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Top Tips for Traveling Abroad
From the U.S. Department of State (link):
- Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. Also, before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your passport!
- Read the Consular Information Sheets (and Public Announcements or Travel Warnings, if applicable) for the countries you plan to visit.
- Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember, the U.S. Constitution does not follow you! While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws.
- Make 2 copies of your passport identification page. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives. Carry the other with you in a separate place from your passport.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency. Keep your host program informed of your whereabouts.
- Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas. Do not accept packages from strangers.
- Prior to your departure, you should register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department's travel registration website . Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency.
- To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards.
- In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques.
- If you get into trouble, contact the nearest U.S. embassy.
- Make sure you have insurance that will cover your emergency medical needs (including medical evacuation) while you are overseas.
- While abroad, avoid using illicit drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages, and associating with people who do.
- When overseas, avoid demonstrations and other situations that may become unruly or where anti-American sentiments may be expressed.