Travel Related Lodging

State Administrative and Accounting Manual - Lodging Section

 

Current Lodging Per Diem Rates (excluding taxes)
  • Bellingham: $83/day
  • Portland: $126/day
  • Seattle: $152/day

Instructions to finding Per Diem rates...

 

Check With Your Department First

Each school or department may have travel requirements over and beyond those of the State or University. These may be additional forms for trip approvals, justifications, reports, or differences in what amounts will be reimbursed for meals, lodging, or airfare. Larger departments may have a single travel coordinator who will make all of your arrangements whereas smaller departments may expect the traveler to do all of it. Be sure you know before your trip, the role your department plays in both planning and reimbursing for travel.

 

Reservation & Payment

 

When Can I Be Reimbursed for Lodging?
  • When you are traveling on university business, your destination is more than 50 miles from your home or work, and you stay in a commercial lodging facility.
  • The university does not repay lodging costs for stays within 50 miles of work and/or your home unless:
    • You need to stay in a commercial lodging facility to avoid driving in severe inclement weather.
    • You are attending back-to-back late night/early morning meetings and you have prior written approval from your department.

    Include a complete explanation and your approval forms when you submit your travel expense voucher (TEV).

    You will not be reimbursed for lodging expenses if these two conditions arise while you are at home, work, or commuting.

 

Reimbursement Amount

 

Lodging Allowance

The Per Diem rate schedules are maintained by the U.S. General Services Administration and U.S. Department of State.

Lodging (and meal) allowance rates are set by location, including: "Standard Cost Locations" and "High Cost Locations."

  • Domestic Per Diem Schedule
    • Contains 48 contiguous States and District of Columbia.
    • Effective 2/1/99 lodging rates do not include any taxes; they are room rates only. When preparing your TEV continue to add the lodging taxes to the room rate and claim in the lodging column.
  • Foreign Per Diem Schedule
    • Contains foreign locations and non-foreign overseas areas including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U.S. possessions.
    • Effective 1/1/2000 Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U.S. possessions lodging rates do not include any taxes. They are room rates only. When preparing the TEV continue to add the lodging taxes to the room rate and claim in the lodging column.

 

Exceptions to the Lodging Allowance

Under certain specified conditions listed below, higher actual lodging expenses up to 150% of the total per diem rate are allowed. This is applicable in both standard and high cost locations, domestic and foreign.

An exception should be requested prior to travel on the traveler's Travel Authorization Form (TA). If an exception is not requested on the TA, a memo must be attached to the traveler's Travel Expense Voucher reimbursement form.

To determine the 150% threshold use the total daily per diem rate (lodging and meals) for the specific location. Multiply this total by 150% which will equal the "150% maximum" for lodging that can be claimed when any one of the specified conditions exists. For domestic and non-foreign overseas areas the "150% maximum" is the room rate only before taxes. The amount that may be claimed is the room rate plus the lodging taxes.

The approving administrator may authorize reimbursement for actual lodging expense up to the Lodging Exception Ceiling when at least one of the following Lodging Exception Rules applies:

  1. When a traveler is assigned to accompany an elected official, foreign dignitary, or others as authorized by law, and is required to stay in the same lodging facility.
  2. When costs in the area have escalated for a brief period, either during special events or disasters.
  3. When lodging accommodations are not available in the area at or below the Maximum Lodging Amount, and the savings achieved from occupying less expensive lodging at a removed site would be consumed by additional transportation and other costs.
  4. When the traveler attends a meeting, conference, convention, or training session where he or she is expected to have business interaction with other participants in addition to scheduled events, and it is anticipated that maximum benefit will be achieved by authorizing the travelers to stay at the lodging facility.
  5. To comply with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or when the health and safety of the traveler is at risk.
  6. When a meeting room is required and it is more economical to acquire special lodging accommodations, e.g., a suite, than to acquire a meeting room and a room for lodging.

Indicate the number of your particular exception on your TEV when you return.

In rare circumstances, the actual cost of lodging may exceed the 150% maximum. The university may reimburse the actual cost in excess of 150% provided all conditions apply:

  • The traveler is required to attend a meeting, conference, convention, or training session where the travelers is expected to have business interaction with other participants in addition to scheduled events;
  • It is anticipated that maximum benefit will be achieved by authorizing the traveler to stay at the lodging facility where the meeting, conference, convention, or training session is held; and
  • The lowest available advertised lodging rate at the facility exceeds 150% of the applicable maximum per diem amount for the location. Supporting documentation's such as a copy of the conference registration that lists the hotel names and rates is acceptable. Or you may get a letter (fax or email ok) from either the conference organization/association or from the hotel that says that the dollar rate charged during the conference dates was the lowest rate available. Attach the documentation to the TEV.
Page Updated 10.16.2013