What to Know Before You Arrange Travel

Read these requirements carefully before you make any travel arrangements. Failure to follow these policies may jeopardize your reimbursement. If you have questions, please email bprocure@uw.edu.

Summary of Allowable Travel Expenses


You may use any airline from any broker, agent or online website. Travel awards may only be used for travel within the United States (i.e., city of departure must be in the U.S.).

If you are traveling to another destination for personal business on your way to or from the Summer Institutes we recommend purchasing airfare for this portion of your trip separately.  If personal airfare cannot be purchased separately from Summer Institute, you will need to submit a round-trip comparison itinerary priced at the lowest available coach fare from a travel agency or travel comparison site such as Expedia, Kayak or Google Flights. Reimbursement cannot exceed the cost of the comparison fare. Failure to provide the required information will prevent us from reimbursing you.  Review sample documents: Actual Fare vs. Comparison Fare. If possible, the actual fare receipt should show that the amount was paid (i.e., $0 balance).

Please note: Airfare expenses paid via any rewards program, such as mileage, my wallet, or credits, cannot be reimbursed.

Baggage fees

Receipts may be submitted for reimbursement.

Driving to Seattle

If you elect to drive to Seattle, you will be reimbursed at $0.545 per mile, up to the cost of the lowest airfare quote obtained two or more weeks prior to your actual travel dates. Please include the airfare quote with the reimbursement form. Failure to provide the required information will prevent us from reimbursing you.


Lodging per diem limit for Seattle is $240/night (exclusive of taxes). You may claim lodging expenses for the night before the first module you attend and the nights of your module days, including the final day of a module. Hotel nights are not covered for days on which you do not attend a module except as stated above. Weekend nights are not covered except as stated above. University of Washington housing may be the most cost-effective option. Review more information about lodging for Summer Institutes.

Important note for those staying at private residences

You may be reimbursed for renting a private residence only if it qualifies as a commercial lodging[1]. Generally, this means that there is an advertisement for it on a website such as Craigslist or Airbnb. The folio/receipt should include your name, rate per night, # of nights, taxes, and fees along with information about the lodging accommodation. The receipt must show that you paid in order to claim lodging for reimbursement. Refer to a sample document for an Airbnb receipt.

If someone else pays for your lodging, that person must submit a reimbursement request. This person need not have attended the Summer Institutes (e.g., spouse or friend who is traveling with you), but he or she must comply with University requirements (per diem limits, allowable days, documentation required, etc.). This person may only claim your pro rata share of the lodging cost.

Ground transportation

Round-trip expenses from the airport to your lodging location, as well as round trip from home to the airport, are allowable via taxi and other services such as Uber, Lyft, bus, train or rail or private vehicle (see mileage claim under “Driving to Seattle” above). Transportation costs from the lodging location to the University of Washington to attend the Summer Institute are allowable as well. If the sum of ground transportation expenses is greater than $75 (taxi fares, shuttle fares, airport parking) include receipts with your reimbursement request.

Rental car costs are limited to $150.00 and take the place of ground transportation costs between Seatac Airport and the UW/hotel. Parking costs are not reimbursable without prior approval.


The meal allowance in Seattle is $74 per day and may be claimed for the day you travel to or from the Summer Institutes as well as for any day you attend a module. Note that the allowed amount may be prorated if a module begins or ends mid-day. Days you do not attend a module are not covered except as stated above. Please do not send us any receipts for food or incidental expenses.

Not Allowable Travel Expenses


Parking is not reimbursable without prior approval. If you plan to drive a personal vehicle to the University of Washington, please know that parking is extremely difficult during the week. In addition, you will need to purchase a parking permit. There is no charge to park on Sundays or University holidays. Campus parking information: https://facilities.uw.edu/transportation/?ref=.



[1] A commercial lodging facility other than a hotel must be supported by a tax ID number or a published advertisement. The facility must be available to the general public to qualify as commercial lodging (i.e. listed with a rental agency, newspaper ad, etc.). Reimbursements for lodging at private residence not supported by a tax ID number or a rental listing are not allowed under State and University policies and procedures. Refer to http://finance.uw.edu/travel/glossary#commercial