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Meals & Incidental Expenses

UC Davis policies on meal reimbursement and incidentals


  • Meal reimbursement for Travel under 30 days within the lower 48 states is limited to $62 per day.
    • See Foreign travel section for information about Per Diems.
  • Meal reimbursement is not a per diem and should only be claimed for the amount of actual expenses incurred (not to exceed $62).
  • There must be an overnight stay to claim meal reimbursement.
  • Alcohol is not permitted when charging the expense to a State or General Fund source.
  • Meals should be purchased using the UC Davis Travel card, whenever possible.
  • All tips for meals are included in the same daily limit.
  • Travelers should not pay for other travelers’ meals, unless part of a designated Group trip
  • Receipts are not required for meals.
    • Individuals who appear to be treating the meal reimbursement as a Per Diem, and not claiming actuals, may be required to provide receipts.


  • Incidentals includes tips and gratuity given to baggage carriers or train porters.
  • Incidentals does not include purchasing of personal items, such as toothbrushes or soap.
  • Incidentals does not include tips for housekeeping, which should be categorized as a lodging expense.
  • The daily limit for meals and incidentals is a combined $62.
  • Receipts are not required for incidentals.