Use this link to find out what the per diem rate is for Meals & Incidentals (M&IE) and Lodging (hotel) for the location to which you are traveling. Select the year, the state, and the city where you will be staying (or enter the zipcode) and click Find Rates. On the next screen you will see the reimbursable cost per night for hotel accommodations (Lodging) and below that will be the per diem (daily) rate for meals. Remember that you will use the First & Last Day of Travel rate for each of the days on which you are traveling and the full per diem rate for days you are not.
For example: Let's say you are traveling to Albany, NY for a 3 day conference in November. You will be driving there on a Tuesday and returning home on Friday. After entering the year, New York, and Albany then clicking Find Rates you will be redirected to the Albany rates page. On that page you will see that the reimbursable amount for Lodging in Albany in November is $115 a night. You multiply that by the number of nights you will be staying...in our example it would be 3 (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). This is an easy calculation 3 nights x $115 per night is $345. This is the amount we will pay the hotel with a Purchase Order, not all hotels accept Purchase Orders however. If you stay at a hotel that does not accept them you will have to pay for the hotel yourself and then submit a reimbursement claim form in order to be paid back. Remember: if you CHOOSE to stay at a hotel that costs more than the GSA allowed reimbursable rate you will be responsible for paying the overage.
Next, you would look at the M&IE rates below the Lodging rates and see that for a full day in Albany (the middle 2 days of your trip when you aren't traveling there or back) the M&IE rate is $61. On the First & Last Day of Travel days your M&IE rate is $45.75. The calculation for meals would look like this: 2 days at the travel rate of $45.75 = $91.50 + 2 days at the full rate of $61 = $122 which together equals $213.50. This is the total amount you can be reimbursed for meals that you purchase during your trip. Daily rates still apply however, if you underspend one day you can't add that amount to what you spend the next day. two IMPORTANT things to remember: keep all your receipts, you will have to turn them in to be reimbursed, and you WILL NOT be reimbursed for any alcohol purchases, even as part of a meal.