Meals and Incidentals, Lodging
H. 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.
For the day the traveler leaves on a trip, the per diem rate specified for where the traveler will conduct the majority of their business is used. For the day the traveler returns from a trip, the per diem rate specified for the last location where the traveler conducted business is used.
 Travel Days
Travelers are eligible for 75% of the meal and incidental expenses per diem amount on the initial and final day of travel.
 Hosted Meals
Applicable meal and incidental expense per diem will be reduced on a pro-rata basis for days when one or more meals are provided and consumed as part of a hosted function (e.g., a conference registration fee includes a meal, meals are included with lodging rate). Meal per diem is pro-rated based upon the applicable rate table. Incidental expense per diem is paid at 100% even if the meal per diem is apportioned.
Meal and incidental expense per diem is not pro-rated 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 and in other circumstances noted herein (see departmental fiscal procedures).
 Meals on One-Day Trips
When an employee departs and returns the same day, meal expenses are reimbursed only in the following cases:
 Incidental Expenses
The university uses IRS guidance (Publication 463 (Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses) or any substitute guidance) for the definition of domestic-travel incidental expenses and the U.S. Department of State guidance for the definition of foreign-travel incidental expenses.
Lodging expenses are normally permitted when authorized university personnel determine that the traveler would not reasonably be expected to return to their residence between work shifts. Generally, lodging is paid/reimbursed at actual cost up to per diem rates. Exceptions to per diem maximum may be granted with appropriate justification and supervisor approval. 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 paid/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, staying with friends or family members) and should result in an economic benefit for the university. For current rate, see related resources
For purposes of payment/reimbursement rates and per diem limits, lodging arranged through commercial 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.
- 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)