This page will be your guide to information about all things related to your Veteran and Family regarding Travel. Being military families, we know all too often the trials and tribulations of traveling.

There are varying degrees of travel information you may need to know depending on where you are going, why you are going there, and how do you get more information on where you are going. There is no perfect answer while traveling so it is usually best to call ahead and find our more information before you get to your destination. Common Travel Topics of Interest:

Space Available (Commonly referred to as Space-A)

Space available travel is a privilege that applies to members of the Military Departments, and their families, when space is available, may be transported on vessels operated by any military transport agency of the Department of Defense. Space available travel is defined as “travel aboard DoD owned or controlled aircraft and occurs when aircraft are not fully booked with passengers traveling under orders.There are six essential steps to properly complete a successful Space A travel. Space A can be a wonderful way to travel to abroad places but the key to Space A travel is to be as flexible as possible.

1. Check your eligibility Category

Category I:

Emergency travel in connection with serious illness, death, or impending death of a member of the immediate family of the following:

  • United States citizen civilian employees of the DoD stationed overseas.
  • Full-time, paid personnel of the American Red Cross serving with United States military services overseas.
  • Uniformed service family members whose sponsors are stationed within the Continental United States (CONUS) and the emergency exists overseas.
  • Family members of United States citizen civilian employees of the DoD when both sponsor and dependents are stationed overseas at the same location.

Category II:

  • Sponsors on environmental and morale leave (EML) and accompanied family members.
  • DoD Dependent School (DoDDS) teachers and their accompanied family members in EML status during school year holiday or vacation periods.

Category III:

  • Members of the uniformed services in an ordinary or re-enlistment leave status and uniformed services patients on convalescent leave. Members on convalescent leave may not travel overseas unless their leave form is so annotated.
  • Military personnel traveling on permissive temporary duty (TDY) orders for house hunting.
  • If the permissive TDY is for the purpose of permanent change of station house hunting, the member travels in Category III and can be accompanied by one family member.
  • Dependents of military members deployed for more than 365 consecutive days.
  • Bona fide family members (up to age 23 with a valid identification card) of a service member of the uniformed services when accompanied by their sponsor who is in an ordinary leave status within overseas areas between overseas stations and air terminals in the CONUS.
  • This privilege does not apply to travel of dependents to or from a sponsor’s restricted or unaccompanied tour location or to travel in a leave status to or from TDY locations. It applies only to round-trip travel to an overseas area or the CONUS with the sponsor. DoD 4515.13-R restricts use of these privileges to establish a home for family members in an overseas area or the CONUS.
  • Foreign exchange service members on permanent duty with the DoD, when in a leave status.

Category IV:

  • Dependents of military members deployed for more than 120 consecutive days.
  • Unaccompanied family members (18 years or older) traveling on EML orders. Family members under 18 must be accompanied by an adult family member who is traveling EML.
  • DoDDS teachers or family members (accompanied or unaccompanied) in an EML status during summer break.

Category V:

  • Unaccompanied Command-sponsored dependents.
  • Students whose sponsor is stationed in Alaska or Hawaii.
  • Students enrolled in a trade school in the CONUS when the sponsor is stationed overseas.
  • Military personnel traveling on permissive TDY orders for other than house hunting.

Category VI:

  • National Guard/Reserve components/members of the Ready Reserve and members of the Standby Reserve who are on the Active Status List.
  • Retired military members who are issued DD Form 2 and eligible to receive retired or retainer pay.
  • Family members (with a valid identification card) of retired members when accompanied by a sponsor.

NOTES:

A. Space available (Space A) eligible travelers may not use their privilege for personal gain or in connection with business enterprises or employment. Space A travel may not be used to establish a home or when international or theater restrictions prohibit such travel.

B. Remember Space A seats are normally identified as early as 3-4 hours and as late as 30 minutes prior to departure. Recommend you check with the passenger service center for the space available show time for your flight prior to departing the terminal. Be ready for immediate processing and boarding.

2. Location, Location, Location

Where do you want to depart from, and where do you want to go? What destinations are offered at your nearest Air Mobility Command (AMC) Passenger Terminal? For an interactive map of locations click here.3. Document Check

Be sure to have all necessary documents for travel (Passport, valid Uniformed Services ID, leave papers, visa). Unique documentation is required for specific individuals. Contact your AMC Terminal to find out what you specifically need.

4. Registration

You have many choices to register for Space-A travel: In-person, remotely by fax, postal mail or e-mail. You can register in-person at the AMC Passenger Terminal by speaking directly with a passenger service agent. Other options are to fax or mail your request to the passenger terminal, or use the Web-based sign-up on the AMC Travel web site.

5. Flight Schedule

For specific travel information, please contact your nearest AMC Passenger Terminal. Most locations have a phone number to call so you can hear their tentative schedule.

6. Checking In

At the AMC Passenger Terminal, Space-A passengers can check-in at the counter to mark yourself present. Review updated flight information. Ensure you do not exceed baggage weight limits. Ensure you are not traveling with any prohibited items. Await your Space-A call and follow instructions given to you by the passenger service agents.

Traveling with Pets

Bottom line–always always always check ahead at your next travel destination to be sure you have necessary documents and vaccinations to be traveling with your pets. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Rabies Vaccinations older than thirty days, but not older than 12 months.
  • Health certificate issued within ten days prior to flying, not earlier than ten days prior to flying. Your pet will not be shipped without this document.
  • Language specific to the traveling country health certificate completed by a veterinarian.
  • Microchip

Different airlines might impose other regulations in relation to carrier size, heat embargos, and animal weight. Check with the airline carrier you are flying with for specific guidelines. Some have pet embargo rules, which result in times during the year that pet travel is not allowed. Some airlines no longer accept pets and rely on special pet carrier or animal transport companies. Make sure you check with the airline well in advance regarding their pet travel rules, as they can change without notice.

Tips on traveling with your pet by plane:

Note: animals must be at least 8 weeks old to travel by plane.

  • Make reservations well ahead of time and confirm them 24 hours before takeoff.
  • All airlines require a health certificate issued within 10 days of your departure date, whether you’re traveling within the United States or abroad. Your veterinarian will have to examine your pet and certify that he is free of disease and healthy enough to travel.
  • Be at the animal check-in (if you’re handing over your pet yourself) at least 2 hours prior to a domestic flight or 4 hours prior to an international one, to allow plenty of time to complete the formalities.
  • Pets must travel in manufactured pet carriers – homemade ones won’t do. Label the carrier “Live Animal,” and mark “up” arrows on all sides of the crate. Also, write your home address and telephone number clearly on the crate
  • Be at the animal check-in (if you’re handing over your pet yourself) at least 2 hours prior to a domestic flight or 4 hours prior to an international one, to allow plenty of time to complete the formalities.
  • Pets must travel in manufactured pet carriers – homemade ones won’t do. Label the carrier “Live Animal,” and mark “up” arrows on all sides of the crate.
  • Also, write your home address and telephone number clearly on the crate

Armed Forces Recreation Center Resorts

Whether strolling barefoot on the sands of Waikiki Beach, sightseeing historic European castles, shopping Seoul’s exciting shopping district or visiting the enchanting Walt Disney Resort; there is a vacation getaway that will leave you with fresh memories and new perspectives.

Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) full-service resort hotels are Joint Service Facilities that provide quality, wholesome, affordable, Family-oriented vacation recreation opportunities to service members, their families, and other authorized patrons (including official travelers) of the Total Defense Force.

These are wonderful opportunities for discounted travel for authorized patrons. Check eligibility, prices and FAQ’s for the 4 resorts in Germany, Florida, Hawaii, and Korea here.

To access the AFRC fact sheet, including information such as distance from airport, Standard Room Rates, Amenities–click here.

Do you have any first hand experience in dealing with traveling with pets overseas? Have you ever traveled Space A? What options do you have to travel that are cheap or even possibly free of charge? What are some things to expect when on a cruise?

These are all questions that many veterans families would like to know BEFORE setting out to travel. Email us and let us know if you have any travel tips and ideas you would like to share with other families.