Meals Based on Start/End Travel Status
Provided Meals
Meals Paid for Others
Banquet Meals
Additional Meal Topics

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

Up to 8:00 AM

     Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After 8:00 AM and up to 2:00 PM

     Lunch, Dinner

After 2:00 PM and up to 6:00 PM


Coming Off Travel Status

   Meal(s) Reimbursed That Day

After 6:00 AM and up to 12:00 PM


After 12:00 PM and up to 6:00 PM

   Breakfast and Lunch

After 6:00 PM

   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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)

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 a "Non-Travel Reimbursement" Expense Report 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
  • 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 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. 

Visit the following page for additional topics related to meals: 

Per Diem

  • What is Per Diem
  • Eligibility
  • Determining Per Diem Rate
  • Exceptions to Per Diem