Tips and TricksBE INFORMED, BE READY, BE SMART.
The U.S. State Department and experts recommend that you…
- Have signed and valid passports and visas
- Fill out the emergency page of your passport and make copies in case it is lost or stolen. Save copies in a separate place than originals.
- Read Consular information sheets as well as any travel warnings and announcements.
- Know local laws and customs. When you are in another country you are subject to its laws despite your American citizenship.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home.
- Register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website (https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs) so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
- Do not carry an excessive amount of money, wear conspicuous and expensive clothing or jewelry – you can easily become a target of crime.
- Deal only with authorized agents when exchanging money or buying expensive items such as art or antiques. Only buy what you can carry home.
- Consider the climate and season of your destination when you pack, don’t over pack but be prepared for a shift in warm or cool weather.
- Bring a change of clothing in your carry-on in case your bags are lost. Locating your bags can take up to 72 hours.
- Read over your health insurance to make sure you are covered abroad. If you are not, there may be short-term insurance or trip insurance designed for travelers.
- Carry most of your money in traveler’s checks. Then convert those checks to local money as you need them – not all at once. Use credit cards as often as you can.
- Avoid any uncooked foods, untreated water or ice, rare dishes or food sold by street vendors.
- Make sure your immunizations are current and that there is no risk for any other diseases where you are traveling. If so, get the required vaccinations before you travel.
- If you get into trouble, contact the U.S. Embassy in your area immediately.