Travel Tips

How to Stay Safe Traveling

We’ve compiled the top ten things you should be aware of to ensure safe traveling abroad:

  1. Check the State Department site for travel warnings before you make your bookings.  Alerts and Warnings can be found on the State Department website. Warnings are yellow and advise caution while traveling and alerts are red, which advise no travel at all to the country.  These warnings/alerts are based on things occurring within the country that you may or may not be able to access – trust these recommendations as they are intended to keep US citizens safe.
  2. Immunizations are often needed prior to international travel.  There is a list of current immunizations needed on the CDC Website, contact a local travel clinic and be sure to get the immunizations far enough in advance (some take time to go into effect). Contact your insurance company to see if any of the immunizations can be covered under your plan (these can be pricey depending on what is needed).
  3. Ask your doctor or a travel clinic for essential travel prescriptions: a Z pack, anti-diarrheal medication, such as Cipro, and Malarial medication/Deet spray or wipes if you are visiting a country known to have Malaria (a basic emergency kit for your time abroad).
  4. Make a color photocopy of your passport and put a copy in every single bag you have just in case your real passport is lost or stolen, this will help out on your visit to the local Embassy.
  5. Before departing you can enroll in the US Step program, which will give you alerts when you are traveling https://step.state.gov/step/.  Loved ones can additionally enroll from home to receive warnings and alerts for the regions you plan to visit.  If anything does happen while you are abroad, the US will know you are there and can assist you.
  6. When you are traveling keep some cash on your person, at least $100 US in case of emergency.
  7. Do be aware of pick pocketing, which is a very common petty crime in most touristy places – keep your bag zipped and close to you at all times. It is better to put your wallet in a front pocket and have a cross body bag if you are a woman.  If you are still concerned there are also belt bags that can be worn under clothing – see on Amazon here.
  8. Only exchange money at a physical establishment or bank, do not take part in casual exchanges that can be offered at borders or on the street, they are typically part of a scam.
  9. Stay alert at all times and be cautious about who you trust.  Police in many countries are not like the ones we are used to in the states.  There are bribery and scam concerns in many locations and you should not be naïve about their intentions.
  10. Get a copy of emergency phone numbers for the countries you are visiting – you can download the list of numbers here. In addition it can be helpful to know key phrases in the local language when asking for help.

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