Some key items hinge on having our travel orders: our exact schedule for consultations, our route of travel, getting plane tickets, and pack out.
You must first get your final medical clearances before travel orders are issued. We were surprised by this since you need a medical clearance prior to being hired.
Luckily all you need is the assignment notification (not orders) to get your diplomatic passport, visas and immunizations. So there is much you can do prior to getting travel orders.
The travel orders spell out in detail consultations, travel route, per diems, shipment allowances, location of storage and foreign transfer allowance.
We are going to India! Well, after we do several more things...
Another item to do after you get your travel orders is to request access to the AAFES catalog. Department of State employees are eligible with travel orders.