How To Stay Safe During International Travel

How To Stay Safe During International Travel
Anyone traveling outside the United States this holiday season?
As many tourists found while visiting London during the bombings or Thailand when the tsunami hit, emergencies can occur anywhere at any time – even when you’re on vacation.
Fortunately US citizens have a great, free resource at our disposal.  It’s the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and you can find it at this link: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/
According to the State Department web site, U.S. Embassies and Consulates assist nearly 200,000 Americans each year who are victims of crime, accident, or illness, or whose family and friends need to contact them in an emergency.
When an emergency occurs, or if natural disaster, terrorism, or civil unrest strikes during your foreign travel, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance and information.  And by registering your trip before you leave home, you’ll be helping the Embassy or Consulate locate you in case of emergency.   Registration is absolutely free, and by taking that few moments to register that trip, you’re giving yourself and your loved ones an extra layer of security.
With so many disasters occurring around the world, travel outside the U.S. can be challenging.  But as long as you do your homework on what’s available to you as a U.S. citizen and plan ahead, you’ll be well prepared.  You should also take the time to read any State Department advisories before you leave.
This is another time when you’ll want to make sure you have every piece of emergency contact information and medical information  with you, in your smartphone, on a portable flash drive, or available to you on your family web site or online file system via the Internet.   If you need Grab It And Go Forms so you can have your medical history and vital information at your fingertips, be sure to grab a copy of  our new book The Backup Plan 3.0.  It has everything you need inside the book as well as downloadable forms and documents that you can fill in and save right to your computer.
And don’t forget to take doubles of the items you’ll need and can’t replace, while away from the US.  Things like an extra pair of eyeglasses, contact lenses, prescriptions and anything else that you need to function, or that might be difficult to replace.
There’s also a great article we recommend, that was written after the Haiti quake, called “What To Do if Disaster Hits Your Trip“.
Before you go, take a moment to read our recent blog post, 9 Ways To Stay Safe While Traveling Abroad. and then visit http://travel.state.gov/ as well, for up to the minute travel information, reference material and international travel warnings.    To register your trip and information on the State Department Web Site, click here.
Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

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