Travel - Foreign

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 8.4(1)
Reviewed and Updated: July 1, 2019
Contact: Controller's Department

Please review THIS PROPOSED REVISION OF THE TRAVEL – FOREIGN policy [PDF]. Submit your comments and questions to by June 19, 2020.


This policy covers the reimbursement of university travel-related expenses incurred while outside the United States.

Policy Statement

Travel within the fifty United States plus Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands is considered domestic travel. All other travel is foreign. This policy applies to travel paid from all university funding sources, except the Ames Laboratory contract.

The federal government has established lodging and meal per diem rates for foreign travel, which are subject to change on a monthly basis. A traveler may claim an amount up to the stated lodging per diem for the appropriate location if lodging was required for that location. If the per diem is inadequate to cover the traveler's actual lodging cost, actual cost up to 150% of the lodging per diem can be claimed with proper documentation.

The traveler must use either per diem or actual cost for the entire trip, not a combination of the two methods. Travel paid from the Agency for International Development or U.S. Information Agency awards must use the lower of actual cost or per diem.