With autumn here, college students and families will be planning their fall break and holiday vacations at home and abroad. Here are the top 10 tips for traveling out of the Country, as recommended by the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.
10 Travel Tips for Traveling Abroad this Fall
- Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. Also, before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
- Read the Consular Information Sheets and any Travel Warnings for the countries you plan to visit. Consular Information Sheets are available at www.travel.state.gov.
- Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember, while in a country, you are subject to its laws!
- Make 2 photocopies of your passport identification page. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home. Carry the other with you in a separate place from your passport.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so you can be contacted in case of emergency.
- Notify by phone or register in person with the U.S. embassy or consulate upon arrival.
- Don't leave luggage unattended in public areas. Don't accept packages from strangers.
- Don't be a target! Avoid conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry and don't carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards.
- In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques.
- If you get into trouble, contact the U.S. Consul!
The Department of State issues Consular Information Sheets for all countries of the world. They describe unusual entry or currency regulations, health conditions, the crime and security situation, political disturbances, areas of instability, and drug penalties. In general, Consular Information Sheets do not give advice. Instead, they describe conditions so that travelers can make informed decisions about their trips.
However, in some dangerous situations, the Department of State recommends that Americans defer all travel to a country. In these cases, a Travel Warning is issued for the country, in addition to its Consular Information Sheet. For more information on the country you are traveling to, contact your travel agent or log on to www.travel.state.gov.