3017.1 Making Lodging Reservations Procedure

Procedure #3017.1; Rev. 2 (Effective July 1, 2020)
Related Policy: UW-3017 Lodging Policy
Functional Owner: Accounting Services, Division of Business Services
Contact: Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions. Divisional Business Offices may contact uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.


  1. Procedure statement
  2. Who is affected by this procedure
  3. Procedure
  4. Contact roles and responsibilities
  5. Definitions
  6. Related references
  7. Revisions

I. Procedure statement

Procedures for making lodging reservations via University preferred methods are outlined below. The University has contracts with various lodging providers in top travel destinations, including within Wisconsin. University contract rates, which provide opportunities for savings, are only offered within Concur or directly with the University’s contracted travel agent. Travelers and travel arrangers are encouraged to take advantage of the contract rates when available at the location of travel.

Conference rates are not available in Concur; however, rates found in Concur or with the University’s contracted travel agency may be less than conference rates. Travelers and travel arrangers are expected to explore Concur/the University’s contracted travel agency for their conference hotel(s) prior to finalizing lodging arrangements. Alternatively, travelers and travel arrangers must contact the lodging facility directly or utilize the conference/event link to obtain the conference rate.

Note: This process guarantees a hotel room with the payment mechanism provided, but does not authorize the hotel to charge the credit card used for the reservation.

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II. Who is affected by this procedure

Faculty, staff, students, and non-employees traveling on or arranging University-sponsored travel.

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III. Procedure

Making a lodging reservation in Concur

  1. Sign into Concur. If you do not have a Concur profile, you must register first.
  2. Click the Hotel Search icon under Trip Search.
  3. Use the search criteria to define your search by dates of stay and location. Click Search.
  4. On the next screen, indicate the type of traveler the lodging reservation is for (e.g., employee, guest). Then click Next.
  5. The following page will show the maximum nightly rates allowed for the date and location. Ignore the rates shown on this page. These are the base GSA rates used by the Federal government.  UW–Madison allows for lodging up to 125% of these rates. Click Next.
    1. Note: The warning messages which appear next to individual lodging rates on the search results page are accurate based on 125% of the GSA rates.  Travelers should rely on the warning messages, not the rates displayed on this page or in the blue banner that appears above the search results.
  6. Scroll down below the location map and review the available rooms. Locations exceeding the location maximum appear with a warning icon. These locations may not be reserved without a documented justification (e.g. conference hotel, no compliant facilities available in the immediate area). UW Administration contracted and partner hotels are clearly defined within the UW System Hotel Directory and will display first as “Preferred Hotel for Wisconsin Universities” within Concur search. Travelers are not required to select these locations over others within the location maximum.
    1. Note: If obtaining a cost comparison, take a screen shot of the search criteria and available rooms, and do not proceed to the next step. Retain the cost comparison with the payment mechanism.
  7. Select the desired location by clicking View Rooms. Review the available rooms.
  8. Before selecting a room option, click the Rules and cancellation policy. Review the payment and cancellation requirements. Travelers and arrangers should be mindful of a lodging property’s cancellation policy before selecting a pre-paid option. If a UW-business trip is cancelled for personal reasons outside of the traveler’s control, the traveler is responsible for the lodging expense.
  9. Select the desired room by clicking the rate button.
  10. Review the room reservation, enter hotel preferences and guest information and select a method of payment. Review the rate details and cancellation policy, check the box next to “I agree to the hotel’s rate rules, restrictions, and cancellation policy”, and click Reserve Hotel and Continue.
  11. Review the details of your reservation for accuracy. Click Change to modify the reservation. Click Cancel to cancel the reservation. Click Next to proceed.
  12. The Trip Booking page allows users to name the trip and provide a trip description for easy identification in the trip library. Click Next once trip information has been entered.
  13. Click Confirm Booking to finalize the confirmation.
  14. Upon completion, the user will see a confirmation screen that can be retained for their records. The user will also receive an e-itinerary via email from the University’s contracted travel agency within an hour.

Making a lodging reservation with a travel agent

Call (608) 710-4172 or (844) 630-3853 to make a lodging reservation or obtain a cost comparison with an agent from Fox World Travel.

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IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities

Traveler/Travel arrangers:

  • Understand and comply with University travel procurement and payment policies.
  • Review allowable maximums prior to making lodging reservations.
  • Retain all required receipts to be submitted with payment mechanism (e.g. Purchasing Card Statement, Expense Reimbursement).

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V. Definitions

  • Concur: web-based travel booking tool utilized by the University of Wisconsin for purchasing airfare and reserving lodging and/or rental vehicles.
  • Cost comparison (lodging): Supporting documentation required with a payment mechanism (e.g. purchasing card, expense reimbursement claim) to justify exceeding a location maximum for lodging.
  • Maximum nightly lodging limit: also referred to as “nightly rate” or “lodging limit”, the maximum nightly lodging limit is the maximum amount, per night, the University will pay or reimburse for lodging expenses. Travelers are reimbursed for actual lodging expenses up to these limits. The rates are determined by the federal government. Nightly rates for domestic, non-Wisconsin lodging facilities is 125% of the federal published rates.
  • Most preferred hotels: Hotel properties in which a contract exists between the hotel and the University of Wisconsin System. Use of these properties is preferred, but not required.

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VI. Related references

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VII.  Revisions

Procedure Number 3017.1
Date Approved May 8, 2017
Revision Dates July 1, 2020 – Removed references to Fox World Travel; Updates instructions for new Concur instance administered by Travel, Inc.; Updated definitions and links
January 19, 2021 – Updated Procedure Number to 3017.1 from 312.1
July 1, 2024 – Individual travel contract returns to Fox World Travel

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