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Travel To and From Madison

Please wait to begin making travel arrangements until we email you about it. We plan to email everyone about travel during the week of June 6–10, but are starting with a small group to fix any early issues.

Whether we offered to pay your travel costs or not, please make sure that we get a copy of your travel plans so that we know when to expect you here and can plan accurately. (If we offered to pay for your hotel room, we will make a room reservation and pay for the six nights of the schedule.)

Find the numbered section below that applies to you:

1. We Offered to Pay for Your Travel

Our goal is to find reasonable and comfortable travel options for you to come to Madison and return home. At the same time, we must stay within our budget and follow all University of Wisconsin rules about arranging and paying for your travel costs. So let’s work together to find something that makes sense for everyone.

Here are a few ideas that have worked in the past to help some School travelers:

  • If you are less than 300 miles from Madison, consider driving; we can reimburse mileage and tolls up to a point. Or look into bus routes, especially from larger cities like Chicago.

  • If you fly, it may be much cheaper to fly to Milwaukee (1½ hours away) or Chicago (2½ hours away), then take a direct bus to Madison. The buses are very comfortable, have wi-fi, and run frequently. Flying to Madison is the goal, but in some cases we will consider the fly-and-bus option. See below.

  • Also if you fly, be flexible about departure times — early and late flights are often the least expensive. Now we do not like very early or very late flights any more than you do, so we will work hard to find reasonable flight times.

Note: Please try to complete your travel plans by about June 20, before rates go up.

Travel by Airplane

Do NOT buy your own airline tickets. University rules say that our travel agency, Travel Incorporated, must buy your tickets.

Use the following information to get air travel tickets:

  • In the email that we sent you about arranging travel, click the link to Travel Incorporated’s “UWS Traveler Booking Form” form (on

  • You will need information on this page of tips to complete the form.

  • We must review and approve most trips. Travel Inc can purchase tickets directly only in the easiest cases. But if the Travel Inc agent says that your trip must be reviewed, do not worry! It just means that we need to check the budget, options, and UW rules. We hope to approve your first choice, or we will work with you and Travel Inc to find another reasonable one.

    Common reasons for a trip needing review are: total trip cost over $600, travel starting and ending at different locations, and travel on dates other than July 24 and 30.

  • Approval takes time, so it may take day or two to get confirmation. Airplane tickets cannot be held without purchase over a weekend, so avoid contacting Travel Inc late on Fridays.

  • Please be considerate of the Travel Inc agent(s) you work with. They work hard to find good options for you, but they must also follow our rules. If you feel that they are not providing the options that you want, you should email us. We will help resolve any issues. Do not argue with the Travel Inc agents, especially about options you find online — there are many reasons why that option might not be available to us.

Travel by Bus

For some nearby locations, or in addition to air travel to Chicago or Milwaukee, it may be helpful to take a bus to Madison. Bus companies that School travelers have used a great deal in the past are:

To get bus tickets, pick one method:

  • Ask us to buy bus tickets for you in advance. This is the easiest option all around. Just email us at; include your desired travel dates (tickets are not specific by time), and start and end locations.

  • Buy bus tickets for yourself. You may purchase bus tickets yourself before or on the day of travel. If you purchase your own tickets, you must get approval from the School for the estimated cost first, then request reimbursement from us after the School.

    If you purchase your own tickets, save the original receipt (even if by email). It is best to have a detailed receipt (including your name, itinerary, date of purchase, and total amount paid), but a regular ticket stub (e.g., without your name or date) should work fine. Just get what you can!

    Be sure to email us with your bus plans, including:

    • Transportation provider(s) (e.g., Van Galder bus)
    • Arrival date and approximate time
    • Departure date and approximate time
    • Arrival and departure location within Madison
    • Actual or estimated cost (indicate which)

Travel by Personal Car

If you are driving to Madison, you will be reimbursed the mileage rate of $0.585 per mile for the shortest round-trip distance (as calculated by Google Maps), plus tolls. Also, we will pay for parking costs for the week at the hotel in Madison (but not elsewhere). We recommend keeping your receipts for tolls.

Note: Due to the high mileage reimbursement rate, driving can be an expensive option! We reserve the right to limit your total driving reimbursement, so work with us on the details.

To travel by personal car, please check with us first. We may search for comparable flight options, to make sure that driving is indeed the least expensive method.

Be sure to email us with your travel plans as soon as possible. Try to include:

  • Departure date from home, location (for mileage calculation), and approximate time of arrival in Madison
  • Departure date and approximate time from Madison, and return location (for mileage calculation) if different than above

2. We Are Not Paying for Your Travel

If you are paying for your own travel or if someone else is paying for it, go ahead and make your travel arrangements now! Just remember to arrive on Sunday, July 24, before 6pm and depart on Saturday, July 30 (or else check with us first).

Be sure to email us with your travel plans as soon as possible. Try to include:

  • Transportation provider(s) (e.g., airline)
  • Arrival date and approximate time
  • Departure date and approximate time
  • Arrival and departure location within Madison (e.g., airport, bus station, etc.)