Lodging and Meals

Employees may choose one of two methods for reimbursement for overnight travel, but cannot mix methods. Breakfast and dinner are reimbursable meals, lunch is not.

Binghamton University considers our core work hours to be from 8am to 5pm; we apply the 7am to 7pm rule for meals to be reimbursed. Any variance from this schedule will need extra supporting documentation from the traveler.

Unreceipted Method

The Unreceipted Method (Method 1) provides a flat rate allowance for meals, lodging and incidental expenses regardless of where lodging is obtained, including lodging with relatives or friends. Rates are established based on the city or county where lodging is obtained or the location to which the employee is traveling (whichever is less), and such location must be indicated on the Request and Authorization for Travel form. No receipts are required when using this method. Current rates are as follows:

Location Per Diem
New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester Counties $50
Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and their respective surrounding metropolitan areas $40
All other locations in New York State $35
Out of State (this includes any out of state tax) $50

Travelers using this method may also be eligible for an additional $5.00 for breakfast on the day of departure, if they leave at least one hour before their normal work start time. They may also be eligible for an additional $12.00 for dinner on the day of return if they return at least two hours later than their normal working time.

Receipted Method

The Receipted Method (Method 2) provides reimbursement of actual lodging costs and an allowance for meals based on federal reimbursement rates for the county of lodging. Since rates are based on location of lodging, the city and state must be indicated on the R&A form. Itemized receipts are required for lodging, but not for meals, as the hotel receipt/folio serves as your "meal" receipt.

If in need of lodging accommodations, the traveler can book his/her own lodging or obtain a Lodging control number from the Business Office to book lodging via Plaza and Sawtelle Travel at (607)729-2225. Lodging control numbers can be obtained by completing an Interactive R & A Form with all of the pertinent information (Who, What, Where, When, Why, limited/full reimbursement, NYS funding account(s) and signatures). Please check the box on the R&A that a lodging control number is needed and bring/send it to the Business Office. We will assign a lodging control number and contact the person listed as the contact person on the R&A. After the lodging control number has been assigned, he/she/support staff can contact Plaza and Sawtelle Travel and book the lodging arrangements. We will pay the lodging charges for the traveler (based on the R&A information) to Plaza and Sawtelle Travel directly with the New York State funding account listed on the R&A form. A lodging control number is not mandatory but is strongly suggested so that the traveler doesn't have to expend his/her own funds and wait until after the trip to get reimbursed. We are not able to book lodging using Airbnb, Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, etc. with a lodging control number. If a traveler wishes to use a web-based lodging site, the traveler can do so and be reimbursed after the trip. We will need a receipt that shows the number of days of the stay, daily rate, any fees and taxes charged. The receipt will also have to show the stay is paid in full and that no balance is remaining on the receipt.

Please note: Cleaning fees charged on any Airbnb stays are a non-covered service and will not be reimbursed. Any taxes/fees charged for lodging at a New York State hotel will not be reimbursed. A valid lodging receipt/folio is needed to reimburse any lodging charges and proof of fiscal liability may be requested.

For each day the traveler is in overnight status, the traveler is eligible for reimbursement for lodging up to a maximum lodging per diem and a per diem allowance for meals. The meal per diem is for dinner the first night and breakfast the following day.

Travelers using this method are also eligible for an additional per diem breakfast if they have to leave at least one hour before their normal work start time the first day, and/or dinner if they return at least two hours later than their normal work ending time on the last day of travel. In these cases, breakfast and/or dinner will be reimbursed up to the maximum amount of the meal per diem allowance specified for the particular area of lodging.

Maximum lodging rates exclude taxes. For travel within New York State, travelers must provide a New York State Tax Exemption Certificate (ST-129) to the hotel. For travel outside of New York State, state and local taxes are NOT included in the maximum lodging rate and will be reimbursed in addition to the per diem amount.