3017.2 Determining Lodging Maximums Procedure

Procedure #3017.2; Rev.: 2 (Effective July 1, 2020)
Related Policy: UW-3017 Lodging Policy
Functional Owner: Accounting Services, Division of Business Services
Contact: Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions. Divisional Business Offices may contact uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.


  1. Procedure statement
  2. Who is affected by this procedure
  3. Procedure
  4. Contact roles and responsibilities
  5. Definitions
  6. Related references
  7. Revisions

I. Procedure statement

Lodging and meal and incidental expenses are reimbursed subject to specified rates. Actual costs for lodging are paid or reimbursed up to the specified lodging limits. Meals and incidentals are reimbursed on a per diem basis. Lodging limits and meal and incidental per diem rates can be found by using the UW Lodging and Per Diem Calculator (you must logged in to access the calculator).

See UW-3017 Lodging Policy and UW-3018 Meals and Incidentals Policy for eligibility and allowability details.

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II. Who is affected by this procedure

Faculty, staff, students, and non-employees traveling on or arranging University-sponsored travel.

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III. Procedure

  1. Access the Lodging and Per Diem Calculator in SFS.
  2. Select whether or not the trip is for a single day using the “One Day Trip” button.
  3. Select the proper location in the “Location Code” field.  Use the spyglass to see search options.
  4. Enter the departure and return dates in the “From” and “To” fields.
  5. Use the plus and minus signs to add or remove destinations. Note: for multi-destination trips, the proper location for a particular day is where the traveler slept that night except on the last day (the proper location on the last day of the trip is where the traveler departed from on that day).
  6. Fill Grid – use this button to refresh amounts after changes to dates or locations are made.
  7. Start Over – reset all search results.
  8. First/Last Day and Provided Meals – use the Yes/No buttons to mark the first and last day of travel (“yes” by default) and provided meals. Meal totals update automatically.
  9. Use the button in the corner of the details box (a boxed “x” with a down arrow) to export the report to Excel.

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IV. Contact roles and responsibilities

  • Traveler/Travel Arrangers: responsible for reviewing allowable maximums before making lodging arrangements.
  • Approvers/Auditors: responsible for ensuring lodging and meal and incidental expenses are claimed for the proper dates and locations.

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V. Definitions

  • Lodging & Per Diem Calculator: A tool developed by UW System Administration to calculate lodging maximums and meal and incidental per diem allowances for specific travel locations and dates.
  • Maximum nightly lodging limit: also referred to as “nightly rate” or “lodging limit”, the maximum nightly lodging limit is the maximum amount, per night, the University will pay or reimburse for lodging expenses. Travelers are reimbursed for actual lodging expenses up to these limits. The rates are determined by the federal government. Nightly rates for domestic, non-Wisconsin lodging facilities is 125% of the federal published rates. Lodging limits are updated annually (October 1st) and vary from location-to-location and month-to-month.
  • Meal and Incidental Expenses (M&IE): per diem rate established by the federal government for meal and incidental reimbursements. Rates vary from location-to-location and month-to-month. Travelers are reimbursed the M&IE per diem amount, less any required deductions, not actual meal expenses.

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VI. Related references

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VII. Revisions

Procedure Number 3017.2
Date Approved May 8, 2017
Revision Dates July 1, 2020 – Removed references to Fox World Travel; Procedure updated for new lodging and per diem calculator; Updated definitions and links
January 19, 2021 – Updated Procedure Number to 3017.2 from 312.2

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