woman paying for meal

Meals & Lodging

Meals & Lodging

Day Trip

Top things to remember about meal reimbursement while you're traveling on a one-day trip (not overnight):

  • Make sure you are in official "travel status1."
  • Lunch is not a reimbursable expense.
  • Put receipted day trip meals on your T-card.
  • Find daily per diem rates on the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) website. 


Method I - No Receipts

Report day trip meals as taxable income. Enter the time you begin and end your trip into the "expense times" in the report. For multiple day trip meals claimed in one expense report, enter the times in the details of the meal expense line.

Meal Eligibility Per Diem
Breakfast Yes. The departure time is at least one hour or more prior to normal work starting time. $5
Lunch No Not a reimbursable expense.
Dinner Yes. The return time must be two or more hours after normal work ending time. $12


Method II - With Receipts
  • Receipts required.
  • Reimbursement allowed up to the per diem rate for that area. The meal allowance breakdown can be found on OSC’s website.


go to gsa per diem rates

1 Travel status is when you are 35 miles or more away from your home and your office.

Overnight Trip

Method I - No Receipts
  • No receipt required if you are lodging with family or friends.
  • This is a flat rate that covers meals, lodging, and incidentals.
  • Rates are established based on the city or county where lodging is obtained, or the location to which the employee was traveling (whichever rate is less), and such location must be indicated on the expense report.


Location Per Diem
New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, and Westchester Counties $50
Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and surrounding areas $40
All other locations  $35
Out of state $50


Method II - With Receipts


  • When a third party pays or direct-billed, a copy of the lodging receipt is required and submitted with your expense report.
  • If you exceed the government rate you must submit a pre-approval from your agency or an explanation from Knight Holdings dba Stovroff and Taylor Travel (STT)1 stating that there was no lodging available at the government rate. (You must attach this to your expense report.) 
  • Actual expenses are reimbursable up to the maximum GSA rate for the area of lodging (in or near the county of work assignment).
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry, valet service, movie rentals, or entertainment are not reimbursable.
  • Incidentals and tips for bellmen, porters, and hotel maids are part of your meal allowance and not individually reimbursed.



  • All meals associated with receipted overnight travel will be reimbursed at the GSA per diem rate.
  • Reimbursement is based on the area of lodging.
  • Receipts are necessary for all meals charged to the T-Card.



  • Only telephone charges for official state business may be reimbursed and should be indicated on your report.


go to GSA PEr diem rates

1 You can use Knight Holdings dba Stovroff and Taylor Travel (STT) to book your lodging and car rental. You can reach the at 800-543-8616 (press 1 for NYS Travel) or by email at [email protected]

Extra Meal Eligibility

To be eligible for an extra meal you:

  • Must be in official travel status.

  • Must meet the following time eligibility requirements:

    • Breakfast – on the day of departure, you are eligible for reimbursement when the departure time is at least one hour or more prior to your normal work starting time.

    • Dinner – on the day of return, you are eligible for reimbursement when you return two hours or more after your normal work end time.

    • Lunch is not reimbursable.

Travel Forms

Contact the BSC Travel Team

Please include "travel" or your expense report number in the subject line of an email.

Still have questions? Try the BSC Help Center where you can send a question to our support team or search a database of FAQs.

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Contact us by email:
Mailing Address:

BSC Travel & Expense
1220 Washington Ave
Building 5, Floor 4
Albany, NY 12226-1900