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14 Hour Rule

A traveler that meets the 14 hour rule may be eligilble for business class without an approval. Travel time is calculated as the one-way from origin (airport) to destination (airport) including flight time and layovers. Do not include travel time to the airport or home from the airport. 

150 % rule

Cap used to limit exceptions to lodging per diem to two choices. Calculated as: (1.5 x the daily meal per diem allowance + the daily lodging per diem).


Abstract Fee

Required fees to submit paper for attending conference may be reimbursed.

ADA Compliance

To reduce medical liability such as HIPAA, departments are highly recommended to forward ADA accommodation (travel medical accommodation) inquiries to the UW Disability Services Office. They are the HR unit that is properly equipped to review medical information and report to the department the accommodation required for the traveler.

AirBnB for Work

The University of Washington has a custom portal for booking AirBnb to help you meet your business needs! 

Authorized Person

Many instances in policy require approval from 'authorized person'. Determining who is based on type of funding. 


Baggage Fees

Fees charged by airlines, excluding overweight charges, are allowable up to the first two bags. Overweight charges/additional bags require UW business justification. 

Banquet Meals

Meals that are conference/seminar sponsored, have speakers and/or pertinent round table discussions may be reimbursed separate to per diem at actual cost. This also would be considered a provided meal and that meal should be set to $0 on their meal per diem allowance. Select the line item 'banquet meal' in Workday Expense Report module. 


A 24-month fiscal period. The biennium extends from July 1 of odd numbered years to June 30 of odd numbered years.


Car Service

Ground transportation in which the traveler is paying for driver to transport them from one location to another. Tips for car service are reimbursable and may be included in the total. Travelers are limited to the service providers standard class. Any upgrades purchased for personal convenience are not reimbursable.

Central Travel Account (CTA)

Department purchasing method (ghost card) available to purchase travel. Mostly used for airfare and under certain circumstances lodging. Referred to as a ghost card as no physical card is issued, only credit card information is provided to the department. 


Fees related to change/cancellation of travel plans must meet certain criteria to be eligible for reimbursement. 


A traveler who purchased an expense on behalf of another. Travelers cannot request split reimbursements for expenses if the expense was purchased under a single traveler. The traveler who actually paid for the expense is the only person who may be reimbursed.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Car rental insurance that is allowable for reimursement and recommended to accept. Comes for free on the UW Enterprise contract. 

Commercial Lodging Facility

A business, non-profit or governmental entity that provides lodging accommodations for a fee. A commercial lodging facility other than a hotel must be supported by a tax ID number or a published advertisement. The facility must be available to the general public to qualify as commercial lodging (i.e. listed with a rental agency, newspaper ad, etc.). Reimbursements for lodging at private residence not supported by a tax ID number or a rental listing are not allowed under State and University policies and procedures. AirBnb and VRBO are considered commercial accommodations.


Any travel expenses (ground transportation, tolls, parking, etc) between official residence and official duty station is not reimbursable.

Companion Airfare

Discounted airfare for bringing a personal 'companion' offered by many airlines. Amount itemized to UW business traveler is amount that is eligible for reimbursement. 

Comparison Airfare

'Mock up' fare used to determine cost of flight for UW business only. Best practice is to acquire at the time of booking. Reimbursement is the lesser between actual cost including personal time and comparison airfare. 

Conference Hotel

Commonly used exception to go over lodging per diem. Defined as traveler is attending a conference, meeting, convention or training where the traveler is expected to have business interaction with other participants in addition to scheduled events. Hotel is the official conference location, a recommended hotel by the conference, or within 5 miles of the conference location (vicinity clause).


Traveler who has a seperate contract with the University. Travel reimbursement for consultant is to be reimbursed through the Workday Miscellaneous Payment module.


Direct Deposit

UW Employees can receive direct deposit for travel reimbursement. Processed by the Integrated Service Center (ISC) using Workday and payment is sent the next business day after final approval is given on the expense report. Deposits typically takes 2-5 business days once payment is sent. 



Direct financial, work-related costs that occur at the least cost to the state and which the state is responsible to pay.

Exceptions to Lodging Per Diem

To reimburse lodging over per diem, an exception must be claimed and documented. 

Exceptions to Travel Status

To reimburse per diem (meal per diem and/or lodging per diem) when the traveler is not on travel status, an exception must be approved by an authorized person and attached to the expense report.


Federal Funds

Travel compliance on federal funding is managed by UW Post Award Fiscal Compliance. Travel is a high risk expenditure on Federal awards, with some requirements differing from those of the UW and expenses are routinely subject to Federal agency review.  

Fiscal Year

A 12-month fiscal period extending from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year. 

Fly America Act

Federal funding policy requiring the use of US certified airfare carriers in most situations. 

Foreign Currency

Expenses in a foreign currency must be converted and entered in Workday as U.S. dollars (Workday only recognizes U.S. Dollars).

Foreign National

Travelers on UW business who are not a citizen of the United States. Documentation required when entering or leaving the US for reimbursement. 

Foreign Transaction/Exchange/Currency Fees

These fees are considered an incidental expense for foreign travel and is covered in the traveler's meals per diem (M&IE). It is not claimable as an expense. 


General Fund Budget

Encompasses most funding types outside the scope of grant and contract funding. (State apprpriated funds, department operating funds, self-sustaining operations, operating fee reveunue, etc.) 

Grant or Contract Budget

The UW receives various grants and contracts. Use of those funds is heavily restricted to the purposes outlined in the grantor contract. 


Health and Safety of Traveler

It is advantageous to the state for agencies to establish and alter travel plans and itineraries with consideration of hazardous inclement weather and other situations that could threaten the health and safety of state personnel.

Hosting and Entertaining

Meal purchased for someobdy else when traveler or any participants are not UW business travelers or on travel status. Reimbursed on an Expense Report using the "Non-Travel Reimbursement" Business Process through Procurement. 


Immunizations/Medical Expenses

Requires administrator approval. Approval must attest that the expense(s) are required for UW business and is recommended by either a doctor, funding sponsor, program, or public health institute [Center for Disease Control and Prevention](CDC). 

Incidental Expenses

Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses, foreign transaction fees, and other for personal services performed. This is not a miscellaneous expense. An allowance for incidental expenses is included within the daily subsistence rates for the area of travel.

In-State Air Fare

The amounts paid for air transportation expenses incurred while traveling within the state of Washington on official University business.




Laundry/Dry Cleaning

Restricted to continuous travel status for five (5) or more days in the continental U.S.A. Not allowed in locations outside the continental U.S.A., as it is covered within the meal per diem (M&IE) allowance for these locations. 

Living Allowance

Cash advance for non-UW foreign national capped based on meal per diem to help defray travel costs they may incur while working in SEATTLE. 

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

Car rental insurance that is allowable for reimursement and recommended to accept. Comes for free on the UW Enterprise contract. 


Meals Paid for Others

Meals purchased for other UW business travelers while all participants in the meal are on Travel Status, more than 50 miles away from their home and duty station.


May be reimbursed if mandatory and unavoidable for attending conference. 


When traveler drives their personally owned vehicle, reimbursed at the federal mileage rate. Documentation must be attached to the expense report. 



Official Duty Station

Traveler’s primary physical address of work. Travelers must have at least one official duty station and it is possible for them to have more than one. Any location where the traveler will be working for on an ongoing basis lasting or expecting to last longer than 1 year MUST be considered an official duty station.

Official residence

Traveler’s primary physical address of residence. 

Out-of-State Air Fare

Amounts paid for air transportation expenses incurred while traveling outside the state boundary on official University business.


Package Deal

Purchasing travel in a package generally including airfare, lodging, car rental, etc. There are different requirements and restrictions for package deals depending upon the itemization of cost. In some instances the claimant may be taxed as income, avoid package deals to avoid that risk. 

Per Diem

An allowance method by which UW handles lodging and meal reimbursement to an individual. It is best to think of meal per diem as an allowance as receipts are not required per our receipt policy and the reimbursement is based on start and end times of travel status. Lodging per diem is best to think of as a cap that is allowed to be spent depending on the location of business. For example traveling to downtown New York versus a small town in Washington will be more forgiving on the amount you get to spend. 

Personal Attendant Fees

Costs of personal care attendant services required for disability accommodations are allowable. Costs may include fees and travel expenses of the attendant. Documentation is managed by the UW Disability Services Office. See ADA guidance for more information. 

Policy Background

The UW Travel policy is shaped by state and federal requirements. In order for travel reimbursements to not be taxable as income, certain requirements must be met to substantiate business needs and auditability. 

Pre-Trip Approval

Given by 'authorized person' required for all travel out of state defined as travel to a location outside the state of WA, OR, ID. Documentation may be kept at the department or attached to the expense report. 


Reducing cost to UW business only when personal influence is included in the cost. Required for expenses that span over time (meal per diem, car rental, parking, etc). 

Prospective Employees

Travel expense related to interview/recruitment. Travel expense reimbursement for prospective employees is limited to applicants being considered for faculty, professional staff, and classified staff in a supervisory role. Travel expenses for classified staff may be reimbursed when the position is essential to carrying out critical work of the department and approval/justification is attached to the expense report from an 'authorized person'.  

Provided Meals

Meals determined to be a 'provided meal' must be zeroed out on traveler's expense report. 



Record Retention

Documentation retention must meet requirements set forth by UW Records Management Services. 


Registration costs related to conference travel. May be reimbursed through Expense Report using either of these two Business Purposes: "Business Travel Reimbursement" or "Non-Travel Reimbursement". Any optional (not required by conference) events that are 'social' in nature, are considered personal and not reimbursable.

Reimbursement from a Non-University Source (Travel Award)

A non-University source may be reimbursed for travel related expenses incurred in connection with a speech, conference, presentation, appearance,  trade mission or committee meetings that the UW employee/traveler has been authorized to attend in an official capacity on behalf of the University of Washington.

Rewards Programs

Expenses purchased using any rewards program, such as mileage points, credit card travel points, my wallet funds, gift cards or other personal rewards programs are not reimbursable.



Travel reimbursement during a sabbatical requires written approval from Chair/Director or Dean/Chancellor. 


Temporary duty station

Any physical address location assigned on a temporary basis lasting for or expecting to last less than 1 year may be assigned as a temporary duty station. Any location where the traveler will be working for on an ongoing basis lasting or expecting to last longer than 1 year MUST be considered an official duty station. 


Are eligible for reimbursement when for ground transportation (Uber/Lyft, Taxi, shuttle, etc.). Tips for meals and all other tips such as tipping a bellhop or porter are not reimbursable as a separate expense because they are covered in the traveler's meal per diem (M&IE).


Mandatory/Unavoidable toll charges are reimbursable. Example: SR 520 tolls. Avoidable tolls are not reimbursable. Ex: I 405 express lane tolls. 

Translator Fees

Service must be performed outside the US and by a non US Citizen/Green Card Holder. Any other scenario may be taxable and is not allowable through Workday. Contact the Tax Office with any tax related questions.

Travel Advance

Cash advance for UW employees capped based on per diem to help defray travel costs they may incur.  

Travel Email List Serv

Email list serv managed by UW Travel Services used as primary communication channel to announce important topics such as upcoming events, policy changes, system changes, or other high impact topics. 

Travel Information Meeting

Quarterly information meeting hosted by UW Travel Services to provide important information such as policy changes, system changes, or other high impact topics.

Travel Services Review 

Travel will focus the approval review to the high risk flag(s) that prompted our approval. Approval does not constitute a complete review of the expense report. Travel may perform random reviews to conduct a risk analysis

Travel Status

Traveler must be more than 50 miles away from their home and duty station (most direct route) and meet the 11 hour rule. The 11 hour rule is for single day trips when determining if the traveler is eligible for meal per diem. 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. 

Travel Training

UW Travel Services offers several training opportunities such as hands on systems training, policy guidance and department training.


UW Travel Agencies

UW is contracted with several travel agencies for departments that wish to utilize their services. 

UW Travel Discounts

The University of Washington has negotiated discounts with travel vendors that may be advantageous for business travel! Many discounts are available for airlines, lodging accommodations, ground transportation providers and many more! Many advantages stem past just tangible costs and include other benefits.


Visa/Passport Fees

Must be necessary/critical to UW business. Travel expenses related to obtaining visa are allowable if required and unavoidable to conduct UW business. Travel planning on this to be most direct route/economical. Expenses related to US work visa are not reimbursable. 


Wire Payment

Workday Miscellaneous Payments has the capacity to process wire payments. Payments are processed by UW Accounts Payable. Payments are limited to foreign nationals with foreign banks. A 15$ fee is charged to the budget(s) used for this type of payment. Make sure to attach the required Wire Form as required by Accounts Payable. 

Workday Expense Report

Financial Management platform used to process travel reimbursements at the University of Washington.