It is possible to combine official travel with personal travel (Section 13 German Travel Expenses Act - BRKG). However, your private stay may not exceed more than five working days, regardless of whether it takes place before, during or after the official travel.
Working days are defined as all domestic working days from Monday to Friday excluding any public holidays.
If you combine official travel with a private trip lasting more than five working days, you are no longer entitled to compensation for the departure and arrival costs. This can result in a financial loss, as only the costs directly related to the official business (per diem and accommodation allowance, conference fees) remain reimbursable.
In special cases, official travel may be commissioned at your (vacation) destination preceding or following your private stay. This must be documented clearly by the approving supervisor and included in the approval for official travel.
Please contact the Travel Expense Office if you are planning official travel and are uncertain about the impact of certain organizational details.
When submitting your travel expense report or requesting advance payment, you must submit a cost comparison with departure and arrival costs of the official travel.
If travel to and from the place of business differs from the actual travel times chosen for personal reasons, your travel costs can only be reimbursed if
your personal travel takes place directly prior to or after the official travel.
As a rule, you must travel by train whenever possible when traveling for official business. Please take this into consideration when comparing costs. If travel by train is not possible due to distance or other reasons, you must submit a cost comparison for the relevant means of transport (e.g. travel outside of Germany is generally faster by plane).
You must prepare a cost comparison at the time you book your actual travel/flights, as you can only be reimbursed for the those travel expenses directly incurred for business on the route from your home/place of work (usually Berlin) to the place of business (location of the meeting/conference, etc.) and back.
Please prepare a comparison with direct travel or flight connections (wherever possible and available) from the place of work/your home to the destination (conference/meeting location).
When booking flights, you are advised to use comparison portals to ensure you choose the cheapest and most efficient connection.
When booking train travel, please take advantage of all price discounts, such as the BahnCard, saver fares, or the corporate discount. If you book a saver fare, your cost comparison must include a comparison of the relevant saver fares.
If additional costs are incurred by combining official travel with a private stay, these are only reimbursed if the total costs do not exceed those for travel for business only.
Overall, you will be reimbursed for travel/flight costs on the basis of your actual costs up to a maximum of the officially necessary costs.
If you combine official travel with a private stay lasting longer than five working days, you will only be reimbursed for costs directly related to official business.
Hypothetical official travel: Home – Official business – Home
The costs related to the hypothetical travel represent the maximum reimbursement for travel expenses.
Actual trip: Home – Vacation destination – Official business – Home
The actual costs are documented with original receipts submitted with the travel expense report. If these are less than the costs of the hypothetical official travel, they are reimbursed in full.
Hypothetical personal travel: Home – Vacation destination – Home
You must submit a comparison with solely personal travel if you are combining your official travel with a personal stay lasting longer than five days. Only any additional expenditures for business will be reimbursed. Additional expenditures are reimbursed up to the maximum amount of the hypothetical official travel. If your personal vacation destination is the same as the place of business, there are generally no additional travel/flight costs.