Know Your Benefits: Out-of-Country Travel

Know your benefits to make travel outside of Canada as stress-free as possible.
Know your benefits to make travel outside of Canada as stress-free as possible.

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Planning a trip can be stressful, especially when you’re reuniting with your family while posted out-of-country (OUTCAN). Knowing your travel benefits as a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member can help.

Depending on your personal situation, there are four benefits available when you are on Foreign Service:

  • Home Leave Travel Assistance (HLTA) to help cover your travel expenses for you or your next of kin, but you must be on leave to be eligible;
  • Family Reunion Travel (FRT) to help cover travel expenses to reunite for you or your family members;
  • Vacation Travel Allowance (VTA) to help you and your family take a vacation away from your post; and
  • Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA) to help you travel for a recently deceased or dying family member.
Travel Tips
  • Discuss your travel plans with your Orderly Room prior to booking to avoid out-of-pocket expenses.
  • If travelling outside of Canada or the USA, it is imperative that one submits a Notice of Intent to Travel form to the Canadian Forces National Counter-Intelligence Unit (link accessible via Intranet only).
  • Don’t try to combine travel allowances, including temporary duty, since this is not authorized by Treasury Board.
  • Consider SISIP Travel Insurance to protect against trip cancellation or lost baggage.
  • Check your baggage for free with WestJet (up to four pieces) and Air Canada (up to three pieces) with CANFORGEN 110/14 WestJet and Air Canada Enhanced Baggage Allowance.
  • Use the trusted traveller security line with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).
HLTA tips:
  • If you plan to travel to a third location, know your allocated amount for your post and the policy travel limitations, and keep all receipts to complete your verification when you return from leave.
  • Know how your leave and travel dates must align, including when you host your next of kin using reverse HLTA.
FRT tip:
  • You must travel within a direct routing as if you are going home, since this benefit is more restrictive than HLTA.
VTA tip:
  • Retain proof of travel for your reimbursement since a statutory declaration is not accepted.
CTA tips:
  • Book economy class or with special discount fares on a direct route since stopovers, first class, business class or equivalents are not covered. Your reimbursed transportation expenses are limited, with no entitlement to meals, incidentals or car rental.
  • You can claim one piece of checked baggage on the lowest available airfare.

For more information, read:

Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) Chapter 10:

  • CBI 10.12.03(3) (FRT); CBI 10.21 (HLTA); CBI 10.22 (VTA); and CBI 10.23 (CTA).

The National Joint Council’s Foreign Service Directives (FSD):

  • FSD 50 (VTA); FSD 51 (FRT); and FSD 54 (CTA).
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