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What is a Travel Voucher?

By Alan Rankin
Updated: May 16, 2024

A travel voucher is a form used by business travelers to keep track of their travel expenses. At the end of the trip or another convenient interval, the traveler turns in the voucher to a representative of the employer. This allows the employer to compensate the traveler for any out-of-pocket expenses. Another kind of travel voucher is provided by travel companies when a pre-purchased trip is not available, such as a canceled airline flight. The traveler can redeem the voucher for another trip at a later time.

Aside from tourism, business is one of the most common reasons for people to travel. Unless they are directly involved in the transportation field, most companies will not make travel arrangements for employees. Instead, they allow the employee to take care of the details of the journey. Once the trip is done, the employee will turn in a travel voucher with an itemized list of all expenses. Some companies require employees to turn in applicable receipts along with the voucher.

The travel voucher allows the representative in charge of compensation to ensure that the employee is only charging the company for valid business expenses. In most cases, these expenses can be deducted from the company’s annual tax bill. Government agencies provide similar vouchers for employees on official business. These are paid out of the agency’s operating budget, which is usually not subject to taxation. Otherwise, these travel vouchers function much the same way as those in the business world.

The travel voucher is commonly used in the airline industry, and to a lesser extent, by other travel companies as well. There are many reasons why passengers may be prevented from taking flights they have already purchased. A flight may be canceled or delayed, or it may be overbooked, meaning there are more ticketed passengers than there are seats in the plane. These events are not the fault of the passengers and sometimes are not within the control of the airline. In these cases, the airline may offer a voucher for a later flight.

In the case of an overbooked flight, the airline will sometimes ask for volunteers to take the later flight. If the next flight does not go out until the following day, the airline will often offer to compensate the passenger for an overnight stay in a nearby hotel, as well as providing a travel voucher. If a traveler has no pressing need to reach a destination immediately, this common procedure can actually work out to the passenger’s advantage.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By nextcorrea — On May 25, 2012

Where can I look at a travel voucher example to get an idea of how to set up a travel voucher program for my company? My salesmen have spent a lot of time on the road lately and I need to start compensating them for their travel expenses. I want to do everything above board and be as fair as I possibly can to all parties involved

By ZsaZsa56 — On May 25, 2012
I used to work in a job that required a lot of traveling. We did not use a travels voucher system but there was a complicated system of reporting your expenses that was a beast to get through but usually accurate.

You would keep track of the mileage that you drove and then you were reimbursed a certain amount per mile. You kept the receipts for hotels which had to be under $80 and food which had to be less than $30 a day. At the end of the month the full cost of your travel expenses was added on to your pay. Like I say, it was a lot to keep track of but I never felt cheated.

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