To minimize your risks when traveling in another country, you should learn about the safety and health concerns of that region.
The U.S. Department of State is the best source of up-to-date safety information for specific countries for the U.S. traveler. The Department of State monitors the political situation in each country around the world and offers three types of travel advisories in order of highest to lesser risk assessments:
1. Travel Warning
2. Travel Alerts or Public Announcements
3. Consular Information
“Travel Warning” recommends that U.S. citizens should not travel in that country because of the current situation. A “Travel Alert” (a.k.a. “Public announcements” ) may be issued for a country that has terrorist threats, epidemics or other significant risks for U.S. travelers, but these threats are considered temporary.
The U.S. Department of State has released its new tool, iPhone App Smart Traveler, designed to provide easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, and U.S. Embassy locations.
Another excellent source of information is Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) on Global Security News & Reports. You can register with this website to sign up for country and regional travel alerts.
International students should consult their home countries recommendations regarding travel safety.
Safety tips you can practice when traveling abroad:
1. Dress conservatively
2. Keep a low profile
3. Limit alcohol consumption
4. Avoid walking alone at night in questionable or more secluded areas.
5. Avoid volatile public situations such as crowds or protest groups
6. Report suspicious persons harassing or following you to local authorities.
7. Keep informed of political developments in the country that could put you at risk
Remember: leave a copy of your itinerary with a family member and register your absence and contact information while abroad using the Emergency Plan and Contact Tree as a guide. Take one copy with you and leave one with a family member. The better your family members can follow your itinerary, and the more easily they can contact you and you them, the less likely they will be to overreact to what they may believe is an “emergency” on your behalf.
For road safety while traveling abroad please consult Asirt.
Other important information can be found at: