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Booking Travel

Booking Travel On The Business of the University

Who can book travel

The booking process for business travel applies to all staff and students of the University of Reading and subsidiaries. This shall extend to include any person travelling with the knowledge and consent of the University of Reading and its subsidiary companies to include their accompanying Spouse/Partner, whilst travelling for study or on business on behalf of the University.  

Using our Travel Management Company (TMC) for Bookings

The University has contracted travel management companies (TMCs) for booking travel, whether individual or group trips. All overseas travel and domestic and foreign flights must be booked through the relevant TMC. UK travel not involving flights can be booked directly. The contracted TMC for all non-group travel is Gray Dawes Group (GDG), formerly known as CTM. 

Further Information on booking travel via our Travel Management Company (TMC) and their booking charges which range from £6-£12, can be found on the I want to buy > Travel including flights and train tickets webpage (staff access only).

Gray Dawes Contact Details (0)1206 716111  (Out of hours / emergency  please contact 0845 4708706) 

Group Travel Bookings

The University has contracts for group travel in place with Diversity Travel Ltd, Key Travel LtdSelective Travel Management and Studylink Tours, so staff can use any one of these companies for group travel bookings by raising a PO through eMarketplace.

Pre-Travel Checklist

The Pre-Travel Checklist is a useful quick guide to follow when arranging overseas trips and is printable by clicking the link. 


How to Book International Travel for Staff & Students

Before you travel on the business of the University, staff and students must follow the guidance below for all travel bookings.  Please see section 12 of the Travel Policy for further guidance for international travel.

  1. Read The University's Safety Code of Practice 38 on Overseas Travel and/or Safety Code of Practice 32 for Field Work. When travelling on a Study Abroad or Overseas Placement, please refer to the policies and procedures issued by those teams.
  2. Risk assessment is important and wherever you are travelling you should also review the Risk Assessment page.
  3. For current advice on political, social, and travel information in countries A to Z, select the Travel Advice link on the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office website.  Where the FCDO advises against all travel, or you are travelling to a sanctioned country or a high-risk territory, you will need to seek further authorisation from the Vice Chancellor before booking travel.  Your local Health and Safety Coordinator can provide further advice on risk assessment.
  4. After reading COP38, you must complete the International Travel Risk Assessment TRA1 formbefore booking travel. This will need to be authorised by your Head of School or Function.
  5. If you are a member of staff at University of Reading (UK) travelling on University business you must also complete the online Overseas Staff Travel Form and upload the authorised TRA1 Risk Assessment. Please connect to the VPN first, if off-campus.
  6. If you are a student at University of Reading (UK) or RUMAL travelling, please complete the online risk management form for students on RISIS (under 'Actions' select 'Student Risk Management'
  7. Any overseas travel including fieldwork trips planned to Sanctioned or High-risk Territories, as listed on the Country Specific travel guidance webpage, must be declared to our insurers as there may be an additional premium due to ensure cover is in place.  Before booking any travel please complete the Security Questionnaire as soon as possible and submit this to the  at least 21 days prior to departure to the Sanctioned or High-risk territory.
  8. International hotel bookings must be booked through the TMC, and where possible hotels should be sustainable accredited hotels. The only exception to this is when booking for a conference where this can be booked directly or longer-term accommodation (see section 14 of the Travel Policy).  

How to Book UK Travel for Staff & Students

  1. Although not mandatory, it is recommended that UK (non-fieldwork) travel should be risk assessed using the UK travel risk assessment TRA2 form. TRA2 relates to off-campus activities for staff and post-graduate students conducting UK travel for business purposes.  This is likely to be used for conferences and any non-fieldwork type activities such as meetings at other Universities/Institutes. It does not include personal travel or day to day commuting to one’s place of work.
  2. Air travel is not permitted in mainland UK. 
  3. UK train travel can be booked directly using a purchase card or claimed back via expenses. 
  4. Where staff or students are travelling by car, taxi or bus, mileage or ticket costs can be claimed back via expenses. 
  5. Hotel bookings in the UK, if required can be booked via the TMC or directly.  

Booking Travel to a Sanctioned Country or Hazardous Territory 

Please see the Country-specific Travel Guidance webpage for information on travel to sanctioned countries or high-risk territories. Please note that the Travel Management Company may not be able to book flights to Sanctioned Countries. The Insurance office must be contacted before any travel to these areas is booked.

Things to consider when booking

Participating in Dangerous Sports and Activities

During your free time whilst on your trip overseas you may wish to participate in sports and other activities such as cycling, scuba diving and skiing. Please see the FAQ pages in the 'Booking & Authorising Travel' section for more information on what is covered in the Policy. 


If you take regular medication (prescribed) please ensure you take an adequate stock when you travel overseas. This travel insurance policy will not pay for asthma inhalers (for example) if you forget to take them. The UoR Travel Policy covers any eventuality of a traveller feeling unwell or suffering an accident whilst abroad - protecting against unforeseen eventualities.

Any traveller, as soon as feeling unwell, should contact the AIG Emergency Assistance line - their medical team will support where possible and appropriate, will arrange Guarantee of Payment with local medical facilities - thus removing the financial onus from the traveller. 

Our Travel and Personal Accident insurance policy covers pre-existing treatments IN FULL - provided that:

a) A medical practitioner has not advised against travel

b) The trip is less than 12 months

c) The treatment is not deemed as routine and ongoing (for example, regular testing/medication and monitoring of a condition)

So if someone has a pre-existing condition and unexpectedly feels unwell, the policy would respond for any costs incurred for testing and treatment. It would be advisable (if possible) to split medication between carry on and hold luggage to minimise any disruption caused by luggage being delayed etc and similarly enough medication should be taken for the trip duration with surplus in case any go missing etc.

We highly recommend you download the TravelApp, which will give you access to full travel, security and medical assistance services which includes a medical equivalency function so they can check the local name of the drug if needed to buy more whilst abroad and also provides access to full travel, security and medical assistance services.