To be eligible for travel status, the traveler must be more than 50 miles away from home and duty station and work for eleven hours in total while satisfying the mileage requirement.  Time when the traveler is in transit to and from the temporary business location, that satisfies the mileage requirement, is eligible to be counted toward the eleven hour requirement.  Meal time can not be included in the eleven hours. 

Reimbusrement based on allowable per diem rates which includes:

Per Diem Rates

List of Domestic Per Diem Rates

  • includes 48 contiguous States and District of Columbia high cost locations
  • use this county code search when the city is not listed and to identify if the city is in a high cost county 
  • if both city and county is not listed, use CONUS (contiguous U.S. and District of Columbia) standard meal rate of $46
  • use this meal breakdown for washington state locations  (do not use GSA meal breakdown)

Meal Per Diem Breakdown


Breakfast Lunch Dinner
$46 $11 $14 $21
$51 $13 $15 $23
$54 $14 $16 $24
$59 $15 $18 $26
$64 $16 $19 $29
$69 $17 $21 $31
$74 $19 $22 $33

List of Non-Contiguous Per Diem Rates

  • includes Alaska, Hawaii and other U.S. territories
  • use other category if location is not listed
  • add local incidental and local meal rates to compute total allowable daily meal rate
  • meal breakdown is 25% for breakfast, 30% for lunch, 45% for dinner of total daily meal rate

List of Foreign Per Diem Rates

  • listed in US dollars
  • use other category if location is not listed
  • meal breakdown is 25% for breakfast, 30% for lunch, 45% for dinner of total daily meal rate

* If travel was prior to listed per diem in ARIBA use "Other  Miscellaneous" line item, add comment listing allowed per diem and attach proof in form of a pdf or copy and paste details into comment section. 

Entering/Leaving Travel Status Meals 

Daily meal allowance is allowable according to the following time guidelines:

  • Entering travel status by departing from official duty station/residence; travel status begins when the traveler leaves their offical duty station/residence. It's allowable to arrive at the airport up to three hours before domestic flights and up to four hours before international flights
  • Coming off travel status by returning to official duty station/residence

Entering Travel Status

Meal(s) Reimbursed That Day

Before 8:00 AM

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After 8:00 AM and before 2:00 PM

Lunch, Dinner

After 2:00 PM and before 6:00 PM


Coming Off Travel Status

Meal(s) Reimbursed That Day

After 6:00 AM and before 12:00 PM


After 12:00 PM and before 6:00 PM

Breakfast and Lunch

After 6:00 PM

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Provided Meals

Traveler and department are responsible for retaining documentation that justifies the meals claimed during a conference/meeting/trip. It is recommended to attach this documentation to the expense report. 

Reimbursement for Actual Cost Over Allowance

Meal(s) such as banquet dinners must be conference/seminar sponsored and have speakers or pertinent round table discussions. These type of meals are not considered meal per diem. Use banquet meals line item in eTravel. Receipts are required.

Meals Paid on Behalf of Others

Itemized receipt(s) are required regardless of cost. Reimbursement is at actual amount paid (exclude alcohol) and cannot exceed allowable meal per diem rate/per person according to location of travel (attach proof of per diem to ER).  Spreadsheet is required.  Review instructions.

Since meals are based on allowable per diem rates, travelers should pay and claim their OWN meals and receipts are not required. When meals are paid on behalf of others, itemized receipt(s) are required regardless of cost and the completed  meals paid for others spreadsheet must be submitted.


  • all participants must be in travel status; meals for others not on travel status are claimed on a Check Request (Non UW) or eReimbursments (UW).
  • reimbursment is at actual amount paid (exclude alcohol) and cannot exceed allowable meal per diem rate/ per person according to location of travel.
  • traveler claiming meals on behalf of others should claim their OWN meals as allowable meal per diem (do not include traveler on spreadsheet)
  • select Meals Paid for Others in eTravel
  • ensure travelers do not claim allowable meal per diem for any meal(s) paid and claimed by another.
  • attach proof of per diem in pdf form to ER ( ex. pdf of GSA website).


  • subtract travelers meal per diem then find average cost of meals for others. 
  • travelers should pay for their own meals and request allowable meal per diem which does not require receipts
  • if it's necessary to pay meals on behalf of others, request itemized receipt before ordering

Living Allowance

Living allowances are payments made to support a foreign national during a course of study or research. The individual must be in travel status. Living allowances can be issued to a foreign national not receiving an honorarium. The allowance is based on the temporary work destination's daily meal per diem rate and is issued for up to 30 days at a time. Additional requests (up to 30 days each) may be submitted. Living allowances must be paid in advance, otherwise expenses are reimbursed on an Expense Report (ER) under meal per diem line item. Under most circumstances, living allowances are not considered taxable income.

*If short trip please contact Travel Office to expedite payment.


  • meals included in price of lodging (i.e. B & B)
  • meals included in registration fee
  • provided meals (except for airline meals and continental breakfasts) and regardless whether or not:
    • there was a registration fee
    • personal dietary decisions for religious or other optional choices
    • attended the function where the meal was served (unless there is a legitimate business reason not attending)  
  • please add comment to ER if medical conditions that require special dietary constraints