Can I receive a cash advance?

In accordance with agency policy, you may obtain cash to cover all anticipated out-of-pocket cash expenses for the trip before you leave. The preferred and most efficient method to obtain a cash advance is by using your government travel account to withdraw cash from an ATM machine. As a reminder, do not withdraw cash for personal use.

How do I get my airline tickets?

Most TMCs/ CTOs use e-ticketing and will send your itinerary and ticket confirmation through email. With e-ticketing, you will not get a physical ticket, only information about the reservation. If your TMC/CTO mails airline tickets, pick up your ticket as close to the date of departure as possible.

Note: Federal employees may retain, for personal use, frequent flyer miles earned while on official government travel.

Travel Checklist

When packing for your trip, don’t forget:

  • Your Government issued picture ID card/ badge or driver's license.
  • A copy of your travel authorization.
  • Your GSA SmartPay travel account to pay for official travel expenses.
  • Personal cash or personal credit cards to pay for personal expenses.
  • Lodging tax exempt forms; if required.
  • A record of expenses - write them down and save receipts. Lodging receipts are required by all agencies. Follow agency policy with regard to other receipts.

Below is a quick snapshot of what is and is not reimbursable while on your trip:


  • Airfare and baggage fees
  • Maximum lodging amount allowed for the per diem locality excluding lodging tax
  • Meals (up to the rate for the per diem locality)
  • Personal calls (per agency policy)
  • Work related telephone calls and faxing
  • Laundry and dry cleaning (at the TDY location and only after consecutive nights lodging on official domestic travel)
  • Car rental (approved)
  • Shuttle, taxi, and tips
  • ATM fees if allowed by your agency (cash advances for official travel only)


  • Business or First Class air fares without prior written approval
  • Amount in excess of lodging amount allowed for the per diem locality unless previously approved
  • Meal costs over the rate for the per diem locality
  • Personal calls (per agency policy)
  • Gifts and souvenirs
  • Postcards and postage
  • Personal Expenses