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

Use this link (List of Domestic Per Diem Rates) to determine the daily per diem rate for business location. The meal breakdown chart below is used to determine the amount for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (do not use GSA's breakdown): 

  • 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
  • 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
$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

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

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:

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
  • 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

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 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.

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


  • Itemized receipt(s) if over $75.00 -- see receipts for policy 
  • 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


  • 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