For "security" reasons, Obama's campaign won't say exactly when the trip will take place.
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama is allowed to travel the world at government expense to learn firsthand about foreign-policy issues before Congress. Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I. and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., will accompany Obama. Hagel serves on Foreign Relations and Reed is on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Both are military veterans.
When Obama's travel was announced, he said the travel would be "an important opportunity for me to assess the situation in countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with some of our closest friends and allies about the common challenges we face."
There is no way to estimate the taxpayer cost of Obama's trip in advance, but the cost figures eventually will appear in the Congressional Record as a committee expense report.