Travel Management Policy Overview

You can plan travel efficiently and improve your travel management and systems by using our travel management policies. These policies are continuously evaluated to incorporate new technology, analyze the impact of regulations and laws, and educate and train federal travel professionals.

On this page you’ll find information on:

  • The role of the internal agency travel policy manager;
  • Guidelines for planning and attending conferences;
  • Mileage and reimbursement rates; and
  • Handling unused and exchanged tickets.

View the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) and Travel/Per Diem Bulletins.

Per Diem Rates

GSA establishes the per diem rates that Federal Executive branch agencies use to reimburse their employees for subsistence expenses incurred while on official travel within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. The per diem rates consist of a maximum lodging allowance component and a meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) component. More information is available at gsa.gov/perdiem.

Mileage Reimbursement Rates

You may be reimbursed the applicable mileage rate established by GSA while on official temporary duty (TDY) travel according to the Federal rate for privately owned vehicles (POV).

Internal Agency Travel Policy Manager

Each federal agency has an internal agency travel policy manager. This individual ensures compliance with internal travel rules and regulations. You can direct any travel-related questions to your internal agency travel policy manager.

Your internal agency travel policy manager is usually found in your agency’s Office of Finance or Travel Policy Office. If you need help locating them, contact GSA’s Office of Travel and Relocation Policy at travelpolicy@gsa.gov.

Planning and Attending Conferences

Travel-related expenses for conferences are covered by FTR Part 301-74 of the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR). FTR only applies if the federal host or attendees must travel for the conference. Below are some additional guidelines for conferences.

FTR will not cover the cost of light refreshments for conferences that do not involve travel. However, if practical and reasonable, agencies planning a conference can provide refreshments for all attendees if some traveled to the conference and others did not. The conference registration fee can cover this cost. For more information, see GSA Travel Advisory #7: Clarification of providing light refreshments at government-sponsored conferences.

If you are an attendee at a conference that includes a meal, but you cannot consume that meal due to dietary, religious, or schedule restrictions for official business, your agency may allow you to claim the full meal and incidental expense (M&IE) allowance to cover the cost of a substitute meal. You must first make a reasonable effort to make alternative meal arrangements and request approval for this accommodation prior to travel, in accordance with your specific agency’s policies.

You are usually required to book lodging accommodations for a conference through your agency’s travel management system (TMS). However, this requirement does not apply if a conference sponsor has set aside rooms for conference attendees at a lodging facility. Instead, you must book lodging directly with the lodging facility.

If you receive promotional benefits or materials from a travel service provider while planning an official conference or other group travel, you may not accept or use these benefits for your personal travel. They are the property of the federal government and you can only accept them on behalf of the federal government.

Contact your Travel Management Center, travel agent, or supervisor for instructions on how to turn in your ticket. You can find information about your agency’s responsibility for handling an unused, partially used, or exchanged ticket in Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Chapter 301, Parts 301-72.300 and 301-72.301.

Do you have a Question?

Review the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) and your agency’s policy, as it may contain additional clarification or guidance. You should also contact your agency’s local servicing finance, travel or relocation, or personnel office. These local offices are in the best position to review your circumstances and provide appropriate answers. Federal contractors should reach out to their contracting officer.

If you still need information after consulting these resources, submit a question below. GSA can answer questions only as they pertain to all Federal civilian employees in the Executive branch and according to the FTR. A copy of your inquiry will be forwarded to your agency point of contact.

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The shortcut to this page is www.gsa.gov/travelpolicy.

Last Reviewed: 2020-12-11