Lodging and Meals


University employees are required to use the General Services Administration (GSA)’s federal travel rates to determine the maximum allowable lodging rates for both in-state and out-of-state travel. For cities not specifically listed, the maximum allowed lodging rate is $107/night.

The State allows for its agencies to specify a travel expense payment or reimbursement rate that is less than the maximum rate allowed. In an effort to comply with the requirements to conserve funds, TWU has adopted some policies more restrictive than those specified on the state website. In these cases, TWU employees will follow the policies outlined on this website unless instructed otherwise by the department that is paying for the employee’s travel expenses. Departments within the university may specify reimbursement limits that are lower than the maximum allowable under Texas Government Code Section 660.007(b). The department must notify affected individuals in writing about the lower reimbursement rate before implementing it.

Lodging expenses above the allowable rate may be paid provided one of the following is true:

  • All of the lodging expenses are paid using allowable local funds
  • Excess lodging expenses are paid using allowable local funds

No prior Financial Services approval or forms are required.

When using State funds, travelers are required to use State Contracted Hotels. If the traveler does not use a state contracted hotel when one was available at the duty point, a Contract Travel Vendor Exception form must be completed and submitted with the Expense Report in Concur. This exception has no bearing on the allowable rates.

Once your travel has begun, remember these tips:

  1. No personal expenses are allowed. These expenses include:
    • Transportation to/from meals
      • an Uber/Lyft to/from dinner, for example
    • Lost or stolen articles
    • Alcoholic beverages (unless on a discretionary gift account)
    • Damage to personal vehicles, clothing, or other items
    • Services to gain entry to a locked vehicle
    • Movie charges on hotel bills
    • Expenses resulting from personal negligence of traveler (such as fines)
    • Entertainment expenses
    • Towing charges
    • Expenses for children, spouses, and companions while on travel status
    • Safe deposit box
  2. Keep ITEMIZED receipts for all travel expenses both in and out of state.
  3. Upload the original lodging receipt to Concur. The following must be included on the receipt:
    • Name of the traveler
    • The hotel name and address (if the hotel does not provide you may handwrite it on the receipt)
    • Itemized charges – single room rate separate from any applicable taxes or incidental charges
    • Zero balance proving payment was made

A receipt that has been altered by any person other than the entity issuing the receipt is unacceptable. The paper version of a receipt delivered through the Internet or electronic mail by an establishment or its central reservations office, by a travel agency or by broker is acceptable. A receipt to which additional information has been added is considered unaltered if the additional information does not conflict with the original information on the receipt.

In-State Lodging

The employee is required to present a state occupancy tax exemption card and the hotel should not charge state tax. City and county tax are reimbursable as incidental expenses in relation to the allowable lodging rate. The State Occupancy Tax Exemption form is available online, or cards can be obtained from the Credit Card Administrator in the office of Procurement and Contract Services.

Out-of-State Lodging

Out-of-state taxes are reimbursable as incidental expenses in relation to the allowable lodging rate.

Request for Increase in Lodging using State funds

When using state funds, Financial Services may approve a lodging rate that is higher than the State Comptroller’s Allowable Rates. The request must be on the Authorization to Pay Above Allowable Rates and be received by Financial Services no later than the 10th business day before travel begins. The Controller will grant the request only if one of the following is true:

  • Granting the request would result in a decreased total cost of travel to the state or
  • No safe lodging is available for less than or equal to the State Comptroller’s maximum lodging reimbursement rate for the duty point


University employees are required to use the General Services Administration (GSA)’s federal travel rates to determine the maximum allowed meals and lodging rates for both in-state and out-of-state travel. Concur will automatically calculate the maximum allowed rate when a traveler reconciles an expense report.

If the specific destination city is not listed on the GSA website, the allowable amount for meals is $59 per day. 

TWU allows for a maximum rate for actual meal expenses, not a per diem. An employee must claim the actual expenses incurred for meals and not exceed the maximum allowable rate. Concur will not allow for more than the maximum allowable rate to be claimed.

  • Itemized meal receipts are required
    • for all meals over $25.00 when purchased with the TWU Travel Card.
      • including meals listed on a hotel receipt.
    • for all meals, regardless of cost, when paying out of pocket. 
    • for all foreign meals regardless of cost or payment method.
    • Missing Receipt Affidavits cannot be used to satisfy this receipt requirement. 
  • Alcohol is not reimbursable (unless on a discretionary gift account).
  • Tips and gratuities are reimbursable only when using local funds.
  • Tips and gratuities count toward the traveler's meal allowance and will be reimbursed up to the allowable rate for meals. The meal allowance may not be exceeded to accommodate tips or gratuities.
    • do not itemize tips/gratuities separately from the meal expense. 
  • Delivery/service fees (commonly applied to room service meals) are also considered part of the meal expense and will be allowed only up to the allowable rate for meals. 
  • Gratuities and tips are not allowed when using State funds.
  • Any amount that exceeds the allowable daily rate for meals will not be approved. Excess meal expenses will be considered personal expenses, and the traveler must reimburse TWU for that amount.
  • Meal allowances may not be borrowed from one day to pay an amount in excess of the allowable rate for another day.
  • Meal allowances are prorated for the first and last day of travel.
  • Individual travel meal costs incurred during non-overnight trips are not allowed.
  • TWU employees traveling together must pay for their own individual travel meals separately.

Page last updated 4:24 PM, May 3, 2024