel program.

International Travel Planning

Any student organization that intends to plan an international travel program must contact Karen Ardizzone, Associate Director of Student Involvement and Leadership, (732-932-6978, at least 4 months prior to the intended departure for information regarding the approval and planning process for international travel programs.

Modes of Transportation

A. University Vehicles
• All departmental paperwork must be filled out prior to use.  Certified drivers must have copies of driver’s license and defensive driving certification on file.  Drivers of University vehicles must have taken a defensive driving class offered by the university.   For one vehicle the club must have two drivers with the certification, two vehicles – three drivers, three vehicles – four drivers.

B. Rental Vehicles
• It is strongly recommended to use a rental vehicle for official student organization travel. If a student organization does choose to use rental vehicles, personal liability comprehensive insurance MUST be purchased from the rental company from a University approved vendor.
• Drivers must be 21 years of age; be defensive driving certified and have a valid driver’s license.  Proof of documentation must be received by the student organization Advisor.
• Rental vehicles for travel will be arranged by the organization and must be from a University approved vendor. A list of approved agencies and vendors is available through Student Involvement and Leadership at the SAC and is updated regularly by the Rutgers University Department of Risk Management and Insurance. These vehicles include 7 passenger mini-vans and SUVs.  The rental company must have $100000 (third party)/$300000 (medial)/$50000 (property) liability insurance and collision insurance. Only those drivers authorized under the lease agreement are allowed to drive the vehicle.   The rental fee is approximately $65.00/day-$100.00/day.
• A contract including the Rutgers Travel Addendum must be generated by the Advisor for any vehicle rental including: rental cars, vans, school buses, or coach buses. These rental agencies must be approved by Rutgers University and carry the required levels of insurance listing Rutgers University as additionally insured.

C. Personal Vehicles
• The University does not encourage the use of personal vehicles.  If the student organization does decide to use personal vehicles, the registered owner of the personal vehicle used for club travel must complete and submit a driver informed consent waiver and a valid driver’s license in addition to the necessary travel itinerary and waivers to Student Involvement and Leadership in the Student Activities Center at least 48 hours prior departure.
• Rutgers University and the Division of Student Affairs does not provide insurance for the vehicle, its driver, or occupants and are not liable for personal injury or property damage, including damage to the vehicle, incurred in accidents during student organization travel.
• Both the vehicle owner and the driver should understand that they might expose themselves to personal liability in the event of an accident.

The University cannot assume responsibility for the driver or the safety of the vehicle being used. It is highly “recommended” that all drivers have two years of driving experience and have taken the defensive driving course offered by the National Safety Council.

D. Chartered Bus
• Clubs may choose to use a chartered bus for travel. For trips over 350 miles, the use of a chartered bus for travel is encouraged since driving over that distance is prohibited unless approved by the Associate Director of Student Involvement and Leadership.
• Buses are to be used for participants and advisors of the organization only.
• The Trip Leader must develop a written announcement and distribute to all travel program participants prior to the trip.  The written announcement should include:
• General welcome greeting
• Bus company name and number
• Departure time after the program ends and the policy for waiting for trip participants
• Reminder:  All students are responsible for their guests during the trip.
• Instructions that in case of a problem during the trip, the trip participant should contact the Trip Coordinator at (applicable cell phone number).

E. Public Transportation (Train or Bus)
• If you are planning travel by train or bus, research the carrier’s reputation and consult with your Advisor and Faculty/Staff Mentors if any previous questionable conduct is uncovered. In general, it is better to postpone an excursion than to travel with a questionable driver or under questionable conditions.
• Travel involving train reservations must be coordinated with your Advisor at least five weeks in advance.
• Student organizations may purchase public bus tickets for student organization travel at the SABO office.

F. Air Transportation
• Reservations must be on a commercial airline.  In selecting an air carrier for organizational travel, the organization should be aware that the University requires carriers to possess $150 million of liability insurance organizations may use their services.
• Arrangements for transportation to and from Newark and surrounding airports will be the responsibility of the student organization members.
• Travel involving airline or train reservations must be coordinated with your Advisor at least five weeks in advance.
• See the “Funding Travel Programs” section for additional information.

Requirements for University and Rental Vehicle Reservations

• Drivers must be 19 years or older for University vehicles or 21 years or older for Rental Vehicles and a copy of your driver’s license and defensive driving certificate must be on file with Student Involvement and Leadership.
• The driver to whom the vehicle(s) has been released is fully responsible for the security and operation of the vehicle and property stored and/or transported in the vehicle.
• All moving violations will be the responsibility of the driver to whom the vehicle has been assigned. Moving violations must immediately be reported to the Associate Director of Student Involvement and Leadership.
• The vehicle(s) must be filled with gas upon return to the University or Rental Agency. Failure to fill University vehicle(s) prior to returning will result in 50-cent surcharge over the prevailing gasoline cost in the New Brunswick area. Failure to fill Rental Agency Vehicles will result in a surcharge at the discretion of the Rental Agency.
• The inside of the vehicle must be clean upon return.  Failure to do this may result in additional monetary charges.
• If a student is renting a vehicle, it is required that all liability and collision insurances be purchased.

Travel Itineraries, Informed Consent Waivers and Trip Leaders

Each time an Organization travels off-campus, whether or not the travel is funded through allocations, the Organization must turn in a Travel Itinerary and Informed Consent Waivers.


Travel Itineraries


The trip leader must complete a Travel Itinerary online here 5 days prior to the trip that includes the following information:


  • Student Organization Name
  • Trip Leader Contact Information (including cell phone number that will be used during trip)
  • Purpose of Travel Program
  • Destination Name and Contact Information
  • Dates and Times of Travel
  • Contact information for Hospital with Emergency Services Nearest to Travel Destination
  • Date, Time, and Contact Information for Special Events/Activities Planned
  • A list of Trip Participants including Emergency Contact Information
  • Upload waivers in one PDF
  • Upload driver licenses, if applicable, in one PDF


Informed Consent Waivers


A Travel Informed Consent Waiver must be developed for the student organization by their Advisor prior to the student organization‘s departure. Each trip participant is required to review and sign a travel waiver. All individuals who intend to drive to/from the travel destination must select driver on their waiver, and provide a copy of their license to the trip leader.


An Activity Waiver is required for activities that are considered risky or dangerous. Examples of these activities include, but are not limited to: Backpacking/Camping, Beach Cleanup, Biking, Recreational Activities, Community Service, Circus, Competitive Activities (ex: Food Eating Contest), Dancing, Participant in Fashion Show, Golf, Laser Tag, Activity involving animals, Performing in a theatrical production, Paintball, Water Sports, Rock climbing/Caving, Scuba Diving/Snorkeling, Skiing/Mountaineering, Trail Riding, Participant in Date Auction, etc. Consult with your Advisor 5 weeks prior to departure to ensure the completion of these waivers. At the discretion of the Advisor, the Activity Waiver may be combined with the Travel Waiver, or may remain separate.


All informed consent waivers can be found here

The trip leader should take a copy of the roster and Itinerary with them on the trip.




Travel Planning Timeline

(For Domestic Travel Programs)

5 Weeks Prior: Organization meets with Advisor to discuss trip logistics, travel itinerary and informed consent waivers

4 Weeks Prior: Student Organization should make sure that the funds necessary for the trip are in SABO account.

2 Weeks Prior: Student organization submits cash advance requests to the Student Activities Business Office.  Cash advances for travel may not exceed $400.00 unless approved for a different amount by your Advisor and SABO.  All cash advances must be reconciled no more than thirty (30) days after travel.

Advisor and/or Student Organization Officers communicate details and payment info to the Student Activities Business Office.

5 Days Prior: Organization turns in completed Travel Waivers and/or Activity Waivers & Travel Itinerary to Student Involvement and Leadership in the SAC.  The Travel Itinerary must be submitted online five days in advance of travel.

Student organizations eating out while traveling may do so but may not spend more than $15.00 per person per meal.  All receipts MUST be itemized.  The purchase and/or consumption of alcohol is not permitted.  Any receipts that have alcohol on them will not be reimbursed.  The student organization will be referred to the Student Organization Incident Policy team and any students involved will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Student Involvement and Leadership Office in the SAC submits Travel Itinerary to RUPD and stores waivers in Student Organization’s file.

Trip/Travel Planning Guidelines

The travel policy is in place to assist student organizations make safe arrangements for travel.  It is important that your organization follow all policies and procedures pertaining to each type of travel.  Failure to do so may result in student organizations and their officers being referred to Student Conduct.


Student Organizations planning any type of trip or travel program should meet with their Advisor to discuss their planned itinerary, budget, and transportation details as well as the risk management and contracting procedures related to travel.


When traveling as a Rutgers University Student Organization please make sure to consult with your organizations’ Advisor to ensure you satisfy the requirements to appropriately run a travel trip:

  • Meeting with your Advisor regarding funds, logistics, travel/activity waivers
  • Trip Leader Designation – a student on the executive board should be the designated Trip Leader. The Trip Leader will carry all important information including the Travel Itinerary with him/her throughout the travel period and will periodically check in with the organization’s Advisor on an as needed basis.
  • Submission of Travel Itinerary Form
  • Completed Travel Waivers
    1. If students are driving their own cars they must submit a driver’s license. Successful completion of a Defensive Driving course is encouraged.
    2. If students are driving rental vehicles, successful completion of a Defensive Driving course is required.
  • Completed Activity Waivers

It is important to meet with your advisor 5 weeks in advance of any travel trip away from campus. This will allow adequate time for paperwork and contracts to be completed and processed. Additional planning is required for events with potential risk management concerns. In this meeting please come prepared with your allocated budget for the trip and how you plan to spend your funds (Cash advance, PERR’s). You will also provide your advisor trip logistics including your planned location, lodging and mode of transportation.


All student organization travel must receive their Advisor’s approval prior to departure and have sufficient funds to cover travel expenses prior to the trip.

Trip Leader Role and Responsibilities

The student organization must have a designated Student Trip Leader who is responsible for all facets of trip planning for each travel program. Leaders must immediately inform both their Faculty/Staff Mentor and Advisor of any changes in itinerary or contact information as well as any concerns or challenges that develop before and during the trip that could affect the safety or well-being of the participating students and/or the overall integrity and productivity of the program. The University regards the trip leader as the primary contact for the group. This individual must be accessible by cell phone during the travel program and must take a copy of the travel itinerary with them on the trip.


The trip leader should meet with the Advisor 5 weeks prior to the student organization’s departure. This is to allow adequate time for contracts and paperwork for the travel program to be completed and processed. Additional planning time is needed for travel involving risk management concerns.


Materials for Trip/Travel Program

The Trip Leader should take the following items on the trip:

  • cell phone
  • directions to the travel destination
  • copies of facility or ticket contracts
  • copies of the Travel Itinerary
  • Special Informed Consent Waivers for passengers not returning via trip transportation
  • Written announcements with instruction for the day
  • Cash advance (amount determined by Advisor)
  • Phone number for Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD): 732-932-7211 (Trip Leader’s first point of contact for domestic emergencies or other situations requiring immediate contact with Rutgers administration)
  • First Aid Kit (if applicable)
  • Copy of bus transportation contract (if applicable) and emergency contact number for transportation company


For travel programs that include an extensive stay away from campus, the trip leader may also wish to create a travel information sheet that includes travel accommodation phone numbers and distribute to trip participants prior to the trip.