Domestic Travel Meal Per Diem Rates
Travelers should use the meal per diem rates listed below for all domestic travel. Please
see Special Topics: Foreign Travel at the end of this the page for more resources
supporting foreign travel.
Contiguous United States (CONUS)
There are two schedules of meal reimbursement rates available to travelers traveling
within the continental United States: standard and high cost metropolitan area rates.
High cost rates may be claimed if the traveler's destination is one of the cities
or counties designated in the High Cost Metropolitan Areas (PDF) listing.
Meal Reimbursement Rates
Note: Rates are subject to change each fiscal year.
|Total Meal Cost
Prior meal per diem rates for FY18-19
Standard Meal Rate equaled: breakfast 10, lunch $12, and dinner $25. High Cost Meal
Rate equaled: breakfast $10, lunch $14, and dinner $28.
Non-Contiguous/Non-Foreign United States (OCONUS)
For non-continental travel, Towson University refers to the “Local Meals” column found
on the Defense Travel Management Office website for determining reimbursable meal per diems. Examples of non-continental travel
include Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, etc. When using this link, select
"exclude military installations" to simplify search results.
For partial day travel, per diem should be calculated based on the total local meal
rate as follows: 15 percent for breakfast, 25 percent for lunch, 60 percent for dinner.
Group Travel Planning
Most group travel planning requires special resources and instructions. Funds for
large advances need to be requested as early as possible in the event special loans
need to be requested from the state of Maryland. Faculty and staff planning a group
travel event should contact the Business Travel Office for a pre-travel planning meeting.
During a typical business trip, travelers may use one or multiple university payment
options. Please refer to the Business Travel Services Procedure Manual (PDF) for applications, usage, instructions and documentation requirements. Payment options
- Business Travel Office credit card
- individual business travel card
- invoice from vendor
- personal funds
- Visa procurement card (limited)
- advance from the Business Travel Office
Personal Vehicle Usage and Mileage Rates
Properly insured personal vehicles may be used for travel on university business.
It is important to note that an employee's daily commute miles from home to their
regular work location are not reimbursable per state regulations. Therefore, commute
miles must be deducted from the total miles claimed for each trip with the following
exceptions: the trip starts and ends at the regular work location; the trip starts
or ends on a non-duty day.
The use of a personal vehicle will be reimbursed in accordance with the current officially
approved rate. The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study
of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The chart below details
mileage rates along with effective dates.
|current mileage allowance
|56.0 cents per mile
||January 01, 2021
|Previous year mileage allowances
|57.5 cents per mile
||January 01, 2020
|58.0 cents per mile
||January 01, 2019
|54.5 cents per mile
||January 01, 2018
|53.5 cents per mile
||January 01, 2017
|54.0 cents per mile
||January 01, 2016
|57.5 cents per mile
||January 01, 2015
Related Websites and Resources
Airport Flight and Parking Information
Discounted Airfare and Hotel Site Recommendations
Driving distances and directions
Preferred Travel Agencies
University system of Maryland Travel Policy
Fleet Services manages the rental of vehicles to employees and student groups traveling
on official university business. A university vehicle may be rented for university
business only. For travel involving an approved travel authorization form, employees
must attach a receipt copy of their final fleet services arrangement to their expense
form. For more information on requesting a university vehicle, please see the Fleet Services website.
Special Topics: Foreign Travel
Departments wishing to invite foreign faculty, guests and advisors should first contact
the Non-Resident Alien Tax Office (NRA) to initiate the foreign travel approval process prior to extending an invitation
to their guest. Once the NRA manager has approved their travel funding sources and
obtained required approvals, university resources may be used to assist in purchasing
Foreign Meal Per Diem Schedules
Towson University refers to the U.S. State Department Meal Per Diems for Foreign Travel. Reimbursement rates are based on the applicable meal and incidental expense (M&IE)
rate of the U.S. State Department in effect at the time of travel. A partial day's
per diem should be calculated based on the total meal and incidental expense rate
as follows: 15 percent for breakfast, 25 percent for lunch, and 60 percent for dinner.
Foreign Travel Advisories
University travelers should regularly check the U.S. State Department website for travel restrictions and cautions.
Foreign Travel Support Documentation
All university travelers must complete a travel waiver and travel warning representation,
which can be found on the Provost's website. These documents must be attached to the Travel Authorization e-Form when requesting
approvals for foreign travel. In addition, travelers must attach supporting documents
as to how exchange rate fees were calculated. Please visit the Oanda website for the approved currency conversion rates.
Passports and Visas
The U.S. State Department website provides all the information travelers need to prepare for their passport application