Aarhus University's travel policy

The new policy explicitly encourages staff to think about their own travel habits and reconsider the forms of travel they use by, among other things: 

  • choosing the most climate-friendly form of travel whenever possible.
  • challenging the number of in-person meetings held in well-established existing networks.
  • considering whether the trip can be replaced by on-line meetings, or be planned closer to home.
  • travelling by train rather than by plane, if the train trip is less that five hours each way.

When planning a trip, staff should also naturally balance travel time and logistics in relation to the demands of their work schedule and private life.   

On business travel by car

  • AU staff are encouraged to use AU’s electric cars instead of their own diesel/petrol cars. 
  • AU staff who use their own cars for business trips are encouraged to carpool wherever possible.  
  • In relation to car rental, staff are encouraged to rent electric cars whenever it’s practically and economically feasible to do so.

On domestic travel

  • For domestic travel, as a general rule, staff should travel by train and/or carpool. However, there may be cases in which domestic air travel is necessary for practical or professional reasons, or in connection with international flights.

On booking air travel 

  • Although it’s still possible to book plane tickets directly from the airline, all staff are strongly encouraged to use AU’s travel agency Carlson Wagonlit Travel Denmark (CWT) instead. For one thing, CWT can access data on carbon emissions from trips booked through them. The university needs this data in order to be able to evaluate whether its climate policy is having the desired effect.

Read more about how to book travel with CWT and find user’s guides here

About AU's travel policy

This travel policy contains an overview of the policies that apply to you as an Aarhus University staff member with regard to forms of transportation, travel booking and expense reporting. It covers both the state’s rules and Aarhus University’s own rules for travel. Please note that your own faculty/department/school may operate with more restrictive guidelines, which are not outlined here.

The policy for purchasing travel – and related expenses – applies to all Aarhus University staff and covers all travel financed by the university’s ordinary and external funding.

Aarhus University’s travel policy covers transport for work purposes and is based on Aarhus University’s Guidelines for official transport and driving authorisation

Reducing the university’s climate footprint

There are over 8,000 employees at AU. We are an internationally oriented university involved in many collaborations and many networks, which gives rise to a lot of travel activity. With the goals for CO2 reduction in Aarhus University’s climate strategy 2020-2025, we have an obligation to bring down our CO2 emissions. Changing our travel habits is a decisive step towards reaching these goals. Aarhus University’s travel policy must support us in changing our habits so that we can travel in a way that is efficient and climate friendly, and in this way contribute to reducing CO2 whilst keeping transport times at levels compatible with the demands of both our work schedules and our private lives.


At Aarhus University, we carry out many different functions. Some of these functions require attending in-person meetings convened by external stakeholders, in many locations, both within Denmark and abroad. Other functions demand that we cultivate and nurture our networks, both within and outside the country’s borders. Our travel activity means that air travel accounts for a significant amount of Aarhus University’s total greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, all employees have an obligation to examine their own travel habits, to challenge the need for in-person meetings in existing, well-consolidated networks and to reconsider their mode of transport. This is described in more detail as follows.

If you are planning a trip, we encourage you to always consider whether the trip could be replaced by a virtual meeting - or be planned closer to home.

If you are planning a trip, we encourage you to always consider whether the trip could be replaced by a virtual meeting - or be planned closer to home.

If a trip is necessary, you should choose the most climate-friendly form of transportation (for example, rail instead of air), as long as any extra expense involved is reasonable and your travel time is not excessive in relation to the demands of your work schedule and private life. If you choose air travel, choose direct flights wherever possible, as planes emit particularly large amounts of CO2 in connection with takeoff and landing.

In connection with conferences or the like, careful consideration should be given to how many staff from the same unit should participate. These considerations should be guided by the principle that relevant professional needs of unit staff should be met to the greatest extent possible.

Aarhus University strongly encourages you to travel by train instead of flying, if the train trip is under five hours each way and if travelling by train does not extend the duration of your trip disproportionately. If the trip is over five hours, you are encouraged to consider taking the train for the outbound or return leg of the trip.

When choosing travel class, you should prioritise what is most appropriate and economical for Aarhus University in the specific situation. You are also welcome to make use of night trains, as these can potentially save a night in a hotel.

When hosting international visitors and collaboration partners, it is a good idea to investigate whether their visit can be scheduled immediately before or after other academic/professional activities in which they can also participate

Read more about CO2 emissions from travel here (in Danish)

Travel within Denmark

As a general rule, travel within Denmark should take place by train and/or carpooling whenever possible. In general, air travel should not be used for trips within Danish borders. However, domestic flights are permitted if they are necessary on the grounds of particular professional or practical considerations. If travel within Denmark is part of an international trip, you may use domestic air travel. However, you are encouraged to investigate the possibility of taking the train for at least one leg of the trip.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel is AU’s travel agency

Aarhus University has entered into an agreement with Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) on booking work-related trips. This means that it is mandatory to use CWT if you book plane tickets through a travel agency. In order to enable the university to calculate our CO2 emissions for air travel accurately for the entire university, we encourage everyone to use CWT when booking airline tickets.

Car rental

If you are unable to complete a work-related trip – or the travel time would be unreasonably long – using available means of transport, the manager authorised to approve such expenditure may approve a car rental. You must obtain approval before you rent a car. Whenever possible, please consider carpooling with other members of staff at Aarhus University. You are encouraged to rent an electric car wherever practicable, for example in situations in which EV charging stations are available on your route.

You may use a car-share service if you rent a car. Expenses for each trip with a car-share service must be settled individually.

  • If the car will be used primarily for private purposes during a work-related trip, you must rent the car in your own name and request reimbursement for the professional part of the trip afterwards.
  • If the car will be used primarily for work-related purposes, you can rent a standard car in AU’s name.

If the car is rented in Aarhus University’s name and you use it for private purposes during the work-related trip, you must state the number of kilometres driven for private purposes in the travel expense report. These private kilometres must be calculated according to the state’s lowest mileage rates and the amount offset against the cost of the rental car.

In connection with car rental abroad, there is often a requirement that basic car insurance must be taken out for the driver of the car. As this is a prerequisite for renting a car, the principle of self-insurance does not apply in this case.

Transport at the final destination (for example, transport between your hotel and your temporary place of work) is often referred to as ‘local transport’. Local transport expenses are usually covered by per diem allowances and are therefore regarded as private expenses as a rule. Note that transport to and from train stations or airports is considered part of your travel expenses. This is not considered local transport.

If the cost of local transport is significantly higher than the per diem allowance, in exceptional cases, and after advanced approval from the manager authorised to approve such expenditure, additional costs (which cannot be covered by the per diem allowance) - for example, car rental - may be reimbursed upon presentation of documentation.

The above rules on car rental also apply to stationing, since stationing is defined as a work-related trip of at least 28 days.

Using an AU car

Aarhus University’s cars may be used for work-related travel, subject to the approval of your immediate supervisor.
Whenever possible, please consider carpooling with other members of staff at Aarhus University.
Whenever you drive an AU car within Denmark, the state’s self-insurance principle applies. Whenever you drive an AU car abroad, you must always take out temporary insurance.

You may only use an AU car for assignments or trips connected to your work at Aarhus University. This means that:

  • trips in an AU car must always begin at an AU location
  • AU cars may not be used for purposes that can be defined as income-generating activities
  • AU cars may not be used for transportation to your private address before or after you use the car for a work-related purpose

In this event, Aarhus University would have to pay vehicle registration tax and you might risk being taxed for use of a company car.

Using your own car

The following rules apply if you use your own car for work-related travel (please also see AU's guidelines for official transport and driving authorisation).
If you plan to travel by car, Aarhus University encourages you to use an AU car whenever this is appropriate. Whenever possible, please consider carpooling with other members of staff at Aarhus University.

You decide yourself whether to use public transport or a private means of transport when travelling in connection with your work. However, Aarhus University encourages you to choose the mode of transport that is most appropriate for the university, taking into account climate considerations, university finances and time efficiency.

Bonus points

Bonus points and other credits that are earned/activated through customer loyalty schemes in connection with trips on behalf of or financed by Aarhus University’s ordinary or external funds belong to Aarhus University. These credits must always be used as soon as possible in connection with the next AU-related trip.

Management and staff must ensure that the possibility of earning customer loyalty points and other rewards is taken advantage of in the most optimal way in relation to the university’s guidelines in this area.

Travel insurance

When travelling, Aarhus University staff are insured under the Danish state’s agreement with Europæiske Rejseforsikring. Read more about travel insurance here.


Aarhus University is covered by the State and Municipal Procurement Service (SKI) hotel agreement, which includes a wide variety of hotels in Denmark. All Aarhus University employees must stay at hotels under this agreement when they travel for work-related purposes.

When you need to book one or more nights at a hotel in Denmark, you must do so via AU’s website about hotel agreements, so you can be certain that the selected hotel is available under the hotel agreement.
You must book the cheapest possible hotel in accordance with the current hotel allowance provision set by the Danish Employee and Competence Agency.

As a general rule, hotel accommodation in Denmark must be paid for via an e-invoice (EAN) or with a personally issued AU credit card. If you pay for a hotel with a personal AU credit card, you must ensure that Aarhus University is also stated on the invoice/receipt.
Hotel accommodation abroad must be booked directly with the hotel or through CWT, Aarhus University’s official travel agency. You can pay for accommodation abroad with your AU credit card.

If you deviate from AU’s travel policy with regard to choice of hotel and price limits, you must explain the reason, and the manager authorised to approve such expenditure must approve your explanation in connection with your travel expense report.

Making purchases during your business trip

As a rule, you must use your AU credit card when making purchases in connection with business trips (cf. the policy and rules for use of credit cards at AU). Expenses must be settled in RejsUd with documentation.

General guidelines for work-related travel

Current per diem allowance rates are stated in the rates for work-related travel as of 1 January 2024.
Aarhus University’s general rules for the payment of entertainment expenses also apply in relation to work-related travel.

Meals: work-related trips lasting less than 24 hours

You can expect reasonable, documented expenses to be covered up to an amount equal to a maximum of 75% of the per diem allowance. Rates are as follows: breakfast accounts for 15%, lunch 30% and dinner 30% of the per diem allowance.

Reasonable, documented expenses for meals, etc. that exceed the amount of the per diem allowance may be refunded if they can be explained and documented.

Meals: work-related trips lasting more than 24 hours

It is recommended that you use the per diem allowance to cover expenses for meals. If you receive free meals in connection with your work-related trip, the per diem allowance will be reduced. Breakfast makes up 15%, lunch 30% and dinner 30% of the daily allowance.

You can request to be reimbursed for reasonable, documented expenses for breakfast, lunch and dinner instead of receiving the per diem allowance. You can expect that reasonable, documented expenses will be reimbursed up to a maximum of 75% of the per diem allowance. In addition, incidental costs and local transport will be reimbursed up to a maximum of 25% of the per diem allowance.

Meals: work-related trips lasting more than 28 days

The per diem allowance rate will be reduced after 28 days of work-related travel by one-fourth in Denmark and one-sixth on the Faroe Islands. This allowance will not be reduced for work-related trips in Greenland or abroad.

Instead of receiving a per diem allowance, the employer and the individual employee may agree that, during stationing, the employee may have reasonable, documented expenses for meals (and similar purchases) reimbursed (cf. section 34, subsection 2 of the circular).


Aarhus University does not refund gratuities/tips because these are included in the restaurant and hotel bills in Denmark.
However, Aarhus University will refund gratuities/trips paid on trips abroad in cases in which tipping is not optional (i.e., if tips/gratuities are included in the bill before payment).

Rules regarding accompanying guests

In certain cases, the manager authorised to approve such expenditure may grant approval for Aarhus University to reimburse travel and meal expenses for an accompanying guest, if the guest’s participation in the event in question is required.
In other cases, the traveller must pay all the additional expenses incurred in connection with the accompanying guest.