Safety Tips for International Travel

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International travel can broaden your horizons and create unforgettable memories. But you can’t always rely upon the tools and experience you use at home to stay safe in a foreign country. You may not speak the language, your smartphone may not work or cost too much to use effectively, and you may not have much knowledge about the place you’re visiting. In order to stay safe while traveling internationally, keep the following tips in mind.

– Keep a lookout for warnings and alerts. Threats in foreign countries can arise unexpectedly, and you may not always be in a position to find out about them once you’re abroad. To stay updated, enroll in a program like the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which will send you announcements related to security and safety. You can also check the Department of State’s website to view warnings and alerts.

– Have an emergency plan. Before you depart, make a plan for what to do if something goes wrong on your trip. Make sure you know where your nearest consulate and embassy are and how to get in touch with them. You should also find alternative ways for your family and friends to contact you, in case they need to get a hold of you and you’re out of normal communication range.

– Keep multiple copies of your travel documents. If something happens to your passport while you’re abroad, it could take weeks for you to get a new one. Make sure you have extra copies of your documents, including digital copies, to help you get through the interim just in case.

– Purchase special insurance. Traveler’s insurance provides coverage for a number of different accidents that can befall you while you’re traveling. Your normal insurance plans may not cover you outside your country of origin, so make sure you have the coverage you need.

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