Lodging, Meals, and Incidentals
Lodging expenses are normally reimbursed when authorized campus personnel determine that the traveler would not reasonably be expected to return to his or her residence between work shifts. Generally, lodging is reimbursed at actual cost up to per diem rates. Exceptions to per diem maximum may be granted with appropriate justification.
Common exceptions include:
- Traditionally high-cost locations (e.g., New York City; Washington, DC; San Francisco Bay Area; Boston; Seattle)
- Cities where a per diem hotel is not available within a reasonable distance [e.g., twenty (20) minute drive] of the primary business location
 Lodging Receipts Requirements
Receipts for lodging are required and must show the following:
- Traveler's name (or names)
- Date(s) occupied
- Itemization of Charges
- Settlement in Full
 Taxes on Lodging
Lodging taxes at domestic locations are reimbursed as part of the actual lodging cost calculation, but are not included when determining if lodging cost has exceeded the per diem rate maximum. Lodging taxes at international locations are included as part of the per diem.
 Non-commercial Lodging
The intent of the non-commercial lodging per diem is to reimburse travelers using non-commercial facilities (e.g., travel trailer, motor home, or staying with friends or family members) and should result in an economic benefit for the university. For current rate, see Procedure section.
For purposes of reimbursement rates and per diem limits, lodging arranged through services such as Airbnb is considered Commercial Lodging.
In certain circumstances, alternate lodging arrangements (e.g., leased apartment) may be considered most appropriate. Contact the BAO Travel Office for additional information and consideration.
Meal And Incidental Expenses
Generally, meal and incidental expenses are reimbursed at a per diem rate. Meal and incidental expenses may be reimbursed only if the traveler qualifies for lodging-expense reimbursement, except as noted herein.
Travelers are eligible for 75% of the meal and incidental expenses per diem amount on the initial and final day of travel. Travelers are eligible for 100% of the meal and incidental expenses per diem on all other travel days.
For the day the traveler leaves on a trip, the per diem rate specified for where the traveler will spend the night is used. For the day the traveler returns from a trip, the per diem rate specified for the last location where the traveler stayed overnight is used.
Applicable meal and incidental expense per diem may not be claimed if a meal is provided and consumed as part of a hosted function (e.g., a conference registration fee includes a meal, meals are included with lodging rate) or included with a roomette/bedroom railroad rate or international flight. The per diem rate for a full day's meal and incidental expenses is apportioned as follows:
- breakfast: 25%
- lunch: 25%
- dinner: 50%.
Meal and incidental expense per diem is not apportioned for the initial and final day of travel (even if a meal is provided and consumed)
 Actual Meal-Expense Reimbursement
Reimbursement for meals at actual expense (including gratuity) instead of per diem rate is allowed when hosting official guests and groups (See Fiscal Policy 56.100 - Non-Travel Meals, Refreshments, and Hospitality Expenses).
 Meals on One-Day Trips
When a traveler departs and returns the same day, meal expenses are reimbursed only in the following cases:
 Incidental Expenses
Incidental Expenses are combined with meals into a single rate.
The university references IRS Publication 463 (Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses) for the definition of domestic-travel incidental expenses and the U.S. Department of State for the definition of foreign-travel incidental expenses.
Meal and Incidental Expenses Resources
- GSA Lodging and Meal per diems (domestic)
- US States and Territories per diem chart (includes AK, HI, US Territories and Possessions)
- International per diem chart
- Student Meal Per Diem signature log sample form
- UO Policy: Non-Travel Meals, Refreshments, and Hospitality Expenses
- UO Policy: UO Hosting Groups and Guest
- Single Day Meals (Payroll: taxable fringe benefit)