The travel budget may include domestic or foreign travel for purposes such as meetings with collaborators or conference attendance, or local travel required for projects such as survey research.

Review sponsor instructions to ensure that travel costs are permitted and, if so, whether there are any restrictions.

In the justification, specify the purpose of the travel to be funded, number of trips and number of individuals traveling, specific destinations, if possible, and explain how the costs were estimated (for example: $X roundtrip airfare + $Y lodging for # of nights, + $Z per diem for # of days).

Travel costs are limited by the UMB Travel Policy even where sponsor travel guidelines may be more liberal.

  • UMB per diem and mileage rates
International Travel

Foreign travel budget estimates should be based on use of U.S. flag carrier/Open Skies airfares. The NIH defines foreign travel as any travel outside of Canada and the United States, and its territories and possessions, or, for an organization located outside Canada and the United States and its territories and possessions, foreign travel means travel outside that country. The NSF includes Canada as a foreign country. Review sponsor instructions for the definition and allowability of foreign travel for your project.

U.S. Air Carrier Requirements

The Fly America Act was enacted in 1974 to mandate the use of U.S. flag air carriers for federally funded international travel. Since the Fly America Act's enactment, innumerable changes have taken place in the airline industry and with the related regulations. A typical grant provision states: “Grantees must comply with the requirement that U.S. flag air carriers be used by domestic grantees to the maximum extent possible when commercial air transportation is the means of travel between the U.S. and a foreign country or between foreign countries. This requirement shall not be influenced by factors of cost, convenience, or personal travel preference.”

International flights should be on U.S. flag air carriers whenever possible. However, Federal Travel Regulations now permit flights on foreign air carriers when code sharing is present. In other words, the flight is considered the same as one operated by an U.S. flag air carrier. The U.S. flag air carrier's designator code must be present in the area next to the flight numbers on the airline ticket, boarding pass, or electronic ticket (passenger receipt) documentation.

Open Skies Agreements: Transportation provided under a bilateral or multilateral air transportation agreement to which the U.S. government and the government of a foreign country are parties, and which the U.S. Department of Transportation has determined meets the requirements of the Fly America Act.