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Travel Guidelines

All travel and expense processing for employees are done through CUNYfirst’s Travel and Expense module.

If you do not have an active account in CUNYfirst, you will need to visit the CUNY Login website, click "new user", and then follow the instructions. Please ensure that you have access to the travel and expense module as well. The  Travel-Expense Security Access Form can be found on the business office website.

Because York College-CUNY is an agency of NYS, we follow the policies and procedures of the Office of the NYS Comptroller.  When traveling on official college business, individuals will be reimbursed for ordinary, necessary, and reasonable expenses incurred during the course of conducting college business.

All employees should follow the guidelines as they appear in the New York State Travel Manual.

Also, the  Travel FAQ’s

The Process

  1. Have a discussion with your department head/supervisor to obtain approval to travel and to ensure that travel budget funds are available. 
  2. Conference registration fees will be paid by the college if a requisition is entered in time to do so.  Be sure to Fill out a purchase requisition for any conference fees/registration well in advance of the event. (Remember it takes at least 10 days to process a purchase order).
  3. Fill out a pre-travel authorization in the CUNYfirst Travel Module, researching the U.S. General Services Administration’s website for applicable  Per Diem Rates for the area in which you are traveling. Also, include an estimate for the cost of taxis or meals which are not provided.
  4. The Travel Authorization needs to be fully approved prior to the travel dates.
  5. Make your own travel reservations using your personal credit card or funds.
  6. Be sure to keep all the original receipts including boarding passes to be attached to the Expense report upon your return.
  7. Upon your return, fill out your travel expense reimbursement form in CUNYFIRST and adjust expenses to reflect the actual pricing for travel. Please note that the travel authorization can just be copied into the expense reimbursement form.  No need to start all over.  Your travel expense reimbursement form should be completed and submitted within 10 days after returning from your trip.  Please also include  AC-132S when submitting your travel and expense reimbursement in CUNY first.

Determining Travel Status

  • Travel status is determined when you are more than 35 miles away from your official workstation and your home. All other travel is considered commuting and will not be reimbursed. 
  • When you are assigned to an alternate work location, less than 35 miles from either work or home, you are considered in proximity to the official station or home.  Reimbursement is entitled in the following scenarios:

    From home to an alternate work location
    Between the official station and an alternate work location
    Between alternate work locations
    From an alternate work location to the employee’s home

*An example of when you may be the proximity of official station or home is when you are attending a meeting at an alternate location on behalf of the college.

Some points to remember

  • All employees must complete a pre-travel authorization in CUNY first. It should be approved by your department head as well as the business office prior to the first date of travel. 
  • Acela and business class seats on Amtrak are not allowed.
  • First class, business class, extra leg room, and obtaining travel insurance are also disallowable cost. If extra leg room is needed for medical reasons, a doctor’s note should be attached to your travel expense reimbursement report.
  • Rentals of SUV’s are not allowed.
  • Valet parking is only allowed if it is the only parking provided by the hotel.
  • A conference agenda/itinerary, airline boarding passes, and receipts must be submitted along with your travel expense report.
  • When using a personal vehicle to travel to and from a conference, Google maps must be included.  It should clearly detail the route used to and from your destination.  Please also include form AC-160S to record mileage.

Per Diems

A breakdown of per diem rates across the continental United States can be found on the Per Diem Rates page of the GSA Portal.

This website should be used as a reference any and every time you are preparing to travel on official college business.  Per diems for lodging and meals are based on location.  For example, a daily meal allowance for San Francisco, CA is $74, while St. Louis Missouri has a daily allowance of $54.  A breakdown of the current meal allowances is found below:

Total Meal Allowance






























Please feel free to contact the Business Office with any additional questions.

Thank you.

Travel and Expense Contact:

Tiffany Atkinson