Family Destinations Guide

Colorado Travel Cost: A Budget-Friendly Guide for Your Next Adventure

By: Author Jeremy Hulls

Posted on Published: July 23, 2023  - Last updated: August 21, 2023

Thinking about a family getaway to Colorado, but feeling uncertain about the travel expenses?

You’ve got plenty of company.

It’s not unusual for first-timers or those who don’t visit often to ponder over potential costs.

But there’s no need to fret.

In this article, we’ll break down your Colorado travel cost, from where you’ll rest your head at night, to the food you’ll enjoy, to how you’ll get around, and the sights you’ll see.

Are you ready to dive deeper?

Together, we’ll navigate through practical tips and guidance to ensure your adventure is as smooth and delightful as can be.

Rest assured, my own jaunts around the Centennial State have equipped me well to guide you on this journey.

Key Takeaways

  • A clear understanding of Colorado travel expenses will make planning your trip easier and more enjoyable
  • This article covers crucial aspects such as accommodation, dining, transportation, and attractions
  • Useful tips and guidance will help first-time or infrequent visitors have a memorable and worry-free experience in Colorado

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Colorado Travel Cost: Getting There

Colorado Travel Cost: Getting There

Flying into Colorado?

You’re most likely to land at Denver International Airport (DIA) or Colorado Springs Airport.

Denver might be a bit more wallet-friendly, with better average prices for flight tickets.

Wondering which airlines you can take?

A variety of options are at your disposal, including popular carriers like United, Southwest, and American Airlines.

When planning your flight, keep in mind that landing and departing times can impact your overall travel experience.

If you’re flying with a family, trying to book a flight that works well for everyone – especially younger kiddos – will help make your journey more enjoyable.

Once you arrive in Colorado, getting around is key to making the most of your travels, so renting a car is definitely an option worth considering.

Both DIA and Colorado Springs Airport offer car rental services to jumpstart your family’s adventure.

If you’re budget-conscious (who isn’t?), checking out different car rental agencies and comparing prices is the way to go.

Don’t forget to reserve your car early to increase the likelihood of snagging a good deal.

Moreover, consider the size of your family, the places you’re planning to visit, and the amount of luggage you’ll have.

Will a compact car do, or do you need a minivan or SUV for a more comfortable ride?

Accommodation

Hotels and hostels.

Sonnenalp Vail

Looking for the best family hotels in Colorado ?

You’re in luck, as there are plenty of options to choose from.

Whether you prefer a bustling city like Colorado Springs with a 3-star hotel from $92 or the beautiful mountain resort town of Aspen starting at $193 for a 3-star hotel, Colorado has something for every family’s taste and budget.

Considering hostels instead?

While Colorado may not have a plethora of hostels, you can still find some budget-friendly options.

Remember that location is key, as you may want to be close to the attractions and activities your family enjoys, whether it’s hiking, skiing, or exploring the city.

Do you and your family love the great outdoors?

Camping in Colorado is a fantastic way to save on accommodation costs and enjoy the state’s natural beauty.

With numerous state parks, national forests, and wilderness areas to choose from, you can find the perfect camping spot for your family.

Just don’t forget to factor in any parking fees, permit costs, or campsite reservation fees to your total trip expenditure.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals can be a cozy and cost-effective alternative to traditional hotels.

With a vacation rental, you can enjoy the comforts of home while exploring Colorado.

You can find rentals in popular locations like Breckenridge or Steamboat Springs, with prices varying depending on where you choose to stay.

Keep in mind, though, that popular booking sites like Airbnb may add fees and taxes to your rental costs.

Food and Dining

Restaurants and cafes.

Visiting Colorado, you may wonder what delightful food and dining options await you and your family.

No worries, friend.

Colorado offers a variety of restaurants and cafes that cater to different tastes, preferences, and budgets.

In Denver, you can expect to spend around $218 per day on your vacation.

This includes meals, transportation, and entertainment.

Meanwhile, in Colorado Springs, plan to allocate about $155 per day for your vacation expenses.

Don’t forget to sample the local coffee shops too.

Colorado has a thriving café scene, perfect for a quick pick-me-up or a leisurely afternoon with a good book.

Whether you’re craving a creamy cappuccino, a bold espresso, or a healthy smoothie, you’ll find plenty of options.

Local Specialties

El Taco de Mexico

Colorado’s culinary scene offers a wide range of local specialties for you and your family to enjoy.

One must-try dish is the green chile, which is quintessentially Colorado.

Head over to El Taco de Mexico for some of the best green chile in the state – it’s been served up authentically since 1985.

Another local favorite to sample is the Colorado-style pizza.

This unique pizza has a thick, honey-sweetened crust and loaded toppings that include a delicious blend of meats, vegetables, and cheeses.

Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Did you know Colorado is also known for its craft beer?

With hundreds of breweries scattered across the state, you’re sure to find the perfect brew while exploring the beautiful landscapes.

Transportation

So, you’re planning a family trip to Colorado and wondering about the transportation costs.

In this section, we’ll briefly cover some of the popular options, including public transit, ride-sharing, and taxis. Let’s dive in.

Public Transit Options

Colorado offers a variety of public transportation services to help you navigate your way around.

For instance, if you’re flying into Denver International Airport, you can easily catch a shuttle to your ski resort destination.

Besides shuttles, you can also utilize buses and trains, depending on your requirements.

If you’re spending time in Denver, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) offers affordable fares that will help you save money. Here’s a quick breakdown of RTD fares:

  • 3-Hour Pass: $6.00 (Adult) / $3.00 (Discount) / $1.80 (Youth)

Discount rates apply to seniors, riders with disabilities, and Medicare recipients.

Youth rates are for ages 6-19.

Ride Sharing and Taxis

For a more personalized transportation experience, consider ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft.

They’re widely available throughout Colorado and provide a convenient way to get from point A to point B.

However, keep in mind that fares can vary based on factors such as time of day, ride demand, and distance.

Taxis are another option for getting around, particularly in urban areas like Denver.

They are accessible and function on a meter-based fare system.

Though not as budget-friendly as public transit, taxis offer a bit more privacy and flexibility in your travel plans.

Attractions

Colorado is a breathtaking destination filled with both natural and cultural wonders.

This article will focus on some of the best places to visit in Colorado , including where to immerse yourself in the majestic landscapes, as well as where to learn about the state’s unique history.

Natural Wonders

Rocky mountain national park.

One of the top attractions for families is Rocky Mountain National Park .

Located just a few hours from Denver, this park boasts sky-high peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife.

With over 300 miles of hiking trails for all skill levels, you’ll find stunning viewpoints and memorable picnic spots.

Just remember to pack your camera and a sense of adventure.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Another must-see natural wonder is the Garden of the Gods.

This National Natural Landmark features towering red rock formations that contrast beautifully with the surrounding greenery.

The park covers 1,367 acres and offers various activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, and guided tours.

It’s an awe-inspiring environment that even the little ones will appreciate.

Cultural and Historical Sites

Denver art museum.

Don’t forget to visit the Denver Art Museum , which displays thousands of artworks from various eras and cultures in an architecturally striking environment.

Take your time while wandering through the museum, and allow each piece to offer inspiration and spark the imaginations of both adults and children alike.

Mesa Verde National Park

For a bit of history, Mesa Verde National Park should be on your list.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the United States.

With more than 4,000 identified sites, including cliff dwellings and mesa-top villages, Mesa Verde is a testament to the ingenuity and adaptability of these ancient people.

Budgeting Your Trip

When planning your family trip to Colorado, it’s important to take into consideration the costs, taxes, and fees associated with traveling.

You’ll also want to weigh the options for travel insurance. Not to worry, we’ll guide you through it all.

Taxes and Fees

While exploring beautiful Colorado, you’ll need to account for additional expenses like taxes and fees.

Lodging prices can include property taxes, and if you opt for renting a car, there might be airport taxes to consider.

Car rentals often start around $60 to $70 per day from many Coloradan airports, so it’s a good idea to look into off-site rentals, which can significantly reduce costs.

Now, what about daily living expenses?

Food, sightseeing, and travel can come in between $49 to $100 per day for one person.

So, for a week-long family trip, it might cost you between $1,285 and $2,618.

Travel Insurance

As a savvy traveler, you might wonder about travel insurance costs when planning your Colorado adventure.

While it’s true that insurance policies differ in price and coverage, it’s definitely worth checking out to protect your family and your investment in your trip.

For instance, travel insurance can cover unexpected events like trip cancellations, emergency medical expenses, or even lost or stolen valuables.

When it comes to choosing a policy, take your time and compare a few options.

Remember that the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best.

Safety and Emergencies

Weather precautions.

In Colorado, you won’t have to worry about hurricanes, but it’s essential to keep some other weather-related precautions in mind when you’re visiting with your family.

Rapid weather changes are common, so always pack layers and check the forecast frequently.

During the winter months, heavy snowfall can impact road conditions, making it crucial to ensure your vehicle is equipped for snowy and icy conditions.

Here are some quick tips for handling Colorado’s weather:

  • Keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared for sudden changes, such as rain or snow.
  • If you’re venturing into the mountains, bring warm layers as temperatures can drop quickly at higher elevations.
  • In the summer, pack sunscreen and hats to protect yourself from the strong Colorado sun.

Emergency Contacts

When traveling with your family in Colorado, knowing who to call in case of an emergency is important.

Here’s a handy table with some of your go-to emergency contacts for various situations:

Parting Words

Parting Words

So, you’re planning a family trip to Colorado?

That’s fantastic.

You’ll be thrilled to know that the Colorado travel cost is manageable for most budgets, ranging from $1,285 to $2,618 per week for one person.

Keep in mind, this estimate includes daily expenses like food, accommodation, and sightseeing.

When it comes to accommodations, you’ll find options from cozy 2 or 3-star hotel rooms for $88 to $112 per night to comfortable 1-bed vacation rentals priced at $140 to $171 per night.

The key is to focus on your priorities and find a balance between comfort and cost.

Don’t forget to set aside some dough for memorable experiences and activities .

Allocate a budget for gas, a rental car, and any entry fees.

Remember, the beauty of Colorado lies in its majestic landscapes and countless outdoor adventures.

You’re in for an unforgettable experience, and you can’t put a price on those family memories.

Related: What to Buy in Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a colorado vacation typically cost.

A Colorado vacation cost can greatly vary depending on your travel preferences. However, on average, you can expect to spend around $200 to $300 per day for accommodations, food, and activities.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Colorado On A Budget?

The best time of year to visit Colorado on a budget is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. During these times, you’ll find discounted rates on accommodations and fewer crowds at popular tourist spots.

What’s The Average Cost Of A Denver Trip?

The average cost of a Denver trip can range from $150 to $250 per day. This includes accommodations, meals, and sightseeing activities. Keep in mind that your budget might be higher or lower depending on your itinerary and preferences.

How Can I Save Money On A Colorado Trip?

To save money on your Colorado trip, try traveling during weekdays when the roads are clearer and hotel rates are lower. Also, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons and look for deals on vacation packages. Plan ahead and prioritize free or affordable activities like hiking and exploring parks.

Champion Traveler

Cost of a Trip to Colorado & the Cheapest Time to Visit Colorado

The average price of a 7-day trip to Colorado is $1,307 for a solo traveler, $1,985 for a couple, and $4,136 for a family of 4 . Colorado hotels range from $65 to $288 per night with an average of $105, while most vacation rentals will cost $200 to $580 per night for the entire home. Average worldwide flight costs to Colorado (from all airports) are between $659 and $1,025 per person for economy flights and $2,069 to $3,219 for first class. Depending on activities, we recommend budgeting $49 to $100 per person per day for transportation and enjoying local restaurants.

See below for average , budget , and luxury trip costs. You can also look up flight costs from your airport for more tailored flight pricing.

The Cheapest Times to Visit Colorado

On average, these will be the cheapest dates to fly to Colorado and stay in a Colorado hotel:

  • January 15th to March 4th (except the week of February 12th)
  • April 16th to May 6th
  • August 6th to December 9th (except the week of November 26th)

The absolute cheapest time to take a vacation in Colorado is usually early to mid September .

Average Colorado Trip Costs

Average solo traveler.

The average cost for one person to visit Colorado for a week is $1,285-$2,618 ($184-$374 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $49 to $100 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $414 to $892 for economy

Lodging : $88 to $112 per night for one 2 or 3-star hotel room

or $140 to $171 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Average Couple’s Trip

The average cost for a couple to visit Colorado for a week is $2,035-$4,209 ($291-$601 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $97 to $200 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $828 to $1,783 for economy

Average Family Vacation

The average cost for 4 people to visit Colorado for a week is $4,070-$7,915 ($581-$1,131 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $195 to $400 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,655 to $3,567 for economy

Lodging : $175 to $224 per night for two 2 or 3-star hotel rooms

or $207 to $258 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Traveling Cheap to Colorado

How cheap can you make a vacation to Colorado? The cheapest trip to Colorado is about $130 per person per day for travelers willing to take standby flights, deal with inconvenience, and otherwise limit travel expenses. About 1% of rentals are available in the $0 to $100 range for an entire place, and vacation rentals can be booked for as low as $16 per night. These inexpensive rentals must be booked as early as possible and may not be in the most desirable areas. 1-star hotels are more likely to be available, with rooms starting at around $55.

Even cheaper trips are possible depending on where you live and whether you can drive. Check the cheapest times to fly for more saving ideas.

Budget Solo Traveler

The lowest cost for one person to visit Colorado for a week is $912-$2,195 ($130-$314 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $24 to $49 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Lodging : $55 to $65 per night for one 1-star hotel room

or $131 to $160 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Budget Couple’s Trip

The lowest cost for a couple to visit Colorado for a week is $1,501-$3,429 ($214-$490 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $49 to $98 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Budget Family Vacation

The lowest cost for 4 people to visit Colorado for a week is $3,001-$6,373 ($429-$910 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $98 to $196 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Lodging : $110 to $129 per night for two 1-star hotel rooms

or $198 to $239 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Overall it is very difficult to travel to Colorado cheaply.

The Cost of a Luxury Colorado Trip

There is no true ceiling on the cost of a luxury trip, so our estimates are based on what most people do in Colorado.

Luxury Solo Traveler

The high-end price for one person to visit Colorado for a week is $2,608-$10,393 ($373-$1,485 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $99 to $199 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,033 to $2,208 for first class

Lodging : $147 to $288 per night for one 4 or 5-star hotel room

or $565 to $1,132 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Luxury Couple’s Trip

The high-end price for a couple to visit Colorado for a week is $4,326-$13,987 ($618-$1,998 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $197 to $397 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $2,065 to $4,416 for first class

Luxury Family Vacation

The high-end price for 4 people to visit Colorado for a week is $8,659-$24,625 ($1,237-$3,518 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $395 to $794 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $4,130 to $8,831 for first class

Lodging : $294 to $576 per night for two 4 or 5-star hotel rooms

or $848 to $1,706 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Colorado Hotel Prices

The cost of staying in Colorado is much higher than the average city. On average hotels are less expensive than vacation rentals. Luxury vacation rentals are more expensive in Colorado due to very high property costs. The graphs below show how much cost can vary depending on the type of experience you’re looking for.

Colorado Lodging Cost by Star Status

The average price for the class of hotel is on the (y) axis. The hotel class (out of 5 stars) is on the (x) axis.

Prices are based on Colorado hotel averages and may not reflect current prices. In some cases, we extrapolate prices to estimate costs, and hotels with your desired star rating may not be available.

Vacation Rental Prices

The percent of vacation rentals in the price range is on the left (y) axis. Price range is on the bottom (x) axis.

There are a healthy amount of vacation rentals serving all budgets in Colorado.

Flight Costs to Colorado

Averaging flights around the world, prices go from a high of $1,025 average in late December to a low of $659 in early to mid September. Median flight price is $678. These prices are based on millions of flights. For Colorado our data includes hundreds of originating airports, and dozens of airlines. The area has more variance in price compared with other locations.

Average Flight Cost by Season

Average flight cost by day of week.

The cheapest day to fly in is typically Tuesday, and the cheapest day to fly back is usually Tuesday. Click here to see data for the cost of flights from your airport. In Colorado, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive week is about $366, so you can easily save about 56% simply by using our free flight guides and booking in advance.

Daily Expenses Budget

Daily vacation expenses vary more based on what you’re interested in doing. A fine dining restaurant with drinks around Colorado can easily cost $368 per person or more, while a standard nice meal might be about $24 per person. Private tours can cost $736 per day, but self-guided tours to see the outdoor sights can be free. Costs vary wildly, so recommendations are made based on the cost of living and averages we see for this type of vacation.

Other Colorado Guides

Travel costs nearby.

  • Limon, CO, US
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  • Garden of Gods, the United States
  • Monument, CO, US
  • Castlewood Canyon State Park, the United States
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travel expenses colorado

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GSA establishes the rates that federal agencies use to reimburse their employees for lodging and meals and incidental expenses incurred while on official travel within the continental United States (CONUS). A standard rate applies to most of CONUS. Individual rates apply to about 300 non-standard areas (NSAs). Most NSAs are a key city/primary destination and the surrounding county. Rates for the coming federal government fiscal year are typically announced in mid-August. Search the rates below or refer to the flat files , API , or trip calculator .

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Travelmath provides an online cost calculator to help you determine the cost of driving between cities. You can use this data to figure out a budget for a road trip. The driving calculation is based on the average fuel efficiency of your vehicle, and you can change the gas mileage in mpg or L/100 km to match your exact make and model. Gas prices are automatically estimated based on current fluctuations, and again you can adjust these to fit your local gas station prices. Both U.S. and international units are available to make the calculations easier to use, and the output is given for both one-way and round trip travel routes.

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Colorado - Jury Duty Compensation

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CO Jury Duty Pay and Reimbursement Rates

Page navigation:, | jury duty pay rates in colorado.

In Colorado, jurors receive nominal compensation for each day spent at jury selection , or while serving on a jury. While other states provide jurors with mileage reimbursement for travel, this is not available in Colorado.

The state reimburses all regular employees, $50.00 per diem, commencing the 4th day of service. No other entitlements are typically awarded for out of pocket expenses. Although overnight stays are unlikely, jurors residing 50 or more miles from the courthouse are eligible to receive reimbursement if they choose to stay overnight in a hotel.

Courts may make public transportation arrangements for attendance at no cost to the juror.

Unemployed or not regularly employed jurors may apply to the jury commissioner on the first day of jury service, and will be reimbursed by the state for reasonable travel, childcare, and other necessary out-of-pocket expenses, except food, for the first three days of juror service and/or any part thereof. Reimbursement will not exceed $50.00 unless otherwise determined by the state court. Unemployment benefits not affected by jury service payments.

| Other Compensation for Jurors in Colorado

Juror pay is typically a token amount, set by state or local law decades ago, and is often very low due to not being not adjusted for inflation or rising costs of living.

In addition to your pay, you will generally be reimbursed for costs associated with serving as a juror, including parking, tolls, and if necessary, overnight accommodations during multi-day trials away from your home. The courthouse will often provide refreshments and meals during the trial to permit jurors to continue deliberations without leaving.

Does My Employer Pay Me For Jury Duty?

In most states, your employer will be required to give you unpaid time off for jury duty, while in some states employers are required to pay employees for time served on a jury. Your employer may also elect to pay you for time served on a jury even if they are not required to, though many may then require you to sign over your jury duty paycheck. Click here for more info on your employer's jury duty obligations in Colorado.

Is Colorado Jury Duty Pay Taxable?

While jury duty pay in Colorado won't add up to much, the IRS considers it to be taxable income. Sometimes the court will send you a 1099-G or 1099-MISC form with your jury duty payment, other times you won't receive a 1099. Mileage reimbursements, and jury duty pay that you signed over to your employer, are not taxable. You may also be able to claim tax deductions for unreimbursed mileage or expenses incurred during the course of your jury duty service.

| CO Jury Duty Law Sections Cited:

Colo. rev. stat. § § 13-71-126 13-71-133 to 13-71-134, 18-1.3-501,   jury duty 101 instant feedback.

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Understanding business travel deductions

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IRS Tax Tip 2023-15, February 7, 2023

Whether someone travels for work once a year or once a month, figuring out travel expense tax write-offs might seem confusing. The IRS has information to help all business travelers properly claim these valuable deductions.

Here are some tax details all business travelers should know

Business travel deductions are available when employees must travel away from their  tax home  or  main place of work  for business reasons. A taxpayer is traveling away from home if they are away for longer than an ordinary day's work and they need to sleep to meet the demands of their work while away.

Travel expenses  must be ordinary and necessary. They can't be lavish, extravagant or for personal purposes.

Employers can deduct travel expenses paid or incurred during a  temporary work assignment  if the assignment length does not exceed one year.

Travel expenses for  conventions  are deductible if attendance benefits the business. There are special rules for conventions held  outside North America .

Deductible travel expenses include:

  • Travel by airplane, train, bus or car between your home and your business destination.
  • Fares for taxis or other types of transportation between an airport or train station and a hotel, or from a hotel to a work location.
  • Shipping of baggage and sample or display material between regular and temporary work locations.
  • Using a personally owned car for business.
  • Lodging and  meals .
  • Dry cleaning and laundry.
  • Business calls and communication.
  • Tips paid for services related to any of these expenses.
  • Other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to the business travel.

Self-employed individuals or farmers with travel deductions

  • Those who are self-employed can deduct travel expenses on  Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship) .
  • Farmers can use  Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming .

Travel deductions for the National Guard or military reserves

National Guard or military reserve servicemembers can claim a deduction for unreimbursed travel expenses paid during the  performance of their duty .

Recordkeeping

Well-organized records  make it easier to prepare a tax return. Keep records such as receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support a deduction.

Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips

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The Travel Card is a tax exempt, corporate liability card issued by US Bank, and a cardholder can be either an employee or affiliate fiscal staff. The university carries the liability for charges made by the cardholders and pays the bank directly for all charges.

Travel Card purchases must be related to official university business and must be made in accordance with all applicable university and other policies, procedures, rules, and regulations.  

Obtaining a Travel Card

Travel Card applications are processed in the Concur Travel and Expense Management System. Card application Requests can be created and submitted by the requesting employee, or by their assigned Delegate in Concur .

Travel Card applicants must be approved by the department Fiscal Manager, Administrator, the employee’s HR supervisor, Dean, Director, Chair or Department Head. Applicants should work with their department to determine the appropriate authorization. Once identified, the approver should be included on the Request in Concur and the system will route the application for approval accordingly. Travel card applicants can be either an employee or an affiliate fiscal staff.

Before a new Travel Card will be issued, the applicant must complete the following Skillsoft training courses including passing the course quizzes:

  • Or, for University Officers,  Fiscal Code of Ethics – Officers  (_scorm12_cu_f00002_0001) 
  • Travel and Travel Card Training  (_scorm12_cu_u00078_0001)

These Skillsoft courses can be accessed from the Skillsoft tile in the employee portal . To expedite card processing, it is recommended these courses be successfully completed before an application is submitted in Concur.

Information provided in the application Request in Concur will be used to establish the new card account. Cardholders are expected to maintain the information associated with their account and should submit a Concur Request update form when information on their account needs to be changed or updated. Cardholders should work with their department to determine the appropriate mailing address for the cardholder’s account.

Card Spending Limits

Travel cards are generally issued with a $3,500 credit limit. Any request exceeding $3,500 requires justification on the application Request and may require additional department, campus and/or PSC approvals. The PSC will review card Requests to ensure appropriate approvals are present before approving card accounts in excess of $3,500.

Activating the Travel Card and How It Works

Additional information on activating a newly issued Travel Card and details on how the card works can be found on the Commercial Card Program page.

  • Activating a Commercial Card
  • How the Card Works

Updating Travel Card Account Information

Using the travel card.

The Travel Card is provided as a resource for employees who travel out-of-state or abroad on official university business. The card can be used for travel and travel-related expenses while an employee is in travel status including:

  • Hotels/lodging
  • Ground transportation
  • Train/bus fare
  • Baggage fees
  • Rental cars and rental car gas

The Travel Card can also be used to cover the traveler’s conference registration fees and the incidental costs of eligible goods during the course of a university business trip.

The Travel Card can also be used to cover costs related to small, local official functions.

Traveling Abroad 

Cardholders who will be traveling overseas should notify US Bank prior to their trip to ensure that the card will not be potentially declined as part of ongoing fraud prevention efforts.

While travelling internationally, foreign currency transactions will incur a conversion fee. That fee is the responsibility of the traveling employee/the department.

Additional Insurance Coverage

The Travel Card provides limited, secondary insurance coverage for rental cars when certain terms and conditions are met. For specific questions on this coverage, contact 1.800.VISA.911.

Sales Tax Exemption

While the University of Colorado is a tax-exempt organization, expenses incurred while traveling outside of Colorado may not be exempt from tax charges, even when the Travel Card is used for payment. Please refer to the Office of the University Controller's Tax-Exempt Information for additional information on tax exemption. Travel-related expenses not eligible for sales-tax exemption can be included in the reconciliation/reimbursement request.

Non-Employee Travel Expenses

The Travel Card can be used to cover most individual non-employee travel expenses unless those expenses are related to a Scope of Work (SOW) agreement with an independent contractor ( see Restrictions below ).

When paying for non-employee lodging for guests visiting the university, the cardholder should inform the hotel that only lodging and related taxes/fees should be charged to the Travel Card. The hotel should be notified to collect a secondary personal card from the guest to be used for incidentals and other room charges. Room service/food charges should not be paid on the Travel Card for non-employees.

Some organizational units regularly sponsor group travel . Groups are defined as three or more employees/non-employees traveling to the same location for the same official university business.

In such cases, a designated cardholder may use the card to pay for group meals of those traveling with the group (individual per diem limits still apply) and/or to cover the costs of group ground transportation including car rentals while also in travel status with the group. The cardholder may also use the card to reserve and pay for hotel room blocks for traveling groups. All expenses related to the group travel should be claimed and submitted on the group leader’s expense report.  For non-employee group travel, these expenses should be submitted by the travel arranger on a Non-Employee report.

Restrictions

The Travel Card is intended for use according to the guidance provided in How to Use the Travel Card section above. Improper or unauthorized use of the Travel Card may result in card suspension or cancelation, and possibly in cardholder disciplinary action up to and including employee suspension or termination. While it is not possible to list every unallowable use of the card in this handbook, the following list of restrictions are some of those most commonly encountered by cardholders.

If there is a contract or vendor agreement associated with a Travel Card purchase, the cardholder cannot proceed with the purchase until the appropriate PSC purchasing agent has reviewed and signed the contract/agreement.

Travel Expenses for Other Individual CU Employees

Employees are prohibited from using their Travel Card to pay for the individual travel expenses of other employees. Each individual traveling on university business is expected to have their own Travel Card or to otherwise pay for their individual travel expenses and submit those expenses on their own travel reconciliation report. The only exception to this is when three or more employees are traveling as a group, as defined on the group travel page.

Independent Contractor Travel Expenses

The Travel Card cannot be used to pay for independent contractor travel expenses related to a Scope of Work (SOW) . The independent contractor is responsible for covering any travel expenses related to their engagement with the university, and the SOW amount should be calculated to include those costs. Those costs can be billed to the university as part of the engagement; however they cannot be paid on the Travel Card nor directly through the managed travel program.

The Travel Card generally cannot be used to pay for airfare. Airfare paid by the university will be charged to the Airfare Card directly when booked in Concur or with a Christopherson Business Travel agent. Charges made to the Airfare Card will be imported to the Concur profile of the traveling employee or the travel arranger (for non-employee or group bookings).

Reconciling Travel Card Transactions

Any personal charges paid with the Travel Card during a trip must be processed as a “Personal Expense” in the expense report in Concur, and the associated amount will either be deducted from the out-of-pocket amount claimed by the traveler or must be paid back to the university directly.

If the cardholder owes the university money (e.g. because meals purchased on the Travel Card totaled more than the amount allowed by the destination’s per diem rate), the individual must repay the university and attach the validated Cash Receipt form for the payment to the expense report prior to submitting. Individuals who need to make a payment to the university should work with their department’s finance team and/or their campus Bursar’s office.

Report Preparation and Submission

Individual cardholders are ultimately responsible for preparing and submitting their own travel expense reports. If the cardholder utilizes a Delegate in Concur, the cardholder is still responsible for ensuring timely submission of their expense reports in the system. If the cardholder is owed money due to eligible reimbursable expenses such as per diem or allowable cash/out-of-pocket submitted business expenses included on the same report, the university will process a payment to the individual once the expense report is fully approved in the system. All expense reports submitted through Concur will require the employee's acknowledgement of the university’s Expense System Certification Statements .

Because the Travel Card is a university liability card, the individual cardholders are responsible for ensuring the reconciliation of charges made on their card is done according to requirements of the university’s accountable plan. The individual cardholder is also responsible for submission of all required substantiation materials in Concur such as receipts, business purpose descriptions, etc., which are attached to or populated within the expense entries of a report. Substantiation and submission must occur within 90 days of the transaction date or within 90 days of the trip end date, if related to travel. The university’s accountable plan can be reviewed in the Finance Procedural Statement: Business Expense Substantiation & Tax Implications . Employees are expected to familiarize themselves with the required timelines and substantiation requirements outlined in the plan.

Approval Workflows

When Travel Card transactions are reconciled on an expense report in Concur, the system will route that expense report to the appropriate approver as determined by information populated in the report header. The employee submitting the expense report for their Travel Reconciliation will select between “HR Supervisor” which is the person to whom the employee reports in the human resources HCM system, or “SpeedType” which will route the report to one of the fiscal staff listed on the SpeedType selected for the expense reimbursement. Employees should work with their department to determine which selection is appropriate for their expense report review.

Lost or Stolen Travel Card

The cardholder is responsible for immediately reporting a lost or stolen Travel Card by contacting US Bank directly at 1.800.344.5696 (outside U.S., call collect 1.701.461.2010). If there were no fraudulent transactions made on the lost or stolen card, no additional actions are required in Concur or with the Commercial Card Office after the bank is notified.

The cardholder is also responsible for monitoring their Concur profile for unauthorized charges, including those related to a lost or stolen card. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the bank immediately once detected at 1.800.344.5696.

Canceling a Travel Card

The airfare card.

The Airfare Card is a centrally managed card account used exclusively by the university’s travel management company, Christopherson Business Travel (CBT), to pay for airline and other common carrier tickets for university travelers.

When an employee (or their travel arranger) books an airline ticket online through Concur Travel or directly with a CBT travel agent, the airfare is charged directly to the university’s Airfare Card account.

  • Access Concur via your  campus portal
  • Tax Exempt Information
  • PSC Commodity Listing
  • Meals & Incidentals (M&IE) rates and breakdown (Per Diem)

Related Articles

  • Commercial Cards: Fraudulent Charges on a Commercial Card
  • Concur Expense: Reconciling Employee Travel
  • Concur Expense: Creating a New Employee Travel Reconciliation Report
  • Concur Request: Applying for a Travel Card
  • Concur Request: Suspending, Canceling, or Reinstating a Travel Card
  • Concur Request: Travel Card Updates
  • Concur Travel: Using the Travel Card to Pay for Travel Meals
  • Concur Travel: Approving Cash Advances
  • Concur Travel: Requesting Cash Advances for Travel

Policies and Procedures

  • PSC Procedural Statement: Travel
  • Finance Procedural Statement: Business Expense Substantiation & Tax Implications

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CCAR Travel Policies

All domestic and international travel must be approved prior to booking a trip. Please use a  Concur Request  for all domestic and international travel requests. You will need to enter your Request ID to finalize your international reservation.

Planning an international trip in the next six-twelve months? 

  • Check passport and other document requirements now. Many travelers are experiencing significant passport delays. 
  • For information on passport processing, including expedited services, see the  Department of State website , and the CIBT links on our  International Travel page .

Use the Concur Travel & Expense System (Concur) to book domestic and  international  travel and to process expense reports. Use the University's travel management company, Christopherson Business Travel (CBT), to book group travel; you can also use CBT for individual domestic and international bookings if desired. 

You may only purchase your own flights if the flight is not available on Concur or through the travel agent, or if the flights provide significant savings. 

  • Purchasing airfare on a personal credit card is only allowed provided you have obtained a comparison quote of the airfare through Concur for domestic travel or through CBT for international travel prior to your trip. 
  • The comparison quote must be for the exact same dates and timeframe as your quote for the internet airfare. If the total cost of the external site fare (including fees) is less than or equal to the Concur/CBT fare, you are allowed to purchase using a personal credit card. The comparison quote must be obtained prior to the actual purchase and must be retained to be submitted with your reimbursement report.  See the full policy for more information 

For further questions, please contact [email protected]

  • Booking Travel
  • While You Are Traveling
  • Returning From Travel

As an employee, you can book your domestic and  international  trips through the  Concur Travel & Expense System (Concur)  or through a  Christopherson Business Travel (CBT)  travel agent.

Airfare is charged to a central card (ghost card) and reconciled by the PSC. Airfare will need to be reconciled in Concur once you return. 

If you have not already done so, please work with CCAR Finance to obtain a  Travel Card  to facilitate payment of your other travel-related expenses.

For additional information, please visit the Infrequent Traveler links below:

  • Booking Travel: https://www.cu.edu/psc/training/booking-travel/concur-how-booking-travel
  • International Travel:  https://www.cu.edu/psc/international-travel-employees

If your travel includes personal travel, please contact CCAR Finance prior to booking, as there are additional approvals and proof of cost that are required.  

  • Make sure your Concur profile is up to date in order for the appropriate travel to be booked

How to update your Concur proflie

  • To book domestic flights, please submit a travel request through Concur & book through Concur.  If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

How to book flights

  • For international flights, please submit a travel request through Concur.  You will need your Request ID to complete your booking once approved. 

How to book international flights

  • You may also book your hotel and rental car via Concur or on your travel card/ personal card.

Keep itemized receipts and proof of payment for all single-item charges, regardless of the amount.  These items might include:

  • Rental car/ gas
  • Itemized hotel bill 
  • Official function meals with itemization and tip no larger than 20%
  • Transportation charges 
  • If driving a personal vehicle, the traveler should keep track of the mileage driven.
  • Conference attendees should retain the conference schedule in order to document whether or not meals were provided.

Receipts are not required for Per Diem.  The Per Diem rate is calculated based on the travel destination. If travel is wholly within a single day, meals are an allowable expense as long as the trip lasts 12 hours or more.  Reimbursement cannot exceed 75% of the daily M&IE per diem rate. If each travel day is not 12 hours or more, per diem is not allowable. 

As mentioned, since meals are paid via GSA per diem, receipts are not needed for meals in travel; however, please provide receipts for  all other  travel expenses. CU OCG Guidelines require that the department “ensure proper documentation exists and is retained to support the appropriateness of all sponsored project expenditures. This documentation responsibility is required regardless of dollar amount." 

Add the appropriate expense delegate to help you start your travel reimbursement.  Please add all CCAR Finance Staff.  

How to add an expense delegate

Fill out the  Travel Reimbursement Form , and submit it along with your itemized receipts.  Please include justification for all items. Instructions for how to complete Travel Form can be found here.  

Airfare will be reconciled as part of your travel reimbursement request.  If that is your only expense, we will still need to create a request. 

*Receipts are not required for Per Diem.  The Per Diem rate is calculated based on the travel destination. If travel is wholly within a single day, meals are an allowable expense as long as the trip lasts 12 hours or more.  Reimbursement cannot exceed 75% of the daily M&IE per diem rate. If each travel day is not 12 hours or more, per diem is not allowable. 

To avoid IRS implications, the Concur Travel Office must receive the expense report within 60 days of the trip end.

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  3. 💲 What a Trip to Colorado Costs in 2024

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COMMENTS

  1. What a Trip to Colorado Costs in 2024

    A one-week trip to Colorado for two people typically costs around $2,600. This includes an average of $100 per night for accommodation, $250 per person for flights, $75 per person per day for food, drink, and activities, and a total of $300 for transportation. Costs can vary depending on the type of activities chosen, with options like skiing ...

  2. Travel Fiscal Rule

    Please use the following information as guidance. D 2017-030 Executive Order Rescinding Executive Order D 005 03 - Concerning State Employee Travel. Fiscal Rule 5-1 Travel. Mileage Reimbursement Policy. Travel Guidance. Denver 50-Mile Radius Map. Taxability of State Travel Reimbursements Technical Guidance.

  3. Colorado Travel Cost

    That's fantastic. You'll be thrilled to know that the Colorado travel cost is manageable for most budgets, ranging from $1,285 to $2,618 per week for one person. Keep in mind, this estimate includes daily expenses like food, accommodation, and sightseeing.

  4. Cost of a Trip to Colorado & the Cheapest Time to Visit Colorado

    The average cost for one person to visit Colorado for a week is $1,285-$2,618 ($184-$374 per day) Food, Travel, and Sightseeing: $49 to $100 per day for one person's daily expenses. Flights: $414 to $892 for economy. Lodging: $88 to $112 per night for one 2 or 3-star hotel room. or $140 to $171 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

  5. FY 2024 Per Diem Rates for Colorado

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner, incidentals - Separate amounts for meals and incidentals. M&IE Total = Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner + Incidentals. Sometimes meal amounts must be deducted from trip voucher. See More Information. First & last day of travel - amount received on the first and last day of travel and equals 75% of total M&IE. Show entries.

  6. Per diem rates

    Per diem rates. GSA establishes the rates that federal agencies use to reimburse their employees for lodging and meals and incidental expenses incurred while on official travel within the continental United States (CONUS). A standard rate applies to most of CONUS.

  7. Mileage Reimbursement Rate

    1/1/2023. 65.5. 59. 62. Mileage Rate History. CRS 24-9-104 states that on and after January 1, 2008, state officers and employees shall be allowed mileage reimbursement of 90% of the prevailing IRS rate per mile for each mile actually and necessarily traveled while on official state business and, when authorized to be utilized and necessary for ...

  8. Cost of Driving Calculator

    Travelmath provides an online driving cost calculator to help you determine how much you'll spend on gas for your next road trip. You can enter airports, cities, states, countries, or zip codes to compute the cost of driving between locations. Driving distances are calculated using actual driving directions if they are available, or a GPS ...

  9. Travel Cost Calculator

    Travelmath provides an online cost calculator to help you determine the cost of driving between cities. You can use this data to figure out a budget for a road trip. The driving calculation is based on the average fuel efficiency of your vehicle, and you can change the gas mileage in mpg or L/100 km to match your exact make and model.

  10. Faculty Travel and Expense Reimbursement Information

    Please review the Colorado Law Facutly Development Policy. Any expenses submitted for reimbursement after 90 days will be considered taxable income. You can pay for expenses with your personal card and reimbursed via the Concur expense system. Please work with your Faculty Coordinator or Administrator to submit your expense report.

  11. Increase to Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2023

    The State of Colorado allows mileage reimbursement at 90% of the prevailing IRS rate for actual necessary travel while on official business. The increased reimbursement rates are detailed below. Concur has been updated to reflect these increased rates on mileage incurred on or after January 1, 2023. MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT RATES IN CENTS PER MILE.

  12. PDF Colorado Sales Tax Guide

    Colorado Consumer Use Tax Guide for additional information. Leases In general, leases of tangible personal property are considered retail sales and are subject to Colorado sales tax. However, a lease for a term of 36 months or less is tax-exempt if the lessor has paid Colorado sales or use tax on the acquisition of the leased property. ...

  13. PDF State of Colorado Fiscal Rules

    STATE OF COLORADO FISCAL RULES 5. TRAVEL ADVANCE 5.1 Travel Advance Form - A Traveler shall complete a Travel Advance form to obtain an advance for approved travel expenses, which shall co ntain a statement as to the purpose of the travel. Each Agency and Institution of Higher Education shall develop a Travel Advance form for use by its ...

  14. Non-Employee Travel Expense Processing

    The NRI form is used to reimburse travel expenses to non-employees in limited situations where: The payee is a non-U.S. person; and/or. The payee does not have a U.S. address. Non-employee travel expenses can be reimbursed through the Concur Travel & Expense System (Concur) or through the Non-Employee Reimbursement-International (NRI) form.

  15. Colorado Jury Duty Pay & Mileage Reimbursement Rates

    While other states provide jurors with mileage reimbursement for travel, this is not available in Colorado. The state reimburses all regular employees, $50.00 per diem, commencing the 4th day of service. ... You may also be able to claim tax deductions for unreimbursed mileage or expenses incurred during the course of your jury duty service ...

  16. Travel Card & Personal Reimbursement

    Include airfare, ground transportation, lodging, registration, rental car, rental car gas, parking, tolls, etc. In addition, this area can be used to submit receipts for personal reimbursements if you used your personal card for the purchase (s) and the purchase (s) was/were not travel related. Expense 1: Date *. Expense 1: Vendor *.

  17. Submit Travel Expenses

    Please provide your to and from addresses and total miles. Please attach a mileage log from travel approval link if you had more than 1 destination. Files must be less than 2 MB. Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png txt rtf html pdf doc docx odt ppt pptx odp xls xlsx ods xml. Files must be less than 2 MB.

  18. Understanding business travel deductions

    Tax Tip 2023-15, February 7, 2023 — Whether someone travels for work once a year or once a month, figuring out travel expense tax write-offs might seem confusing. The IRS has information to help all business travelers properly claim these valuable deductions. IRS Tax Tip 2023-15, February 7, 2023 Whether someone travels for work once a year ...

  19. Employee Travel Expense Processing

    The University of Colorado's accountable plan requires all business expenses including those related to travel be submitted within 90 days of when the expense was incurred, or within 90 days of the last date of travel, if incurred during business travel. Employees who do not meet the conditions of the University's accountable plan will have ...

  20. Travel

    The University of Colorado's managed travel program supports the robust and complex travel needs of all individuals who travel on university business. — The Travel Card ... — Non-Employee Travel Expense Processing Learn more. The travel program works to: Facilitate a safe and efficient travel experience for faculty, staff, students and ...

  21. Legal advice on Child support and travel expenses in Colorado

    Asked in Colorado Springs, CO | Dec 13, 2015. Credit for expensive transportation costs for out of state visitation. I spent about $2,000 traveling for visitation with my child out of state last year. For 2016, I have a new visitation schedule that now allows me to bring my child back to CO from out of state for visitation 4 times.

  22. The Travel Card

    The Travel Card is designed to facilitate payment of university travel-related expenses. Individual cardholders can use their card to pay for most of their university travel-related expenses, as well as for certain travel expenses for guests/non-employees. The Travel Card is a tax exempt, corporate liability card issued by US Bank, and a ...

  23. SEC.gov

    The Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system is the primary way for companies and individuals to submit filings to the SEC in accord with the federal securities laws.

  24. CCAR Travel Policies

    Use the Concur Travel & Expense System (Concur) to book domestic and international travel and to process expense reports. Use the University's travel management company, Christopherson Business Travel (CBT), to book group travel; you can also use CBT for individual domestic and international bookings if desired. You may only purchase your own ...