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Tip Sheet
Family Members Preparing to Travel for Meetings


  • Get clear information about your travel schedule and how you can be contacted in case of an emergency while at the meeting. When you register at the hotel make sure the hotel has your name on the register for your room so your family can reach you if they call.

  • You will need a photo identification card to get through security at the airport.

    If you have not traveled before, ask for additional information and support about what to expect. Other families who have traveled with this project may be able to provide this.

  • Prior to travel, be sure you've received clear information about allowable expenses and voucher procedures. Know what documentation you will be required to provide, e.g., receipts.

    Programs covering your travel expenses have accounting procedures and system requirements to meet. Be sure you understand exactly what you'll need to provide for them to cover your expenses. It might be helpful to have an envelope in which to file all receipts and make note of all expenses as you incur them.

  • You should expect to receive a cash advance, prior to travel that includes:
    1. child care expenses- to be incurred while you are away (unless the travel is part of your paid employment.);
    2. ground transportation and parking expenses;
    3. meals to be incurred during travel and on site.

    You may ask for your travel advance in the form of a check or cash. If you receive a check, be sure you have time to cash it prior to travel.

  • Provide a credit card guarantee on hotel/lodging.

    Hotels generally require a credit card to cover potential incidental charges to the room and will not give permission to anyone without that. Prior to travel, make sure arrangements have been made to provide one for your room. It might help to have a contact person and phone number in the event you hit a snag on arrival at the hotel.

  • Your program should provide you with long distance access for at least one call home per day.

    Be sure to understand the process for paying for these calls prior to travel. Sometimes a prepaid calling card will be provided, Instructions for use are on the cards, but ask for help if you need it.

  • Above all, consider the dignity of the family members who are traveling.



    Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
    1021 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
    703-684-7710, fax 703-836-1040
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