Safety tips for traveling abroad

You may have dreamed of a summer holiday in Europe, or perhaps you may find in your current work that you often have to travel to exotic locations for your business. The prospect of seeing another country, experiencing cultures, languages, and people different from the United States is exciting, but traveling abroad is as dangerous as traveling around your own country.

This is not to say that there is a danger behind every corner waiting to catch an unsuspecting tourist or visitor. Since the holiday is supposed to be a fun and exciting time, it is important to pay attention to a few precautions when you are abroad. Here are suggestions to make your journey easier. Do not forget to take pictures too!

  • Know the laws and customs of each country visited. As a traveler in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of each country, regardless of whether you are an American citizen. Note that don't turn left when you should turn right, and remember that something in the United States is illegal does not mean that it is legal elsewhere. If you encounter legal issues, please contact your nearest US embassy.
  • In an emergency always leave a detailed route at home with your family or friend. If you know in advance where you are staying, make sure someone has your hotel and transit information.
  • If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, leave a copy of your passport information with a trusted friend or relative at home.
  • Always watch your things in public. Do not leave bags unattended and do not accept packages from foreigners.
  • Look unobtrusive when traveling. Do not brag about jewelry, credit cards, or anything that could attract the attention of a robber. Of course, it is never a good idea to carry cash on the go. Let the passengers skilfully check and don't keep all your money in one place – leave some in a well-hidden place in your room (and make sure your room is locked) when you go out.
  • Exchange money only at authorized locations, ie banks and hotels. When you travel to some countries, you may find that local sellers prefer to accept the US currency rather than their own. The US currency tends to have a higher value and the natives are likely to stick to it and exchange it when their currency value peaks. Therefore, you should consider preserving a small amount of US cash when visiting local markets. If you are unfamiliar with exchange rates and try to negotiate with a foreign currency, you may find that you have paid too much for certain items.
  • Let the hotel arrange transportation where necessary. While it is common to call a taxi in a large American city such as Atlanta, you may find risks in some countries, especially if taxis are not licensed. Use only companies and drivers that your hotel receptionist recommends.

Finally, visit the US Department of State website for passport and visa information and updated travel alerts. If you are armed with the knowledge of your intended destination beforehand, you will surely enjoy a wonderful trip wherever you go.