Prior to Trip

Verify lodging per diem allowance since reimbursement is limited to maximum allowance unless an exception applies.


Prior approval is required if claiming reimbursement over the allowance.

Lodging Deposit

May be reimbursed before the trip.  

  • please use lodging per diem line item ( enter in future date)

When is Lodging Reimbursable

In travel status, staying in commercial lodging facility and UW business: 

  1. if less than 50 miles from official duty station and official residence with prior written approval from an authorized personone of these conditions must apply:

    • attending back-to-back late night/early morning meetings

    • acting in custodial or leadership role and must, as part of your duties, lodge with students or other clients (i.e. coaches lodging with student athletes)

    • avoid driving in severe inclement weather

    • traveler's health and safety is a concern

    • perform critical functions and must remain near workstation during emergency situations                                       

  2. if it requires additional time at current business location due to multiple meetings and it's not feasible to return to duty station prior to next business meeting

    • justification of direct savings must be noted on reimbursement

  3. if reasonable departure time considering health and safety of traveler. ex. if conference starts at 8 a.m. okay to leave the night before.

  4. if it requires staying during normal return night 


    Justification of direct savings by staying another night must be noted on reimbursement. 

    • will arrival to official station/residence be at a reasonable time (by 9pm) to observe next day's regularly scheduled working hours regardless whether it's a normal work day, weekend or holiday

      • if arrival is not at a reasonable time, traveler must return to either official duty station/residence the next day as soon as possible

    • traveler's health/safety a concern

    • compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act

  5. if it caused a long layover for at least 10 hours (use per diem rate for the location where you stayed)

  6. proof of payment is always required for reimbursement

    • hotel folio is required if hotel was NOT pre-paid

* AirBnB and VRBO are considered commercial lodging facilities.

  • include all fees (service fee, cleaning fee) in the daily rate of the lodging per diem line item

  • if taxes are listed, add them to tax box (note taxes and daily rate are combined for foreign locations)

  • make sure the location is listed on the receipt and it shows any extra occupancy fees

  • if daily rate goes over allowable per diem rate for area, choose an exception reason and ensure it is backed up with documentation

* Must attach letter of approval to ER in eTravel if lodging within 50 miles of official duty station/official residence. 

Lodging Allowance

List of Domestic Per Diem Rates (to find prior fical years search by state)

  • includes 48 contiguous States and District of Columbia high cost locations
  • compare allowance to actual room rate only
    • use the 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 lodging rate
  • actual room rate plus taxes is reimbursable if actual rate only is equal or less than lodging allowance


*Mandatory Resort Fee should be included in daily taxes field

List of Non-Contiguous Per Diem Rates (to find prior fical years search by state)

  • includes Alaska, Hawaii, and other U.S. territories
  • compare allowance to actual room rate only
  • use other category if location is not listed
  • actual room rate plus taxes is reimbursable if actual rate only is equal or less than lodging allowance

List of Foreign Per Diem Rates (to find prior fical years search by state) **There is a known issue with this link in which it is only sometimes letting users through. Try copying and pasting the link into a browser instead of clicking directly - 

  • listed in US dollars
  • convert actual room rate plus taxes to US dollars and compare to allowance
  • use other category if location is not listed
  • actual total cost (plus taxes) are reimbursable if total is equal or less than lodging allowance


*If different rate each night be sure to use different line item for each rate.    

Per Diem no longer in eTravel/Ariba? --

  • Using the ‘meal per diem’ line item, select the current per diem rate for that business location.
  • In the line item, you will use the ‘override’ function to reduce the reimbursement down to the allowable per diem based on the previous dates.
  • Documentation of the old per diem must be attached to the expense report as a PDF:
  • Add a comment indicating this procedure was followed due to the per diems no longer being listed in the Ariba system.
  • For any questions please email the Travel Office:

Exceptions to Lodging Allowance

Lodging expense over allowance up to 150% of total per diem rate (lodging and meals) is allowed if prior approval from an authorized person and one of the exception applies:

  1. Conference Hotel: Traveler attends a meeting, conference, convention, or training session where they are expected to have UW business interaction with other participants in addition to scheduled events. As well, the maximum benefit will be achieved by authorizing the traveler to stay at the lodging facilities where the meeting, conference, convention, or training session is held or in general vicinity (5 miles).
  2. Comparative Advantage: When lodging accommodations in the area of the temporary duty station are not available at or below the maximum lodging amount, and the savings achieved from occupying less expensive lodging at a more distant site are consumed by an increase in transportation and other costs.
  3. Suite Required: When meeting room facilities are necessary and it is more economical for the traveler to acquire special lodging accommodations such as a suite rather than to acquire a meeting room and a room for lodging. Note:Conference room/event space rental is not reimbursable. 
  4. Special Event or Disaster: When costs in the area have escalated for a brief period of time either during special events or disasters. Ex. Olympics in London or Earthquake in Japan.
  5. ADA or Safety Health: To comply with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act or when the health and safety of the traveler is at risk.
  6. Non UW Traveler 

* Effective Jan 1st, 2015 back up documentation must be attached to Expense Report (ER) that supports the lodging exception reason chosen for going over the allowable per diem rate for the area that was traveled to.

  1. Conference hotel: pdf or screenshot of hotel listed as conference, meeting, convention or training location and scheduled events or recommended place to stay by conference organizers and scheduled events. General vicinity clause requires additonal proof of mileage (be sure to add comment to ER if using general vicinity clause).
  2. Comparative Advantage: documentation showing overall savings. Ex. pdf at time of booking
  3. Suite Required: UW business explanation requiring suite
  4. Special event/disaster: newspaper article or screenshot showing special event or disaster. Ex. Olympics in London or Earthquake in Japan
  5. ADA or Safety/health: statement from administrator or higher 
  6. Non UW: type of traveler listed as Non UW

* Be sure to label attached back up documentation

150% Allowance

Add total allowable per diem (lodging and meals) and multiply by 150%.  Compare this allowance to:

  • actual room rate excluding taxes for Domestic and Non-Contiguous locations
  • actual room rate plus taxes for Foreign locations

Lodging expense up to this 150% allowance is allowed if prior approval from an authorized person and one of the exception applies.

*Please note if using override amount box must be less then allowed daily rate otherwise will require justification and back up documentation. 

Over 150% Allowance

Lodging expense over 150% of total per diem rate is allowed if prior approval from an authorized person and one of the exception applies:

  • Non UW
  • maximum benefits achieved by staying in the conference hotel

Ariba eTravel - Lodging per Diem Crossover Procedure

Ariba eTravel is unable to process the night of lodging per diem season crossover which requires a workaround procedure. The workaround is to 'bypass' this night in the system by adjusting the check in and check out date and providing a comment on the expense report. Executing the procedure correctly will keep the bypass night within the same per diem rate as it would have been and the number of reimbursable nights the same. 

Example fix: 

Travel Dates: July 29 - August 2nd, 2018 (4 nights)

This crosses two per diem rates with a crossover night of July 31st/August 1st (07/31)

**Normally you would enter a check in of July 29 (07/29) and check out Aug 2 (08/02) 


Create two lodging line items for each per diem rate: 

Line A) Check-in July 28 (07/28) and check-out July 30 (07/30) (3 nights)

Line B) Check-in Aug 1 (08/01) and check-out Aug 02 (08/02) (1 night) 

Sample comment on ER: Check in and check out date changed due to system limitation on processing night of per diem crossover. 

**Be sure to double check that the # of nights lines up with the receipt documentation, in this example 4 nights are reimburable and in the fix they are receiving 4 nights reimbursement. 

Contracted Hotels 

For more information on contracted hotels, please visit Procurement's Contract Search. We recommend searching by keyword "travel". Please email Lynn Magill  with any questions. 


Cost of space rental, up to maximum lodging allowance is reimbursable.  Traveler is responsible for rental/lease of trailer/camper.

Leasing Residential Space

If traveler is leasing a residental space  it may be reimbursed using the lodging line item on eTravel. If department is reimbursing a vendor  please see UW Real Estate Office.