Provided Meals
Determining Per Diem
Meals Based on Start/End Travel Status
Meals Paid for Others
Banquet Meals


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. 

Reimbursement based on allowable per diem rates which includes:

**When a traveler is claiming their own meal per diem, receipts are not required as it is treated as an allowance. 

Provided Meals

  • Provided meals must be zeroed out on traveler's expense report 
  • 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. 

What is considered provided? 

  • Meals included in price of lodging
  • Meals included in registration fee
  • Any other provided meals regardless whether or not: 
    • there was a registration fee
    • traveler did not participate in the meal (unless necessary/critical UW business prevented them, must be substantiated on the expense report) 
    • there was a personal dietary restrictions (religious, vegan, vegetarian, ...etc.) 
  • For dietary medical accommodation, refer to ADA travel accommodation guidance
  • Light snacks/refreshments may be assessed to not be a provided meal (Ex: continental breakfast, airplane food, light hors d'oeuvres)

Determining Per Diem

Step 1: Acquire the daily meal per diem rate for business location using corresponding link below: 

  • Domestic Per Diem Rates
    • use the M&IE Total as daily rate
    • includes 48 contiguous States and District of Columbia high cost locations
    • this county search can be used to identify if the city is in a high cost county
    • Location not listed? Use city: Standard Conus Rate
  • Domestic Non-Contiguous Rates
    • the daily rate is determined by adding the local meals + local incidental 
    • includes Alaska, Hawaii and other U.S. territories
    • Location not listed? Use city: [OTHER] for that state
  • List of Foreign Per Diem Rates 
    • Use the M & IE Rate as daily rate
    • Location not listed? Use city: [OTHER] for that country

Step 2: The following chart can be used to determine the amount allotted for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

**This breakdown is based on WA State requirement of 25% for breakfast, 30% for lunch, 45% for dinner - Reference

**Ignore the breakdown done by GSA or other agencies (this is not how the UW breaks down the per diem rates)

Daily Rate




$46 $11 $14 $21
$51 $13 $15 $23
$54 $14 $16 $24
$55 $14 $16 $25
$56 $14 $17 $25
$59 $15 $18 $26
$61 $15 $18 $28
$64 $16 $19 $29
$66 $16 $20 $30
$69 $17 $21 $31
$71 $18 $21 $32
$74 $19 $22 $33
$76 $19 $23 $34


Procedure: travel date too old & per diem no longer in eTravel/Ariba? https://finance.uw.edu/travel/noperdiem

Meals Based on Start/End Travel Status

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 official 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
  • Do not account for time zone changes, use local time from start to finish 

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

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. If any traveler is not specifically on UW business or on Travel Status, then the meal is considered 'Hosting and Entertaining' and is reimbursed on an XR (eReimbursement) through Procurement.

**UW business travelers defined as individuals that are eligible for meal reimbursement per the University funding and the meals paid for others claimant is claiming that amount on their behalf. 

**Travelers should pay and claim their own meals unless there is a UW business need. This will reduce administrative burden.


  • Itemized receipts regardless of cost 
  • Documentation substantiating reimbursement is within allowable per diem for all meal participants
    • Travel Office spreadsheet is recommended. Instruction is built in. 
  • Reimburse at actual cost, not to exceed allowable per diem for all participants
  • Alcohol (including tax on alcohol) is excluded

**Important that traveler's request an itemized receipt from the restaurant, sometimes they will only provide one with a total amount

Banquet Meals

Meals that are conference/seminar sponsored, have speakers and/or pertinent round table discussions may be reimbursed seperate 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 Ariba eTravel.