How to have a safe trip abroad, tips from the U.S. State Department

How to have a safe trip abroad, tips from the U.S. State Department

Secty of State John Kerry

Posted January 1, 1970

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by Marsha Dubrow

The State Department, which has issued a rare worldwide travel alert for August, and closed more than 20 U.S. embassies and consulates in Islamic countries on Sunday Aug. 4, lists helpful safety “Tips for Traveling Abroad”.


So don’t leave home without checking its dedicated site, which has many recommendations, including:

·    Sign up for its free online Smart Traveler Enrollment Program “so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency.”

·    Sign your passport, make sure it is valid, and fill in the emergency information.

·    Leave copies of your passport data page and itinerary with a trusted family member or friend so you can be contacted in an emergency.

·    Carry a copy of your passport data page, airline tickets, driver’s license, and credit cards you’re taking — Keep them separate from the originals.

·    Check whether your medical insurance covers you abroad. “If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.”

·    Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime: “Do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money.” Also, don’t leave unattended luggage in public areas and don’t accept packages from strangers.

·    Contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in an emergency: “U.S. Embassies and Consulates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens.” For contact info, call 202-501-4444 if abroad, or 1-888-407-4747, if in the U.S. or Canada.


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Marsha Dubrow writes the DC Art Travel column on Her arts and travel stories have run in National Geographic Traveler, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, as well as World Footprints. She was a Correspondent for Life, People, Punch, and Reuters. Dubrow earned an M.F.A. in Writing and Literature at Bennington College, which published her book, Single Blessedness. Her essays and fiction appear in anthologies including When Last on the Mountain and Still Going Strong.

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