Business Travel

If you are familiar with Babson College's travel policies, please proceed to our travel portalThere is a wealth of useful information for people traveling to and from the college. Please read below to access current policies and forms.

View our Babson College Travel Policy (pdf)

Preferred Travel Agencies

All air travel, lodging, car rental, and rail reservations should be booked by the College’s authorized travel agencies:

Cleveland Circle Travel 
1034 Great Plain Ave 
Needham, MA 02492 
Phone: 781-449-6860 
Fax: 781-444-7764

Great International Travel 
200 Highland Ave 
Needham, MA 02494-3019 
Phone: 617-559-3735-Rona 
Phone: 617-559-3771-Don 
Fax: 781-455-8611

Travel Portal (see above)

  • The two agencies require a departmental budget number for business travel. The Travel Portal requires a Babson College P-card.
  • Babson receives discounted rates through the use of these agencies and also through the use of the portal. The agencies also provide live customer service support.
  • Babson travelers are asked to first check with the travel agencies or the travel portal prior to going to other sources in an effort to maximize and maintain our special rates and services.

Air Travel (North America, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico)

All domestic and above mentioned travel should be in economy class. Travelers may use business class in the following instances:

  • Employees with certain physical disabilities
  • When it does not cost more than the lowest coach fare
  • When coach class is sold out and alternate flights are not available
  • When traveling with clients, travelers can use the same class of service
  • Employees may use their frequent flyer miles to upgrade and may choose to personally pay for an upgrade

Travel policy does not differ by function on campus or level of management.

When traveling to Alaska, Hawaii and destinations outside of North America, business class airfare is allowed. Employees should notify the travel agencies at least 21 days prior to their departure date. Approvals: Employees should obtain prior authorization for all travel and entertainment expenses they will or may incur.

Rail Travel

Rail travel should be at the lowest available fare offered. For travel in excess of 6 hours, first class is allowed.

Local Transportation

Where possible, the use of public transportation is encouraged. Check with the hotel as to whether it operates a service to and from the airport. Discount shuttles and shared cabs are the desired mode before taking a single person cab.

Employees are encouraged to use similar types of public transportation services between Babson (or an employee's home) and Logan Airport. The College has an arrangement with Boston Coach (1-800-672-7676 - account #9081) and Charles River Transportation a.k.a. Airport Direct (1-800-444-1511) to provide employees transportation services (the cost includes all tolls and tips) -- the primary usage being to and from Logan Airport. Please provide your budget number when booking your travel reservation. If not using preferred vendors a comparable cost car service should be used. Limousines should not be used.

Automobiles and Rental Cars

Personal Car

For local business travel, most employees use personal automobiles. Mileage is reimbursed at the rate of 58.5 cents per mile according to 2022 IRS regulations. In addition, parking and toll expenses are reimbursable (receipts required). To be reimbursed, travelers should provide the following on their expense report: Purpose of trip, Number of miles driven, Date & destination and receipts for tolls and parking. Citations of all descriptions and repairs are not reimbursable expenses. During a Babson business trip, the employee's primary insurance company is used for his/her protection and the protection of any other passengers. The College's insurance covers the deductible portion (up to a max of $500) of the traveler's collision coverage and bodily injury or property damage that exceeds the coverage limits of the traveler's insurance. 

Rental Car

A Babson College Purchasing card should be used when renting a car. MasterCard will pay for covered damages on a basis for which you or any other authorized driver is legally responsible to the rental agency (see Staff Travel Policy above for details). The College provides coverage in the US during business trips for collision damage to the rental vehicle, personal accident insurance and excess liability insurance. Renters should purchase liability insurance coverage up to $250,000 if not already included in the rate (if purchased with a Babson College purchasing card, this coverage is not necessary). When renting a car in a foreign country, travelers should accept all insurance coverage.

When traveling out of the local area, it may be necessary to rent an automobile at the destination point. All automobile rentals should be arranged through the authorized travel agencies. Although subcompact or compact cars are usually least expensive, the travel agents will apprise employees of any special rates available. Babson has formal relationships with:

National Rentals

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car 800-736-8222 
    Reference E&I Enterprise Discount # NA24E5A for the Flat Rate Program 
    E & I Contract #CNR01080 (Contract effective date: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2014)
  • Hertz Corporation 800-654-2200 
    Reference Hertz CDP #50691 
    E & I Contract #CNR-01064 (Contract effective date: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2014)
  • National Car Rental (Cindy Gonzalez 617-884-7275 ext. 223) 
    Reference MHEC Contract (Contract effective until 09/30/2012)

Local Rentals

  • Merchants Automotive Group, Inc. (Roger Royer 603-695-9359)
    Identify as MHEC Member (Contract effective until 09/30/2012)

Lodging and Meals

Hotel reservations should be made through the preferred travel agencies or directly through the Travel Portal. When traveling to a conference, it is appropriate to stay at one of the hotels hosting the conference even if the rate is not the most economical available. Travelers are entitled to stay in a single room with a private bath. Upgrades to suites or executive floors are permissible if there is no additional cost. With prior approval, travelers may stay in a suite if required to conduct business (e.g. meetings, interviews, etc.). If a traveler stays at a private residence, than a gift to the host should be $75. A receipt is required for all gifts.

A copy of the actual hotel bill, with charges clearly identified, must be submitted. Babson will not reimburse for room service charges (beyond normal meal expenses) and other "extras"; i.e., movies are not a reimbursable item.

Below are the meal reimbursement amounts employees may receive on business travel.

  • Breakfast - time of departure from campus or residence occurs before 7AM
  • Dinner - time of return to campus or residence occurs after 7PM
  • Day trip lunches are not reimbursable

Guidelines for meal reimbursement (prices listed are maximum single person totals with tip):

  • Breakfast $15
  • Lunch $25
  • Dinner $50

Business meals are defined as meals taken with students, colleagues or donors during which specific business discussions take place. Additional information is required when identifying business meals and entertainment on the travel expense report and on the Pcard Cost Allocation Reports. The IRS requires the name of all guests, titles or affiliations of guests and the business purpose.

Meals taken with other employees are reimbursed only in the following circumstances:

  • When, for confidentiality reasons, business should be conducted off College premises.
  • When dining with other employees at an out-of-town conference.
  • When authorized by the Department Head for reward, recognition or other appropriate business purposes.

The use of liquor should be kept to a minimum. Gratuities should be between 10% - 20%.

Telephone Calling Card

Babson issues a Paetac telephone calling card upon request. Send request to Please allow a 24 hour turn around time. This card is used as a travel convenience from any telephone worldwide. Personal telephone calls home are reimbursable up to 10 minutes per day. Calls regarding Babson business will be reimbursed, but must be marked as such (calls home are not considered business). An original copy of the bill is required for reimbursement. Air phone is allowed only if an emergency or critical business issue is involved.

Entertainment Expenses

Entertainment expenses include events when a business discussion takes place during, immediately before or immediately after the event.

Travel Authorizations/Advances

Individuals who travel on College business (2 days or more) may request an advance for all airline fees, seminar costs, including hotel fees if known, and 75% of all other estimated costs related to travel. Requests for prepaid expenses should be made fifteen business days in advance at a minimum.

After returning from the travel, the individual should return all receipts to the Accounts Payable Office on a travel voucher form within fifteen days after returning to the campus. An unused cash advance should be returned immediately when a trip is canceled or postponed. Babson College encourages individuals to use their Babson issued Purchasing Credit Card to pay for travel.

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