DTS…Traveling at the Expense of the Government 

Getting ready to PCS or go on a TDY? DTS will be used throughout this process to fund your trip. In this article, you will learn not only what DTS is, but also, why you need it? The Defense Travel System (DTS), is a program that is used to ease the burden of travel for DoD employees. DTS can be used to book travel reservations, which are often priced lower than booking through other online (nonmilitary affiliated) travel agencies.

DTS can be accessed online 24/7 and can help you begin your travel process through the automated system. If you need an advance payment for travel, the online portal details what specific entitlements are available. The DTS website is an excellent resource for all things travel! Information on participating in free TSA pre-checks can be found on the site as well. Travel tips for military members can be found on the website as well.

Important Tips for DTS Success

Keep your records up to date. If you’ve switched bank accounts or changed email addresses, it should be updated in your DTS Profile. If you haven’t traveled in a while or don’t plan on it anytime soon, keeping your records up to date will ensure the quick and efficient processing of your travel authorization or voucher.

Keep all your original receipts. You can purchase an accordion coupon folder for only a dollar at stores like Walmart or Target. Use it to keep your receipts throughout your travels. This will make your process easy and help speed up your information verification.

Start an authorization for your trip prior to traveling. Five days before your trip, you should start your paperwork. Getting the memorandum of who and what’s approved for your trip will simplify booking reservations, making purchases, and final approval upon the completion of your trip. You have five calendar days to file your travel voucher after your trip.

Obtain copies. Ask for copies of all your documents. It will make the process a lot smoother, in case of a changeover of representatives, or a loss of documentation.

Local Help with DTS

Your Lead Defense Travel Administrator (LDTA) is the person who is at your local level and can assist you with any questions, concerns, or to help you begin the process of completing travel authorization or a voucher. Each Battalion or Brigade will have a representative. If you do not know who your unit representative is, you check out this listing of contact information for each post. That person should guide you in making travel arrangements, payments, and assist you in remitting your paperwork for approvals. Do not be afraid to ask questions. That’s what they are there for. If you are unsure of something, ask for clarification.

Don’t be caught without your funds during travel. Turn in your paperwork on time. Keep your records up to date, save original receipts, and do not make any unauthorized purchases with your government travel card. Follow these tips, and you can’t go wrong! Good luck and safe travels.

Written exclusively for Military Crashpad by: Marla Bautista

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