Travel Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my P-Card for travel expenses? 

No, the P-ard should be used for supplies and services. Iowa State University utilizes a travel and hospitality (T&H) card for travel expenses. The T&H Card can be used for airfare, conference registration, hotels, taxis/Lyft, meals, luggage fees, and any other travel-related expenses. To see what items are allowed on a P-Card versus the T&H Card please review the  Which card should I use? page.

What can I use my T&H Card for?

The T&H Card can be used for airfare, conference registration, hotels, taxis/Lyft, meals, luggage fees, and any other travel related expenses. To see what items are allowed on a T&H Card please review the  Which card should I use? page or the  Travel and Hospitality Card page.


How do I buy an airline ticket?

Our contracted travel agencies have online booking sites, as well as email addresses for reaching a booking agent. Online bookings and agent bookings can be paid using your T&H Card. The contract pages for each supplier contain information on how do do business with that supplier.

You may also purchase tickets directly through an airline's website using your T&H Card.  Please note that using any 3rd party vendor ex: Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity, Priceline, etc. is not allowable on a T&H Card.


Who are our contracted agencies?

Iowa State University has multiple contracts for travel-related services.  Each contract page also contains information on how to do business with the supplier.  These contracts can also be found, along with all of the other contracts available for Iowa State Employees to use, on the Contracts by Supplier and Contracts by Commmodity pages of this website.


Do I have to sign up for travel insurance?

Iowa State provides a robust international health and safety insurance to travelers on Iowa State University sponsored trips. This program offers no-deductible coverage for medical care related to accidents or illnesses while abroad, emergency evacuation, quarantine coverage, and more. For details on the program, you can visit the Office of Risk Management. To enroll in the program, travelers should complete an International Travel Registration which will provide the insurance documents and other helpful resources.


Does Iowa State have any local hotel contracts?

Yes, Iowa State University has a master agreement with the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center for hotel rooms for guests, event spaces and rooms, food and beverage, and audio-visual requirements for conferences and events hosted by Iowa State.

The Gateway Hotel and Conference Center has verified their Human Trafficking Prevention Certification and is compliant with the Iowa Law.

See the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center contract page for information on how to do business with this supplier.


Can I use Airbnb or VRBO?

Iowa State University has a contract with Airbnb for Work that is available for use by all faculty and staff. It operates like the normal Airbnb site but the properties are all vetted to ensure that properties are legitimate and reputable.

If securing lodging within the State of Iowa, all providers must be verified through the Iowa Office to Combat Human Trafficking Website.

See the Airbnb for Work contract page for information on how to do business with this supplier.


Can I use Lyft or Uber? Can I use them for personal trips as well as business trips?

Both services can be used, but Iowa State University recommends using the contract with Lyft that is available to all faculty and staff.  The Iowa State Lyft contract and App can be used for business or personal travel.

See the Lyft contract page for information on how to do business with this supplier.


What things should I consider when traveling internationally?

International travel is more complicated and presents unique challenges. All Iowa State University sponsored international travel must be registered on the International Travel Registry prior to departure. This process coordinates valuable resources and information for travelers. For additional items to consider, visit our Before You Go Checklist for International Travel and the Office of Risk Management.


What do I need to know about using my Iowa State University provided business cell phone for international travel?

When traveling outside of the United States for business purposes using an Iowa State University paid cellular phone through Verizon you can easily switch to a global plan for the duration of your trip. (The plan includes 400 voice minutes and unlimited texting and data for most countries around the world for about $17/month more than our standard domestic unlimited plan).  Verizon hotspots/jetpack/mifis and any US Cellular devices do not have international plans available.

If you are familiar with the Verizon portal, you may be able to do this on your own by changing your plan to 4G Nationwide GlobalEmail & Data SharePlan – 400 under the Individual Plan selections.  If not, please email your request and your wireless number to and we can assist you in switching to the Global Plan.  When you return from your trip, you should switch your plan back to a domestic plan by accessing the portal or emailing

Additional information on international phone use while traveling abroad can be found on Verizon's How to Use Your Phone Internationally webpage.


Should I bring my own laptop or are loaners available that are secure?

Some departments and colleges have laptop loaner programs that provide clean and secure laptops for travel (especially out of the country). Procurement Services also can provide loaner laptops for international travel when needed. Contact Procurement Services at 4-4860 or for more information.


Does Iowa State University have airline points available for free flights?

Yes, Iowa State has points accumulated through our travel contracts for American, through CTP. Contact your Cost Center Manager for the college or division to find out if any points are available for use. If points are available, you can work with your Procurement and Expense Specialist (PES) to book your flight.


What do I do for mileage and other business expenses that I can’t put on my T&H Card?

Mileage can be claimed on your expense report along with your T&H Card transactions. Travel expenses that cannot be put on your card can be paid with personal funds or personal cards and added to your expense report when you return from travel.


Is this an allowable travel expense?

Controller's Department has a comprehensive list of Allowable Travel Expenses.