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Planning Your Travel

Successful travel begins with good planning — knowing the rules about how you can get to your event, where you can stay and what you need to consider while on travel status.

Planning Travel in Six Easy Steps


Making Travel Arrangements

As a traveler, you are authorized to make the arrangements that best suit your needs and comply with campus and state requirements.

Conference/Event Registration

Traveling to attend a conference or event is one of the most common reasons for state travel. When notified of an opportunity, be mindful of any specific deadlines for registering. In many cases, there is an early bird deadline that decreases the registration fee.

Complete your Travel Authorization and indicate the anticipated costs of registration fees. Once the request is approved, register and pay any conference and registration fees.


There are many methods of transportation available to you. When deciding which method(s) to take consider the following:

  • You should choose the most efficient and cost effective method that meets your needs.
  • Where feasible, a common carrier such as train, bus, taxicab or airplane should be used.
  • Where possible, travel should be scheduled using the NYS Travel Contract with Direct Travel.

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Lodging & Meals

As a general rule of thumb, you are given broad discretion to choose the specific lodging and meals that meet your needs as long as such expenses are eligible for reimbursement. Eligibility depends upon two main factors:

  • Whether you are staying overnight
  • Whether your departure or return times qualify you for extra meals

When you travel overnight, the per diem rates include the cost of dinner, lodging, and breakfast. The State of New York does not pay for lunch.


If your travel requires an overnight stay, you should select a travel method that best meets your needs. You have two choices:

Travel Methods
Method Description Receipts Required Best Used for
Method 1 (Unreceipted) Reimburses traveler at a flat per diem rate covering meals, lodging, & incidental expenses No lodging or meal receipts required* Staying with friends, family, colleagues, or other unpaid accommodations
Method 2 (Receipted) Reimburses traveler up to the applicable per diem covering meals, actual lodging, & incidental expenses Lodging receipts required, meal receipts not required* Hotels, motels, or other paid accommodations

*Unless you use a travel card to pay for meals.

Planning Your Travel When Using Method 1 & Method 2

Day Trips

Unless you qualify for extra meals (see below) you are not eligible for lodging or meal expenses when you are on a day trip. On your travel authorization, note that there is no planned meal or lodging expenses.

Extra Meals

You are entitled to extra meals when:

  • You leave on the first day of travel BEFORE 7 a.m., in which case you are eligible for an extra breakfast, or
  • You return on the last day of travel AFTER 7 p.m., in which case you are eligible for an extra dinner.

Please note your times as close to the actual time as possible. The amount of the extra meal depends upon several factors. See our Per Diem Flowchart to learn more.

As always, costs need to be necessary and reasonable. There should be a business reason to depart early or return late that justifies the additional expense.

Be sure to include any planned extra meals on your travel authorization.

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