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Frequently Asked Questions

Choose a topic to view answers to common questions related to the JTR and travel policy. Access more than 800 additional FAQs [login required] in the TraX Knowledge Center.

FAQ | Sept. 28, 2020

Actual Expense Allowance

If a traveler must spend more than the lodging rate in a locality, then the traveler may receive an actual expense allowance for lodging. The traveler’s authorizing official may authorize or approve actual expense allowance up to 300 percent of the locality per diem rate, and the traveler will be reimbursed for actual expenses up to that amount. See the JTR, paragraph 020307 for more information on actual expense allowance.

Yes, an eligible traveler should inform the authorizing official and request the actual expense allowance in a travel authorization before the official travel begins.

Service members may request an actual expense allowance above 300 percent in locations outside of the continental United States.  See the JTR, paragraph 020307-D for more information.  The Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee must authorize these requests before official travel begins.

Civilian employees may not be reimbursed more than 300 percent of the locality per diem rate. See the FTR, §301-11.305.

Meals and incidental expenses may be included in the actual expense allowance calculation if necessary, but the locality meals and incidental expenses rate usually provides adequate compensation for travelers. Generally, travelers receive an actual expense allowance for excess lodging expenses but the meals and incidental expenses rate remains at the locality per diem rate.

For information on how to calculate an actual expense allowance please refer to the actual expense allowance computation examples.

No. The Standard CONUS per diem rate is the regulatory rate for all PCS/PDT official travel.