GSA gives per diem travel rates another bump for 2018

Traveling feds are getting another $2 per day from the General Services Administration to pay for lodging in 2018.

The daily travel allowance authorized by GSA is going up to $144 per day — $93 for lodging (up from $91 in 2017) and $51 for meals and incidental expenses. These rates apply to travel in most regions of the continental United States, approximately 2,600 counties, according to GSA.

In 2018, there will be 332 “non-standard areas” that warrant a higher adjusted per diem to account for regional prices.  No new locations were added; 14 were removed from the list between 2017 and 2018. The regions that no longer merit higher rates are:

  • Redding, California;
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
  • Bonner’s Ferry/Sandpoint, Idaho;
  • Dickinson/Beulah, North Dakota;
  • Watertown, New York;
  • Youngstown, Ohio;
  • Enid, Oklahoma;
  • Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania;
  • Scranton, Pennsylvania;
  • Laredo, Texas;
  • McAllen, Texas;
  • Pearsall, Texas;
  • San Angelo, Texas; and
  • Gillette, Wyoming.

The per diem rates are based on average daily rate (ADR) data from the lodging industry, according to GSA. Fiscal 2018 meals and incidental expenses stayed at the fiscal 2017 standard range of $51 to $74.

“The ADR is a widely accepted lodging-industry measure based upon a property’s room rental revenue divided by the number of rooms rented as reported by the hotel property to the contractor,” according to information provided by GSA. “This calculation provides GSA with the average rate in a given area.”

The State Department handles foreign per diem rates, while the Defense Department sets rates for Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories.

DoD announced changes to its per diem rates last month for Guam, Hawaii, Midway Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands, which took effect Aug. 1. While rates vary significantly from country to country and city to city, most stayed the same or rose slightly.